At just a mile long, and half a mile wide, Loweswater is one of Lakeland's smallest lakes. I also happen to think it is one of the loveliest. I well remember the first time I set eyes on it. It was during a family holiday in 1970. It was our first visit, and we were touring the area in the family minibus. Having visited Buttermere and been entranced by it's beauty, we took the road to the coast, where we were staying. Crummock Water passed by the window, resplendent with it's backdrop of mountains, the names of which I had yet to discover, and once the end of the lake was reached I settled back to enjoy the the rest of the journey, thinking that there were no more lakes to see that day. When Loweswater suddenly appeared to our left, it was a such a delightful surprise that I demanded we stop and have a look around. My plea fell on deaf ears. The rest of the family had decided that we had seen quite enough lakes for one day, so we drove on by, and all I could do was promise myself to return one day to fully investigate it's charms.
It was three years before I was able to fulfil that promise, and I think that my opinion of this lovely little lake was truly formed on that day. The weather was perfect, a deep blue sky, complete with little white cotton wool clouds drifting lazily along on a gentle breeze. I clambered up the lush green pastures of Darling Fell, to the north of the lake, looked down on it's clear blue waters, and decided that this was probably one of the most perfect places in the world. It was so peaceful, so far removed from the hustle and bustle of the world, that it was imbued with a level of tranquillity that was rare even in the Lake District. Yes, that day I fell in love with Loweswater. I've been besotted with her ever since.
Loweswater is less frequently visited than other lakes, mainly, I think, because it is small and a little off the beaten track. Close by are the ever popular lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water. They are the City and United of the Lakes, surrounded by impressive mountains, with a huge fanbase, and visitors galore. The village of Buttermere, situated between the two, has more car parking spaces than residents. By comparison Loweswater is very much a local league lake, flanked by fells that even Wainwright could not get enthusiastic about, and apparently not worthy of a pay and display with information board. Yet that is one of it's greatest attractions. There is a round the lake footpath, which because it features virtually no hilly bits at all, is suitable for the very youngest fell walker. Holme Wood, on the lake's southern shore has both red deer and red squirrels. They can be elusive, but the beautiful Holme Force, a wonderful little waterfall set amongst the trees, is easier to find if you know where to look. There is no need to scramble up the hillside to reach it, a nice wide path leads right to it, but as there is no sign it is easy to miss the turning to it.On previous visits I have enjoyed the charms of this wonderful lake in many ways, and for my latest visit in mid March, I decided to stay on the south side, walking along the shore through Holme Woods, before heading up the fellside to High Nook Tarn, and then following the footpath along the side of Burnbank Fell to the western end of the Lake. The day was completed by re-tracing my steps a quarter of a mile to enter the woods via a small gate leading to a narrow path that eventually meets a wider forest track. A short distance along this track the delightful Holme Force provides a pleasing end to the walk.
|This is the only hill on the round lake walk. It leads up to Hudson Place, a small farm. It is not very steep or far, but has this wonderful roadside display of daffodils in mid March.|
|Beyond Hudson Place the track swings left to drop down towards the Lake Shore, with wonderful views down the lake.|
|Half way along the Lake Shore and this bothy appears. Owned by the National Trust, it is available for hire.|
|The small beach outside the bothy has wonderful views across the Lake to Darling Fell and Low Fell. It also has full recreational facilities for those long summer evenings, in the form of a swing.|
|Looking across Loweswater to the unmistakable profile of Grasmoor, which overlooks Crummock Water.|
|At the other end of the Lake the track leads to Maggies Bridge, where there is a small car park, a signpost, and a lot of mud!|
|Looking back across the fellside from the path beside the beck. Grasmoor is prominent, and Crummock Water can also be seen.|
|High Nook Tarn, a lovely little water which drains into High Nook Beck. My walk does not pass by the tarn, but it is in clear view and a narrow footpath, boggy in winter, leads up to it.|
|The path swings right, crossing High Nook Beck by a narrow bridge, then climbs the flank of Burnbank Fell.|
|A little further on and despite gaining height, the trees of Holme Wood start to conceal the view.|
|The other end of Holme Wood and the trees are left behind. The view appears, and it is worth waiting for.|
|I've turned left into the woods and followed a narrow track down to a junction with a much wider track, then turned left, to follow the wide track down the slope, athletically hurdling this fallen tree on the way, as you do.|
|It is not long before this beautiful little waterfall appears on the left. Before getting to it there is little indication of it's existence. It is the aforementioned Holme Beck, cascading down through the woodland. The falls are called Holme Force.|
|The lower pool of Holme Force. It is not big, but it is beautiful, and a real treat to enjoy towards the end of the walk.|
|A fine view to end the day. The car is about 250 yards away, and the sun has come out. It is been a super walk, in weather that was better than forecast.|