Crummock Water is a lake in the Lake District, which is located between Buttermere to the south and Loweswater to the north. It’s 2.5 miles long, 0.75 miles wide and 140 feet deep. Fed by numerous streams, including Scale Force (the highest waterfall in the lakes with a drop of 170 feet), it’s also the beginning of the River Cocker, which flows into the market town of Cockermouth. Owned and protected by the National Trust, it’s a joy to visit and one of our favourite family walks. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, and never fails to inspire.
Our walk always starts at Lanthwaite Wood, a National Trust car park (grid reference NY 149215). There is a small wooden gate leading out of the car park, from where you can start your walk.
When you go through the gate, you have two choices of route – both leading to the lake. If you take the wide track to your left, it is suitable for buggies and pushchairs (though it might be a little bumpy). We always follow the tracks on the right-hand side. These follow the River Cocker to the lakeside….there are several little paths that separate and re-join each other. Invariably, the kids will take turns in “being the leader” and deciding which particular path to follow. Be wary if it’s raining though…..little boys don’t mind picking the muddiest route!
Both routes are approximately half a mile long, and it is simply a joy to watch “kids being kids”. There are many interesting things on this short walk to the lake…..little “beaches” on the side of the River Cocker where they like to stop to throw in stones, tree-trunks to balance on and even a swing over the river itself if you’re eagle-eyed enough to find it.
The paths weave through the woodland of birch, beech, pine and larch trees. In spring and summer, you’ll also see traditional woodland plants such as bluebells, celandines and cowslips. Simply walking through the woodland and spending time in nature, always lifts the mood and has that “feel good factor” too….find out more about this in my post on forest bathing here.
Once you reach the end of the forest path, you are rewarded by amazing views of the lake itself. Surrounded by Grassmoor, Rannerdale Knotts, Red Pike and Mellbreak, it must surely be one of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District. As Alfred Wainwright wrote about Crummockwater being overlooked by Mellbreak:
“…no pairing of hill and lake in Lakeland have a closer partnership than these”.
Whether you then decide to follow the path to the east or the west of the lake, you are sure to find numerous shores to eat your picnic, admire the views or even to have a paddle or swim. (Some areas – near to the north shore where the River Cocker starts – are clearly marked as unsafe for swimming due to fast flowing water).
If you are feeling more adventurous, you can follow the path right around the lake. However, this is a mighty nine-mile treck.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our favourite walk in the Lake District. Do you have a favourite walk where you live, or when you go on vacation? I’d love to hear more about your favourites, so please comment below…