A cross-valley walk - Buttermere to Seatoller

Submitted by Timwoods on 16 August 2010
OS Explorer Map: OL4 - The English Lakes: NW area
(9 votes)
A linear, full-day mountain (above 600m) walk in national park Lake District (England) starting at Buttermere, Cumbria, about 18.6km (roughly 11.6 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Find Public Transport to Buttermere, Cumbria
From March to October, the extensive Lake District bus network opens up (almost) all corners of the park to walkers. While it is easy to head up the famous peaks, the real joy is found in starting in one valley, getting up high and finishing somewhere else. This route is a classic - from Buttermere, head over Red Pike, High Stile, Hay Stacks and Great Gable before finishing in Seatoller. With most of the day spent up high, there's no better way to explore the western fells.
Start: Buttermere, OS Grid: NY175169
End: Seatoller, OS Grid: NY244138
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 1600m (5250ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 3193m (10478ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 1593m (5228ft)
Max. Elevation: 870m (2854ft)

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Nearby Walks

A half-day mountain (above 600m) walk in Lake District from Seatoller, England, 8.1km (~5.1m) long.
A full-day low hills and fells (below 600m) walk in Lake District from Grange, England, 21.3km (~13.2m) long.
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OS Grid: NY175169
Take the Honister Rambler to Buttermere. Ask for a day ticket that will enable you to go home from Seatoller.
About 0.6 km (roughly 0.4 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NY173163
Take the path across the fields to Burtness Woods. It then climbs steeply through the woods.
About 1.2 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NY165154
The path meets Sourmilk Gill and heads on to Bleaberry Tarn - one of the great viewpoints around Buttermere. Worthy of a flapjack moment.
About 0.6 km (roughly 0.4 miles) from 3 OS Grid: NY160153
First top of the day is Red Pike. From here, it's many joyous hours of high-level walking.
About 1.1 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 4 OS Grid: NY169147
Follow the distinct, but well-maintained (by the National Trust) path along the crest of the ridge to High Stile.
About 1.4 km (roughly 0.9 miles) from 5 OS Grid: NY180139
From High Crag, there's a bit of a drop down to Scarth Gap ....
About 1.6 km (roughly 1 miles) from 6 OS Grid: NY194131
... and a spiriting climb back up to Hay Stacks. From Hay Stacks, continue heading southeast to Blackbeck Tarn.
About 2.4 km (roughly 1.5 miles) from 7 OS Grid: NY215119
The flatter ground leads to Brandreth, the high point of the ground around Grey Knotts. Take the path (again well trodden) towards Green Gable.
About 1.3 km (roughly 0.8 miles) from 8 OS Grid: NY215106
The classic 'little brother' hill of the Lakes - 801m, but vastly overshadowed by big brother to the southwest.
About 0.5 km (roughly 0.3 miles) from 9 OS Grid: NY211103
One of the Lakes' classic tops, and the final high point of the day, which weary group members may be pleased to hear. From the summit, there is a direct path down to Styhead Tarn, but if you can manage it, take the southwest path to visit Napes Needle.
About 0.5 km (roughly 0.3 miles) from 10 OS Grid: NY209099
A monument in the world of UK climbing - many of the early climbers honed their skills on this striking finger of rock. Head past the needle towards Styhead Tarn.
About 1.2 km (roughly 0.8 miles) from 11 OS Grid: NY221099
At Styhead, a bridleway follows the gill down towards Seathwaite.
About 1.2 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 12 OS Grid: NY229109
You'll need little excuse for a stop by this stage, so take a moment to enjoy the majestic Taylorgill Force waterfall.
About 1.4 km (roughly 0.9 miles) from 13 OS Grid: NY235121
The hamlet of Seathwaite sits at the southern end of the valley. Pick up the Allerdale Ramble path , rather than walking along the road.
About 1.9 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 14 OS Grid: NY245137
Finish at Seatoller for the bus home or, even better, get the bus tomorrow and spend a night camping in this beautiful valley.
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