The Buttermere Valley is situated in the northwest part of the lake District National Park. Access to the valley is either along the valley bottom road which runs along Loweswater and Crummock Water from Cockermouth, or over one of three mountain passes from Keswick, either the Whinlatter Pass the Newlands pass through the Newlands valley or the Kirkstone pass which is reached from the Borrowdale valley.

Canoeing and Kayaking on Buttermere

Buttermere is managed by the National Trust. Only ten craft are allowed onto the lake at any time. Access is regulated by permit, which is available from Woodhouse Farm at Crummock Water. Payment is required.

Buttermere provides a relatively small body of water and the fact that a permit must be paid for, combined with the difficulty of accessing the water may put most off attempting to canoe or kayak on Buttermere. However the lake is set in a most majecstic setting, which makes up for the difficulty of access.

Launching for Canoeing and Kayaking on Buttermere

Access to Buttermere Water is difficult. For those staying at the campsite or guesthouse at Dalegarth it is possible to enter the water here from a small shingle beach, however there is a carry of at least two hundred meters from the car park to the water’s edge.

The only other feasible way of accessing the water is to drop a boat off at the small passing place at the south west end of the lake, then move the car to Gatesgath Farm car park and return on foot to the boat.

Canoe and Kayak Hire in the Buttermere Area

There are no commercial canoe and kayak hire outlets in the immediate vicinity of Buttermere.

The nearest places to hire canoes or kayaks are either the Nichol End Marina or Derwentwater Marina which are both situated in the village of Portinscale, near Keswick, on the shores of Derwentwater. A car with a suitable roof rack would be needed to transport the craft from Derwentwater to Buttermere.

Facilities for the Visitor Canoeing or Kayaking on Buttermere

Accommodation and food are available in the village of Buttermere. There are two pubs in Buttermere, the Fish Hotel and the Bridge Hotel both offering food and accommodation.

The Youth Hostels Association has a property on the outskirts of the village.

There is camping available in Buttermere village, also at Dalegarth near the shores of Buttermere lake, about 1 mile west of Buttermere Village and at Gatesgarth farm at the far west side of Buttermere Lake.

Two cafes operates in Buttermere Village, there is however no food store for those who choose to self cater.

Other Canoeing and Kayaking Areas in the Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park offers some of the finest flatwater canoeing and kayaking in England.

Other lakes where users may canoe and kayak include

Crummock Water
Coniston Water