Bleaberry Tarn, Red Pike, and Dodd

The walk up to Bleaberry Tarn from the village of Buttermere is deservedly popular. The views of Buttermere, Crummock Water and surrounding fells, which open up once the trees are left behind, are simply magnificent. Continuing a little further on to Red Pike is well worth the effort on a clear day as many of the Lake District fells can be seen, as well as down into Ennerdale, and even to southern Scotland.

Red Pike (Buttermere) cannot be seen from the village as it is hidden behind Dodd (Buttermere). Only once at the tarn does it come into view and the reason for its name revealed. The final scree approach to the summit is stained a deep ruddy red from the syenite mineral in the rock and subsoils.

This is an energetic walk. Steep pitched paths take the walker to the col with Dodd and from then on to Red Pike the way is eroded, loose stones the size of marbles slide easily underfoot. Kicking steps in the deeper screes feels more like snow, an ice axe in the hand might feel more natural than a walking pole especially in descent. Care is obviously required. There are many tracks, and whilst it is up to the individual to choose, the higher of the paths is negotiable with little concern of exposure. If all else fails a slide wouldn't be catastrophic. Lower paths look a little exposed for the comfort of the author.

Whilst there is quite a bit of parking available in Buttermere at weekends it gets busy early. On the outskirts is the National Trust car park, or in the centre 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. The Honister Rambler bus service No.77 operates April to October in both directions from Keswick.