A wooden rowing boat on a lake shore

The North Lakes - explore and visit

The lakes tucked away in the National Park's north west are probably the most peaceful. With no motor boats, they are great choice to go for a swim, a kayak, a canoe, a paddleboard, or just a peaceful lake shore walk.

Buttermere and Buttermere village

Buttermere lies at the foot of some spectacular fells, including Wainwright's favourite Haystacks. It's also one of the few lakes you can walk all the way round, taking four miles.

From Buttermere village, the climb to Rannerdale Knott provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding area. Enjoy the fabulous Rannerdale bluebells in the spring.

Food and drink

Visit one of many great lunch stops in Buttermere including The Bridge Hotel, The Buttermere Court Hotel, Croft House Farm Café and Syke Farm Tearoom.


Located behind the Bridge Hotel and beside the Buttermere Court Hotel.
Grid reference: NY 172 169
Nearest postcode: CA13 9XA

Crummock Water

Crummock Water lies between Loweswater and Buttermere. It is two and half miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. At 140 feet deep, this clear, rocky bottomed lake is flanked by steep fellsides of Skiddaw slate. It is owned by the National Trust.

The River Cocker starts from here and flows towards Cockermouth where it joins the River Derwent. Crummock Water is fed by numerous streams including the beck from Scale Force, the tallest waterfall in the Lake District with a drop of 170 feet.

A nine mile round the lake walk is possible with great paths through Lanthwaite Woods.


Loweswater is situated in a wooded valley in the Vale of Lorton. It is approximately one mile long, half a mile wide and 60 feet deep. A walk around the lake is around four miles, most of it on footpaths. It passes through Holme Wood, a fine mixed woodland.

Loweswater is the only lake that drains towards the centre of Lakeland to Crummock Water, which it was once joined to. Red squirrels enjoy the coniferous habitat and can be found in the area.

If you're looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat and a drink, the Kirkstile Inn is a popular spot for walkers.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Northwest of Keswick, Bassenthwaite Lake is the only official Lake in the Lake District - the others are all called meres, waters or tarns. The area is designated as a National Nature Reserve, and is a great place for birdwatching. Until recently you could view the nest from viewpoint at Dodd Wood managed by FE and supported by the RSPB and LDNPA until the birds decided to nest in a location less visible.

You can take a paddleboard, kayak, canoe or rowing boat out onto Bassenthwaite Lake, you just need to buy a permit online first.

Honister Pass

This high pass runs between the head of Borrowdale with the head of Buttermere. Once horse-drawn coaches followed this route on the 'Keswick Round'.

Walking routes

  • Buttermere Lakeshore - Miles Without Stiles easy walking route around the whole lake, its about 7km and takes around 3 hours. The walk is relatively easy and level with a great 'reward for effort' ratio. The views mean that your photos make it look like you've been somewhere much more rugged!
  • Loweswater - Miles without Stiles easy walking route, 4km along the Western shore of Loweswater.
  • Buttermere to Rannerdale Knotts walk - A moderate walk that's 4.8km long and takes about 2 hours, with views over Buttermere and Crummock Water.

Free guided walks near Buttermere

Book your place on our free guided walks near Buttermere

Where to stay

Hotels, Bed and Breakfast and Holiday Cottages garound Buttermere and Crummock