Through The Viewfinder and What Alice Found There
This week I decided to go a bit further afield for my landscape photos, and travelled nearly an hour and a half further north to Buttermere. It's somewhere I think I must have visited before as its quite a popular place in the Lake District, but as I couldn't actually remember being there I decided it was time to revisit! My original plan was to set off really early to get there in time to photograph the sunrise over the lake as the weather forecast said the cloud would clear on Wednesday to bring sunny spells. So, Wednesday morning I woke up at 3.30am, ready to set off at 4.00am and hoped to arrive just after 5.00 in Buttermere. After a quiet, early morning drive we eventually arrived and parked the car in a small pay and display car park next to a farm. It was already beginning to get light, however, the clouds hadn't yet cleared and the sun didn't manage to break through, which meant my sunrise wasn't as spectacular as I'd hoped! Even so, we stuck it out in the freezing cold wind and began to walk the shoreline path around the lake.
At about 6.00am we started to get a bit hungry, but luckily we'd packed a picnic hamper of snacks, so we stopped on a bench for breakfast! The bench made a lovely viewpoint, raised up on a small hill with a view over to one end of the lake, back towards where we'd just walked from. After a light snack we carried on walking along the shore and came to a small pebble beach where we stopped for some photos. I love setting up my tripod and doing long exposure shots of the lakes - it gives such a beautiful and calm effect!
Our walk continued around the south edge of the lake, passing over more small beach areas, past waterfalls, through a cave, and eventually joining up with a woodland path. The woodland walk was really pretty and you could still see the lake through the trees which was nice. There were loads of little wooden bird boxes on the trees and I couldn't help wondering how many had little eggs or even hatched baby birds in them! There were also various streams we had to cross via wooden bridges and more waterfalls, all running down into the lake, and it all gave the woods a really peaceful feel to it. When we reached the end of the lake we weren't sure where to go as there were a few different paths to follow. We ended up walking straight on, then realised we were heading away from the lake and towards the town, so we decided to turn back and walk across a field as we could see a footpath by the shore on the other side of the fence. There was no gate so we climbed over the fence to join back up with the lakeside path where we stopped for a few more photos before stopping slightly further on for another snack from the picnic hamper!
We continued on following the path, stopping to photograph a huge waterfall coming down right from the top of the surrounding fells - it was an amazing sight and you could hear the power of the water from the other side of the lake! The path on the other side of the lake went through woodland again and it was a very pleasant walk. The woodland eventually opened out as we got back down to the end of the lake where we started from, and became a gravel path crossing through fields of sheep but with a great view of the lake now that the trees had cleared. By now, it was probably around 9.30am and the sun very briefly came out for a few minutes which was a nice surprise after a cold grey morning! When we got back to the car it was starting to get really busy, but there was something very satisfying about the fact that everyone there was just beginning their day walking, and we'd already finished! I'm glad we got there as early as we did because we had the place pretty much to ourselves, apart from seeing 1 or 2 dog walkers early on. On the way back we spotted a couple of National Trust car parks that we hadn't seen on the way there, but they were further away from the lake and nearer to the village. Maybe next time we visit we could park there instead and have a look round the village and maybe walk the opposite way around the lake. I would definitely like to go back again, hopefully when the weather is a bit warmer and I could maybe even go paddling!
Landscape & travel photographer from Cumbria, UK.