Hardly more than 2.0km (1.2 miles) from the village of Buttermere in the Western Lake District lies a tarn set high in the shadow of some of the finest peaks in all of Lakeland. This is Bleaberry Tarn. Its outfall cascades over the rocks of Sour Milk Gill which can be seen from both the path and from the village.
The path to the tarn is steep but having been stone pitched almost the entire way it has no difficulties bar the effort to climb its long staircase.
Whilst there is quite a bit of parking available in Buttermere on summer weekends it gets busy early. On the outskirts is the National Trust car park and in the centre of the village behind the dog friendly Bridge Hotel is the Lake District National Park Authority car park. Also there are some spaces on the verge above the Newlands Pass road junction.
NOTE: The bridge over Buttermere Dubs near the start of the walk has been removed. Please follow the signed diversion. This adds approximately 1.2km (0.7 miles) to the walk.
If you need accommodation we have details of 13 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
The walk starts beside the Bridge Hotel in the centre of the village. Take the lane on the left hand side as you look at the hotel, bear left into the fenced lane beside the Fish Inn. This turns left, goes through a gate, bears right through another gate, and ends up at the corner of the National Trust field beside Buttermere (the lake) through yet another gate.
Turn right and follow the path along the field edge to the bridge. Cross and bear left, to another gate.
Go straight ahead on the steep stone pitched path ascending the hillside at an angle. After just a few metres cross another path and continue ahead.
Ascending through mixed but mainly pine woodland the path is of very good quality. The view is largely back down the incline, glimpses of Buttermere lake might be seen through the trees.
Reaching the fence, go through the gate. The path goes initially right and then continues left. Here the views start to open out. After a few very steep zigzags it traverses right and for a short while the gradient eases. It then reaches Sour Milk Gill and bears left to climb alongside.
Keep left of the wall when it appears. Cross the rough and boggy area to the tarn.
Reverse the route of ascent to return to Buttermere.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Bleaberry Tarn, Red Pike, and Dodd||14m (15 yards) away|
|The Buttermere Edge||14m (15 yards) away|
|Rannerdale Knotts||20m (22 yards) away|
|Around Buttermere||22m (24 yards) away|
|A Journey from Buttermere to Keswick||31m (34 yards) away|
|Grasmoor via Lad Howes ridge||1.8km (1.1 miles) away|
|Knott Rigg and Ard Crags||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Moss Force on Newlands Hause||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Haystacks||2.8km (1.7 miles) away|
|Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike||2.8km (1.7 miles) away|
|Fleetwith Pike via Fleetwith Edge||2.8km (1.7 miles) away|
|The Grasmoor Six Wainwright Fells||4.1km (2.6 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011