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Buttermere, Crummock Water, Lanthwaite Wood, Mellbreak, Cumbria
[ 16.7 km] Wed 15 Feb 2012

NY 1766 1707
Last week I was here in sub zero temperatures but today it is well above freezing at 9dec C. The annoying thing is that the Ice warning and Ďroute not advisedí sign is still up at the base of Newlands Hause Pass. I set off under an overcast sky along the road through Buttermere village. Shortly after leaving the houses I left the road and followed the old track over the small hill to rejoin the road near Wood House.

Path to Crummock Water over Hause Point

Just before reaching the shore of Crummock Water I left the road again take the path over Hause Point. It gives much better views and definitely the best way if on foot. The grassy path didnít last long and I was back on the road at Rannerdale. After crossing Cinderdale Beck I took the path to the left to descend down to the shore of Crummock Water. It was a delightful walk along the shore as I headed towards Lanthwaite Wood. Before reaching the wood I met a walker and her dog coming the other way. She asked if there were sheep in the fields as she didnít want her dog to cause any problems.

Tree Houses

It turned out she was a photographer so we chatted for a while about our favourite photo locations before we continued on our opposite ways. Through the wood the path starts to improve and there were a few people about. The car park at Scalehill Bridge had several cars in it and I realised that the increased number of weekday walkers must be due to the school holidays. I headed SW along the road to the cross road at Jenkin Gap then took the minor lane to the left to reach Muncaster House where I left the road to follow a track across fields to Park Beck. I had a look at the circular building that is marked on the map as a Pump House.

Pump House
A marble plaque on the wall reads:
Workington Corporation 1903
Robert Ernest Higton, Mayor
John Milburn, Chairman of Water Committee
John Warwick, Town Clerk
Joseph Eden A.M.I.C.E. Engineer

Workington Corporation Pump House

The map shows a location called Peel. I crossed the field to investigate, hoping to find a ruined Peel Tower. All I found was a ruin which looked more like an old farm house or just a non domestic buildings.


I crossed fields to High Park. On the way a fox lay dead by the path. It didnít seem to have been there long and there were no obvious signs of how it died. Through the High Park buildings the track heads up to Flass Wood where I climbed to join the steep path up the north ridge of Mellbreak. Several walkers were already on the climb but the first flat bit I came to they had all stopped for a rest while I pressed on.

Dead Fox

Crummock Water from Mellbreak

The wind was now getting stronger and I was hoping the clouds may blow away as I could see patches of blue sky to the west. Over the summit of Mellbreak the path gives wonderful views all round. The fell has two summits; the first has a small cairn. The map shows the northern summit to be 3m lower than the southern summit but my GPS showed it the other way round. By the time I reached the southern summit the views were excellent. Its great getting a different perspective on Crummock and Buttermere. The descent to the south is quite steep and mostly on smooth grass. Today is dry so thereís not much of a problem but in the wet it could be difficult. By the time Iíd reached Black Beck the sun was hitting the surrounding fells and it always seems to be the case that the sun comes out when Iím leaving the fells.

North summit of Mellbreak

I crossed the footbridge below Scale Force then continued along the path back to Buttermere. The path is indistinct and very wet in places but at least I got some good views across to Buttermere Fell. There were lots of people about on the approach to the village and I could see across to the Newlands road where I left my car. When I set off mine was the only car there, now the parking area was full and cars were also parked a long way up the road. I crossed Scale Bridge and followed the track back to the Fish Hotel which was closed today. Considering all the people about thatís not a good business decision. I reached the car and returned home via Newlands Valley.

Wide view of Crummock Water