From Easter, the Rambler bus service runs between Keswick and Buttermere via Whinlatter and Honister. I use this service for linear walks – it feels great knowing you are stepping off the bus with only your legs to carry you back to one of our cottages in the Lake District. You can walk and walk without needing to worry about getting back to the car or catch a bus home.
This simple walk can be started by hopping on the Honister Rambler in Keswick, Grange or anywhere on the circular bus route. Alight at the slate mine at the top of the pass and walk towards the visitor centre. Turn left and walk through the workings, picking up a track heading downhill (this track is used by mine machinery).
At the end of the track, cross the pass and continue walking on the track which resumes on the opposite side. This is the original packhorse route between Borrowdale and Buttermere. Apart from a short section, you can walk off the road all the way down the pass.
Soon the track is above Seatoller and a beautiful undulating path opens out in front of you. As you walk along there are gorgeous views of the Borrowdale valley and the towering crags of Scawdel above you.
Several bridges cross the scenic gills tumbling down through rocky chasms, notably Tongue Gill and Scaleclose Gill. Take time to stop on these bridges and admire the view skywards.
The route is very simple to follow as it snakes along the side of Scawdel Fell, High Spy and Maiden Moor, eventually reaching a high point on the path looking over Derwentwater and Skiddaw. At this point you can divert right to walk to the top of Castle Crag which takes no more than half an hour.
It is all downhill now, walking beside the river to the village of Grange. There are two nice tea rooms here, one of which overlooks the river. From Grange it is 4 miles back to Keswick, walking alongside the lake. If you want to save your legs there is a bus stop just over the double hump backed bridge or you could walk an extra mile to Lodore and take the Launch back across the lake to Keswick.