The Borrowdale Valley
Going south past Derwentwater the Borrowdale Valley is entered. From the fells above the shores of Derwentwater, Borrowdale presents an impressive picture – high peaks reflected in the lovely lake. The valley is a paradise for walkers, with low and high level routes to suit all tastes and abilities. It’s a playground for rock climbers too. Even if you don’t climb, spare a few minutes to see what appear to be unclimbable rock faces being overcome. Shepherd’s Crag is very accessible and is located close to the village of Grange-in-Borrowdale.
The Prince of Wales loves the valley and has stayed at a local farm B&B a number of times – but there are so many good places to stay, from hotels to camp sites, that it's easy to discover your own very special piece of Borrowdale.
There are so many delights, such as the wooded stretch of the River Derwent near Grange, the massive Bowder Stone or the working your way up a winding path through trees to arrive unexpectedly at Surprise View – one of the North Lakes most popular viepoints. One of the best ways to get around is by bus, with regular services (the Borrowdale Bus and the Honister Rambler) running throughout the valley.
The Buttermere Valley
Three lakes – Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater – together with surrounding lakeland peaks provide great walking in this easily reached valley, just 15 minutes from Keswick over the Honister Mountain Pass, or from Thornthwaite & Braithwaite over the Newlands Pass. The photograph to the right shows Honister Slate Mine in the foregound and Buttermere and Crummock Water in the distance.
Around Buttermere lake magnificent nature predominates with little to disturb it apart from the hamlet of Buttermere, a small church, two hotels and a number of small B&Bs, a campsite and a youth hostel.
The walking can be tough if you head for the high fells or much more gentle if you so prefer. Little bits of Buttermere have found their way around the world – especially in the form of roofing slate. Green slate is mined at the head of the valley at the Honister Slate Mine. It’s open to the public and a visit makes for a fascinating hour or two.