One of the Lake District’s most popular walking routes has reopened thanks to a generous donation by a Friends member and the hard work of the Lake District National Park Authority. 

The Buttermere Dubbs Bridge had been closed or only temporarily open for a number of years following damage to the original bridge. 

Poor weather conditions had initially hindered repair and replacement work earlier this year but thanks to more clement weather and to a generous donation made by Friends of the Lake District member Simon Smith in memory of his late wife Lynn, the route around Buttermere, crossing the bridge, is now permanently accessible once again. 

Donor, Simon Smith, said: “Lynn and I must have crossed the original bridge over 100 times together, so it is a wonderful project for me to fund in her memory. I’m grateful to Friends of the Lake District for finding such a fitting project to support. 

Simon Smith on Dubbs Bridge

“It’s been great following the progress in recent weeks and I must give tremendous thanks to the LDNPA team - Dan, Steve, Phil and Nick; not forgetting Pippin the dog. I’ve been astonished at how quickly the work has been completed, particularly given the wet August. 

“The circuit of Buttermere, one of the Lake District’s most exquisite jewels, is fabulous in all weathers at all times of the year, with so many opportunities to linger, enjoy Buttermere’s sylvan loveliness, and perhaps remember previous walks and company.” 

Rachel Dorrington, Fundraising Officer, said: “Following Simon’s donation, we invited him to write a short article for our members’ magazine ‘Conserving Lakeland’ in which he described a love of the Lake District shared with his late wife Lynn and the plan to fund the repair of this special bridge.  

“It’s a fitting moment to reiterate its closing words. ‘Next time you cross the bridge perhaps you might pause a while, reflect on the wonders all around, and do please share a smile for Lynn’”. 

Reinstatement of the bridge restores the circular route around Buttermere, removing the one mile detour required to circumvent it, opening up the path to the lakeshore once more and some of the Lake District’s most iconic views.  

Cath Johnson, Area Ranger, Lake District National Park, said: “The Buttermere valley is one of the Lake District’s most striking landscapes, and is a popular spot for walkers and nature lovers alike. We’re delighted work at Dubbs Bridge has been completed as it’s an important link to the lakeshore and opens up this fantastic route. The sponsorship we receive is invaluable and we hope others who love walking in the Lakes will follow this kindness and consider making donations.”