Loweswater – Our Lakes series
It may lack the grandeur of Wasdale or the drama of Ennerdale but Craig Wishart explains why Loweswater has a charm of its very own.
It’s a rare when you stumble on a place the modern world has left largely in peace. Technology, traffic, relentless development and our own electronic devices infiltrate our lives further every day. It’s unavoidable, or at least that’s what I thought until I found Loweswater.
That’s what makes it so special, it’s a little patch of the Lakes time has forgotten.
As soon as you drop into the valley from Fangs Brow phone reception becomes a thing of the past. Take all the pictures you want but you won’t be able to send them because your phone is obsolete. I should rephrase that, what I mean is your phone is too newfangled to work here.
This is a valley of ramshackle farmhouses and old red phone boxes.
Loweswater is the perfect place to lose yourself, except that’s absurd because it’s pint sized and almost impossible to get lost. In fact a walk around the lake could take less than an hour but wandering through the woods on the Southern side you’ll feel light years from the world outside.
The National Trust is the landowner which explains the lack of development. They rent out traditional clinker boats from Watergate Farm at the South East side of the lake. It’s only a mile in length and maybe 1/2 mile wide but it makes a paddle enchanting rather than demanding. The effect is enhanced by rolling green hills like Darling Fell, Loweswater Fell and Carling Knott that surround this oversized pond. However the view down Loweswater is one of the finest the Lakes has to offer as the dark and ominous forms of Melbreak and Grassmoor burst skyward.
Here’s an interesting fact for you, Loweswater is so unlike everywhere else it actually flows backwards. You read that right, all the lakes in the National Park empty towards the parks outer boundary, all except Loweswater which flows inwards into neighbouring Crummock Water.
Loweswater is a hidden treat, most visitors get caught up in the hype of Buttermere and Crummock. They’ve no idea this gem is only 10 minutes further down the road but if it keeps the hordes at bay then we can keep it as our own refuge.
Here’s some advice for anyone looking for a perfect Sunday morning.
Park up at the Western end of the lake near the old phone box. Enter the gate and pass through the fields – you won’t lose the path – follow the lake shore through Holme Woods. If you’re up to the challenge then climb to Holme Force, this tiny waterfall is relatively unknown and is absolutely charming. Otherwise simply enjoy a stroll along the lakeshore. Once you hit the end of the lake continue through the fields, walk along the road and onto the quaint village of Loweswater itself. You can’t really miss it because there’s a church, the Kirkstile Inn and that’s about it. Have some lunch in the picture perfect beer garden.
Maybe take a moment to contemplate all the travellers who’ve taken refuge in the Inn for the last 400 years. That’s a lot of ale to have been drained. Now if you peek over the side you’ll see Park Beck below. Notice the way it runs towards Crummock, forever draining Loweswater backwards.
Photos taken by Andrew Locking