Crummock Water is one of the lesser visited lakes of the Lake District, often overlooked for its nearby neighbour, Buttermere. In fact, these two separate lakes - now divided by a narrow strip of land - used to be one larger lake. As a result, Crummock Water benefits from much of the same impressive scenery and character as its smaller cousin.
Between the woodland, lakeshore and fells, there are plenty of excellent walking routes. Pick one of the below Crummock Water walks and have a marvellous day out!
Crummock Water Circular Walk
Best for seeing all of Crummock Water
Distance: 8.3 miles
Although it involves a small amount of road walking, this circular walk around Crummock Water is a fabulous way to get to know the lake. It’s dominated by incredible scenery and follows close to the water for most of the way. It’ll probably take you around four to five hours to walk around Crummock Water, so this is a good option for a full morning or afternoon.
You can start at Lanthwaite Wood National Trust car park to the north of the lake: walk through the woods right to the lakeshore and admire the spectacular view over the water. Whether you take the clockwise or anti-clockwise route from here is completely up to you.
If you choose to go right (anti-clockwise), you’ll pass over some narrow wooden bridges and head across open fields. Enjoy the sight of grazing sheep and take an optional detour to Scale Force waterfall. Be aware that this west shore can be quite boggy underfoot.
At the south end of the lake, continue following the path south along the river until you can cross, and double back into Buttermere village. Follow Mill Beck to Crummock South Beach, and then continue around the lake. You can avoid most of the road by veering onto the base of Rannerdale Knotts and into the Rannerdale Valley. Continue walking close to the shore until you reach Lanthwaite Wood once again.
Scale Force Waterfall Walk
Best for waterfall bagging
Distance: 3.9 miles
This walk is reasonably short, but the paths aren’t always clear, and it can be boggy underfoot, especially after wet weather. However, once you reach Scale Force, all of that will be forgotten: Cumbria’s highest waterfall is an impressive sight. Tucked away in a hidden canyon, it plunges around 170ft!
This walk starts in Buttermere village, from where you’ll follow a gravel footpath next to the Buttermere Court Hotel until you turn right onto a farm track. Cross Buttermere Dubs and turn right along the river and lake. Just beyond Scale Island, the path veers left and follows Scale Beck to a fork where you head left and follow the sound of the plunging cascades of Scale Force.
When you’ve admired the waterfall, retrace your footsteps or take the higher-level path beneath Blea Crag back to Buttermere Dubs.
Rannerdale Knotts and Rannerdale Valley
Best for families
Distance: 2.5 miles
The “hidden” valley of Rannerdale is famous for its spring bluebells. Whether you visit in the season or not, though, this is a good walk for families and offers some amazing panoramic views at the top!
There is a small car park at Rannerdale and if you manage to claim one of the handful of spaces, you can start directly from here. But you’ll most likely have to park at the nearby National Trust’s Buttermere car park or at Cinderdale Common. A bus also stops right at the start of the walk.
The beginning itself is at the base of the seemingly insurmountable northern cliff face of Rannerdale Knotts. But look to your right and you’ll see a series of steep stone steps. This is the most challenging part of the walk, but stay with us! After they stop, the path continues steeply until you hit the summit and can look around you to see three lakes, plus the distant sea. After this, it’s a much easier walk down a gently sloping hill, round into the Rannerdale Valley, and back to your starting point.
Grasmoor and Whiteless Pike
Best for experienced hikers
Distance: 5.7 miles
Grasmoor is the big hulking mass that towers over the east shore of Crummock Water. It’s an impressive and familiar part of the landscape and, for experienced hikers, an excellent walk when combined with Whiteless Pike.
Parking at Cinderdale Common, the ascent starts immediately and is seemingly relentless. Keep the beck to your left as you climb Lad Hows and continue up and up until you finally summit Grasmoor. From here, take a well-earned rest and admire the views – you can see for miles, taking in the Scafells, the Irish Sea, and Scotland.
Double back on yourself from the peak and re-join the path heading east before turning right and crossing the intimidating ridge of Whiteless Edge towards Whiteless Pike. The route down is steep in places, but passes through the lovely Rannerdale Valley, rounding your hike off with a very gentle path.
Lanthwaite Wood and Scale Hill
Best for a gentle stroll
Distance: 1.5 miles
Parking at the National Trust’s Lanthwaite Wood car park, stroll along a wide and clear path into the woodlands towards the shores of Crummock Water. If you’ve got your cossie with you, you may fancy a dip in this popular swimming spot – or perhaps just a quick paddle!
Once cooled off from the water, turn right and follow the shore over a couple of streams and to the characterful pump house. Here you loop around in a U-shape, cross another bridge, and wander up a farm track. There are open fields and hedgerows around you, as well as views of some of Crummock’s most famous mountains. Join the quiet road at Muncaster House and circle back around to your starting point.
Buttermere and Crummock Water Walk
Best for an all-day low-level walk
Distance: 11.1 miles
If you’re up for a long walk but don’t fancy climbing mountains, this circular walk around Buttermere and Crummock Water is an excellent choice. You’ll get the best of both lakes and can stop in between for refreshments at one of the pubs or cafés in Buttermere village.
Despite its length, the route is relatively easy to follow, hugging the lakes and rivers, or else following clear rough stone tracks. There’s plenty to spark your interest, including mountain views, waterfalls (with a slight detour), woodland, and even a quirky tunnel through some cliffs! Look out for red squirrels and Highland cattle, as well as hundreds of birds.
Start at Lanthwaite Wood car park, north of Crummock Water, and pass through the woods until you reach the lake. From here, turn either left or right and begin your circular walk. There is a little bit of on-road walking to the east, but these stretches don’t last long.
Once you reach the southern end of Crummock Water, stop off at one of the pubs or cafés in the village or pick up a homemade ice cream from Wilkinsyke Farm. After you’re refreshed and raring to go once again, continue around Buttermere before you loop around again to the other side of the lakes.
Best for a challenge
Distance: 6.6 miles
This is a tricky walk and should only be attempted by experienced, sure-footed hikers. There’s a lot of scree to climb but the ascent is thrilling and the rewards spectacular. There’s also a popular pub at the end – handy when you want to renew your energy!
The best car park is at Maggie’s Bridge, though you’ll have a bit of walk before this route starts in earnest. Park up and then head back onto the road, making your way past the Kirkstile Inn and towards Church Bridge.
The ascent is steep and tiring, but you’ll get the best view from the top, and you’ll be glad to know that the return journey isn’t quite so difficult. Once you’ve descended on the other side of the mountain, you can circle to your left and along Crummock Water, or turn right and head through the valley of Mosedale instead.
Enjoy a holiday near Crummock Water
After completing these excellent walks, you’ll be ready to sit back and relax in a wonderful self-catering holiday cottage near Crummock Water. Browse our excellent selection of nearby accommodation by clicking the button below.
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please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.