United Kingdom

Route recommended by:

John McFadzean

john mcfadzen

Buttermere is situated in a popular walking area, but you will probably have the lake to yourself. If some peace and quiet in an area of outstanding natural beauty appeal to you, pay a visit. Many people say Buttermere is the most beautiful lake in the entire Lake District.  

If you can spend a few days here, bring your walking boots and explore the exquisite surrounding countryside. If you only have a few hours to spare, have a walk around the lake, after you’ve paddled round it of course! 


Try to find the famous ‘Lone Tree’ on the north shore. The subject of a thousand photographs. If you visit in the summer months you might even witness a wedding taking place on the eastern shore. 

Route Directions

  1. .With only one suitable spot to get on and off the water and a perimeter of a little more than 5 km, Buttermere is perfect for a perimeter SUP.
  2. .Check out the water levels on the River Cocker which flows out of the top left-hand corner of Buttermere going into Crummock Water.
  3. .If the river is deep enough, you can make this a two-lake trip, although you’ll probably have to remove your fin.

Local Knowledge

Sat Nav
Nearest Parking

The only suitable parking for Buttermere is at Gatesgarth Farm, a good 10 minutes’ walk to the lake along a fairly busy road. what3words: ///megawatt.jolly.myth 

Launch Point

The closest launch spot to the Gatesgarth Car Park is at the south east end of the lake. At: ///redeeming.busters.trek 



Stay: The Buttermere Youth Hostel is perfect for a visit to the area. Especially if you can book one of the new sleeping pods. It’s like camping but with an actual bed and you won’t get wet if it rains. 

Eat: Grab a coffee or tea along with some delicious homemade cake at Croft House Farm Café in the tiny village of Buttermere. 

Places to stay
Places to Eat/Drink

Things to know

  • You need to buy a permit from the ticket machine in The National Trust Car Park at Buttermere. This costs £5.00 per day and covers you for Crummock Water and Buttermere.
  • The ticket machine at Buttermere National Trust Car Park (where you will purchase your permit) only takes coins, not cards.
  • The wind can be ferocious here although you can often find some shelter on the eastern side of the lake.
  • If you intend to paddle on more than one lake, please give your board a good wash and dry between lakes to avoid the spread of non-native invasive species.