Buttermere

Lake Buttermere is part of the Lake District in Cumbria; it is situated near the head of the valley of the River Cocker. The word Buttermere means the lake by the dairy pastures. At the north end of the Lake is the village of Buttermere. The Lake itself is part of the National Trust property known as Buttermere and Ennerdale.

Art and Culture

Buttermere is an interesting part of the Lake District as there are a considerable amount of the remains of prehistoric settlements on the fells south of Ennerdale. There was also a large Viking settlement in the ninth and tenth centuries and many of the fells still have their original Norse names. In the village of Buttermere is the tiny church of St. James, which dates back to 1848, it contains an antique organ circa 1820. The church was extended in 1884 to add a sanctuary and a vestry.  If you are not staying at the Bridge Inn in Buttermere then it is worth seeing for its historical value as a former eighteenth century coaching inn.

Attractions

The Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre in nearby Cockermouth is worth a visit to see the nineteen different varieties of live sheep and to watch the stage show One Man and his Dog with a live Jersey cow. There is a picnic area and a restaurant onsite as well as various other farm attractions. Also in nearby Cockermouth is the Jennings Brewery tour and shop. The brewery was originally started in 1828 and moved to its present site in 1874. They use water drawn from the brewery’s own well and hops and barley from Kent and Herefordshire check for times of tours as they vary throughout the year. Honister Slate Mine in the nearby town of Keswick is the last working slate mine in the country. Guided tours show the areas hacked out by Victorian miners and also show current local skills in action. There is also a picnic area, a restaurant and a site shop.

Shopping

There are no shops as such in Buttermere itself, you have to go to the nearby towns of Keswick or Cockermouth, both towns have a wealth of independent shops. The Cockermouth curio shop has three floors of old books and other antiques and second hand goods from the past. There are the usual range of gift shops, arts and crafts and general everyday requirements.

Nightlife

You can get food and drinks at the Bridge Hotel and there is also the Fish hotel bar if you fancy a change. If you want something more lively, the Bitter End is a home brew pub, but get there early as it fills up quite quickly. There is also the Tithe Barn and a much older pub called the Swan in Cockermouth or if you want to go a little bit further there is the Toppers Nightclub in Penrith, which is open till 3am Fridays and Saturdays.