Buttermere Haystacks Circular is a 8 mile loop trail located near Gatesgarth, Cumbria, England that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options.

Length8.0 miElevation gain2,171 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingRunningLakeViewsWildflowersWildlife
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This route starts at the little Church in Buttermere (free parking along the roadside, pay parking facilities are around the Buttermere area also), then follow Buttermere lakeside then up to Haystacks. The ascent to Haystacks is well within the capabilities of most people. Children would be able to tackle this walk providing plenty of time was taken into account. The descent needs a little care with children but there are plenty of hand-holding locations on the way down. This route is very picturesque and offers plenty of rest stops to admire the surrounding views. There are a number of tarns and a little bothie along the route. Ideal for photographers. Just prior to Haystacks summit is Innominate Tarn. Haystacks was Wainrights (Popular Walker and author of several Lake District books) favorite fell, and had is ashes scattered at this tarn after he died. The descent takes you down a craggy patch at the beginning of the descent. If you are with younger children just taken your time and offer plenty of handholding over this little bit. Once past that its a steady descent to Buttermere lake. You follow the lake back via a local pub. The views are breathtaking and if you are short on time and want to take in a true Lake District fell - this is the one for you.

Takes in a Lake and Fell in the same route The Fish Inn at the end of the walk offers pub lunches and drinks There is a great Ice cream shop in Buttermere (locally made) for kids and Adults! Plenty of Parking in the area. Some free/Some paid Dog Friendly (check out the pictures!) Child friendly Picturesque views, great for photography Bothie is located on route to shelter from the Rain should you need it If you want a pram friendly walk. Skip Haystacks and follow the Lake all around. You would be able to manage it with a sturdy pram/buggie

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Reviews (46)
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Activities (34)
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Alison Nicholson
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HikingGreat!

Fabulous walk. We did it anti-clockwise which was really good!! Wouldn’t fancy the descent the other way!! Great views!! Absolutely recommend!

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Sophie Earnshaw
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Hiking

One of my favourite hikes! Absolutely stunning views but would recommend doing the route anti-clock wise

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Lex Dawes
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Hiking

Wonderful - Mega views & waterfall pools

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ScRP 1
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Hiking
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Meredith M
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Hiking

Stunning views but it is pretty gruelling and I would not recommend going counter clockwise, there is a good amount of climbing at the top

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Daniella Jackson
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HikingGreat!
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Brian McCone
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HikingGreat!

I cannot express how good this hike is. Beautiful views and great weather on 11th October

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Jac Lewis
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HikingMuddyRockyScrambleWashed out

We did this trail anticlockwise, and I think this was the better direction for me personally. As someone who's scared of heights, I didnt find this climb too challenging, and the scrambling was actually a welcome obstacle to keep me distracted. I think I would've been a lot more afraid in the other direction. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed this route!

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Kasia Harrold
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HikingGreat!

Great walk, added CatBells to it

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Harish Patel
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HikingGreat!

Excellent walk. Difficult in parts as already mentioned in the other posts. The views are stunning and the weather was superb, so a great day out. Highly recommended.

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rajsreekn User
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Gema Luque
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HikingGreat!Off trailScramble

It needs some scrambling skills to do all the circular route, probably it took us around 45 minutes to go up to the top anticlockwise. If you don't feel confident scrambling or you are scared of heights, it might be better to go up clockwise and return the same way. The views from the top were amazing and really worth all the effort!

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Ayah Snobe
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HikingRockyScramble

Amazing trail but got caught out and took a wrong turn going up so managed to get involved in a bit of climbing. Best 360 views we’ve seen so far. Definitely worth it

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Maria Fox
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HikingBlowdownOff trailScramble

Beautiful trail, but it is not moderate - we found it rather hard particularly the last 100 m towards the peak. It becomes a scramble instead of a hike. The trail starts disappearing and we ended up off track on the edge of the cliff few times. It was also rather windy so hard to keep balance. After loosing the trail for the third time we gave up and turned around.

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Will Wheeler
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Hiking

Awesome trail a combination of lakes and mountains. Nature in its rawest form

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Ian Cushion
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HikingIcyScramble

Definitely allot harder then expected but what a view!!

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Hazza Midge
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Hiking

Great walk, with amazing views at the top. Although it was more difficult than we expected! Our dog managed fine scrambling up but we were very glad we did the route in an anti-clockwise direction.

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Dominick Magnotta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2019
Hiking

A true hike complete with everything you want, views, scrambles and plenty of water. Loved every second, even though it dumped rain on us non-stop from start to finish.

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Andy Belcher
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Hiking

This is one of our favourite walks as a family you can turn right at scarp gap and do the three peaks which over look buttermere . At the end go for a swim In the lake

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Lee Hudson
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HikingRockyScramble

This was a great walk however it is definitely not an easy walk, especially with kids and for the elderly. Very steep inclines with a bit Of scrambling at the top. It took us nearly 5 hours to complete with very few stops it was a lot further than 12.9km I would recommend just doing either the Buttermere circuit or the haystacks.

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