Backpacking Adventures in the Lakes: Buttermere to Braithwaite

A new tent and a promising weather forecast meant a quick break to the Lake District was required at the start of last week.

To make the most out of a short trip, some backpacking was required, which is not my favourite way to do things but worth it to get a big walk done. No luxury of a car here!

Day One

Day one was mainly travelling. Left work at lunchtime, and after a couple of trains and buses, we were at the campsite at Buttermere by 5.  Tent up and then a quick stroll up Rannerdale Knotts before a massive dinner at the wonderful Fish Inn.  Rannerdale Knotts was hard work, my legs felt very tight and tired, which did not leave me feeling overly postive about the next mornings big walk. An enjoyable little walk though, with a bit of scrambling practice too.

Day Two

After a light camping breakfast of bananas and my homemade flapjacks, we packed up the tent, and set off around 9am. The aim was to be in Keswick before 4 in time for some food before the bus at 6pm.

Our route from Buttermere took in Whiteless Pike, Wandope, Eel Crag (Crag Hill) and Grisedale Pike.

The start of the walk was tough with the large heavy rucksack. A lovely walk but very steep and I was glad to have my walking pole. The heat was already quite intense even at 10am.  The views were wonderful though. It was time for a well earned sit down to enjoy a second breakfast of more flapjacks and an apple.


Whiteless Pike

Next was Wandope, and then a pleasant stroll to the top of Eel Crag. The views were stunning. I couldn’t believe the beautiful weather.


View from Eel Crag

The descent from Eel Crag was where it all went a bit wrong. Instead of taking the longer but nicer route down we went down the steep scree covered face to Coledale Hause. It started off ok but then turned into scree hell. I can see why Wainwright doesn’t really mention this route, and some Googling on my return has revealed very few mentions of this route online either.  I was genuinely scared, kept falling over and took a very long time to get down the steep slope.  In the end I took my rucksack off and dragged it down because it was making me feel far too unbalanced. I didn’t take any photos of this route down as I was concentrating all my energies on staying on my feet.

The descent from Eel Crag survived there was just Grisedale Pike to climb. By this point I was exhausted, overheated and a bit grumpy. Grisedale Pike was wonderful though. Although Keswick still seemed a long way away. And it was! The walk down from Grisdale Pike to Braithwaite just went on and on and on…


View from Grisedale Pike

By the time I got back to Keswick I was very pleased to not have to carry my rucksack up anymore hills!

IMG_4221 2

That rucksack


2 thoughts on “Backpacking Adventures in the Lakes: Buttermere to Braithwaite

  1. laurencecyl says:

    Your descent from Eel Crag reminds me of when my girlfriend and I decided to descend from Yewbarrow, in Wast Water, down a scree face instead of walking the long way back round… It took us like 2 hours just to get down! Can’t wait to explore more of the Lakes though!


    • Laura says:

      The path we should have taken sounds like a very nice straightforward path. In future I will make sure I properly read the Wainwright guides for every bit of the walk.


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