Last week my best friend Simone and I took a trip to the Lake District to make the hike from Gatesgarth in Buttermere to Fleetwith Pike (2,126 feet), one of the Wainwrights, that overlooks Buttermere.
The Wainwrights are a group of fells (mountains and hills) in the Lake District. There are 214 to be exact and they are all featured in Alfred Wainwright’s best-selling guidebooks – A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Climbing them is known as Wainwright ‘bagging’.
The walk took us around 6 hours in total, however, we took our time getting up, spent quite a lot of time at the summit and went swimming on the way down, so if you were fast you could do it in 3 hours or so!
After parking in the car park at Gatesgarth Farm (CA13 9XA), which costs £4 and is cash only, we began to walk up Honister Pass, away from Buttermere. Fleet with Pike is the first mountain you’ll see to the right, next to the road.
Walking past the first small path on your right, you will come to a second, more obvious path. This path goes around the mountain, towards Haystacks (we came down this way) but after a minute or so we took a steep path (off to the left) that leads up towards the summit, past Fanny Mercer’s Cross.
It’s a bit of climb with some scrambling involved but a really nice hike with incredible views over Buttermere, Crummock Water and Honister Pass from the start.
Once we got to the top, the views were even better and we stayed there for about an hour, taking photos and admiring the scenery.
There was just one other person up there and he left after a few minutes so we pretty much had the mountain to ourselves. In fact, we only saw 7 other people the entire time.
The way we’d come up was a bit too steep to go down easily, so we headed down to the right towards Warnscale Beck. It was a relatively relaxed walk down until we reached the incredible natural pools and waterfalls, which were perfect for a little swim! Thankfully we’d brought our swimming costumes!
They were freezing but absolutely beautiful and the view across the valley were worth it! Clothes and boots back on, we carried on down, eventually joining up with the path back to the car park.
If you have any extra time, you could take a hike around Buttermere (if your legs aren’t too wobbly), go paddleboarding or stop for some food at one of the pubs. I can highly recommend The Bridge Inn!
Or perhaps stay over and explore all the wonderful places in the Lake District some more!
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