The many colours of Loweswater
Holme Wood nestles on the south side of Loweswater, the smallest of the three lakes in the Buttermere Valley, and offers the autumn walker inviting easy pathways through sumptuously coloured mixed woodland of alder, oak, lime, ash and sycamore…but did you know, someone has their eye on you?
You know you’re not far from the steep high fells of Buttermere with Melbreak’s rocky face just a stone’s throw away, but the shores of Loweswater beckon with a softer tapestry of autumn leaves and misty reflections.
Who's watching over the valley?
Park up at Maggie’s Bridge car park (CA13 0RU) and head along the track towards Watergate Farm, the lake sits to your right and ahead of you rises Burnbank Fell, its lower slopes draped with the reds and golds of Holme Wood. Can you see the pheasant?
Holme Wood was planted with larches by the Marshall family, friends of William Wordsworth, in the shape of a crouching pheasant so that when the trees turn in the autumn, the bird emerges from the hillside in all bronze glory. This is the best time of year to pick out the circular stand of larch that is the bird’s eye, the yellowing larch leaves in high contrast with the dark green of spruce and fir.
" Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"
An autumn hideaway
Loweswater has much more to offer in autumn than just the elusive pheasant however. Kicking up leaves as you wander the pushchair friendly paths you’ll catch a glimpse of a little stone bothy up ahead, perhaps you have already smelt the wood smoke of the open fire? Converted from a fish hatchery hut Holme Wood Bothy now provides a perfect escape in autumn, for peaceful misty dawns and snug evenings in front of the fire (can you picture yourself cupping a steaming hot chocolate and roasting foraged sweet chestnuts?).
A full force
Further into the wood, if you have a sense of adventure, you might discover the secret beauty of Holme Force - many people walk here but not many find this beautiful split waterfall - and the rains of autumn mean it’s sure to be in full flow.
Bring some colour to your cheeks
Gain a bit of height on the terrace track above the wood for sensational views of the Grasmoor range, the Vale of Lorton and Loweswater at your feet.
Download this lovely Loweswater walk and make the most of a Lake District autumn
Exploring the rest of Buttermere Valley at this time of year
Bring your bikes to Buttermere - the footpath through Burtness Woods along the side of Buttermere has been upgraded to a bridleway so you can enjoy a car-free ride suitable for all the family. You’ll see the larch trees turning auburn, and also spot the native species re-establishing themselves thanks to our tree planting work in 2014.
Indian summer? The Lanthwaite Wood and Crummock Water downloadable trail takes you to ‘boat house beach’ which a favourite wild swimming spot for many people. The return route takes you to a low summit with views right down the length of Crummock Water, lovely as the golden afternoon light gilds the peaks of Red Pike and Grassmoor – worth the effort of carrying a bottle of wine to share (keep it cool in the lake!)