ONE Wainwright walk: Rannerdale Knotts

Walk Rating:⭐⭐

Time: 1 - 2 hours (plus the time to visit the bluebells in the valley below)

Parking: free roadside spaces above Buttermere on the road heading up to Newlands Hause or, alternatively, pay for parking in Buttermere or visit by bus.

Rannerdale Knotts from the 'Bluebell Valley' (May 2021)

Rannerdale Knotts is a low ridge rising above the eastern shore of Crummock Water, just north of Buttermere village. The easy walk from the village to the summit and back is a pleasant stroll with good lakeside views.

However, this is a walk that has to be done at the right time of year. Why? Because it's not this little fell that makes Rannerdale so worth visiting, it's the beautiful "Valley of the Bluebells" that lies below it that makes this area so special.  So, choose a sunny day in mid-May, and visit both Rannerdale Knotts and the bluebell-filled valley, that lies to the north and east of its summit, too.

Strava estimates a walking distance of 5km (there-and-back) to the summit

1) The walk itself needs little explanation. Starting from the centre of Buttermere, you can either take the path that starts opposite the Bridge Hotel, then goes up through the woods to the west of Sail Beck, or walk up the main road a little and then turn right on the main path through the bracken taking walkers up towards Whiteless Pike. 

Start the walk in Buttermere village

2) However, when you reach the junction of paths at the col above, don't head up towards the higher fells above but turn left to start the walk along the ridge of Rannerdale Knotts.

At the col, turn left to walk along the ridge of the fell

3) The path is easy to walk upon, with good views to look at as you stroll westwards, left, across Crummock Water, and right, up towards Grasmoor.

The path along the ridge as seen from below Whiteless Pike

4) As you approach the end of the ridge, where the highest point (at 1165') stands, the path climbs over a small crag before continuing on to the rocky summit area. There are some excellent views, especially to the south-east, across Buttermere.

On the top of Rannerdale Knotts

Looking over Crummock Water towards Mellbreak

Grasmoor to the north-east

Buttermere to the south-east

5) Return to Buttermere by the same route - and, if you are in Rannerdale in bluebell season, go and visit the "Valley of the Bluebells"!

Worth knowing: To visit the Bluebell Valley, drive (or walk if you have to) along the lakeside road, underneath the ridge of Rannerdale Knotts, for about a mile. After you round the tight bend of "Hause Point", where the ridge of Rannerdale Knotts drops down to the lake, try and park at the roadside or in the small parking area at the start of a track on the right of the road. If there's no space, then there are further parking places a little further along the road, beyond Rannerdale Farm.

Walking up the track from the first parking area, 
underneath the summit of Rannerdale Knotts, will bring you out amongst the bluebells. Wander at your leisure but make sure to keep to the marked paths so as not to damage the bluebell plants.

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