Rannerdale Knotts is a small fell with a hidden secret. On the banks of Crummock Water the hill is prominent but hides a secret valley. The valley is lovely, particularly when full of bluebells.
1,160 ft. Rannerdale Knotts is often ignored. This is largely because it sits at the foot of bigger and grander fells. In fact when driving along the road towards Buttermere it simply merges in to its neighbours. If you do not know it exits you will not find it! However this is a shame as this walk combines an idyllic half mile ridge with a beautiful, quiet valley. According to Wainwright the valley was the location for a battle between the Anglos and invading Normans in 1070. Quite how a battle came to be fought here is rather strange I have to say. However who am I to doubt Mr Wainwright.
The walking is excellent and the views outstanding both up Buttermere and down the Lorton Valley. I took my time, sat on its small rocky summit, and let my thoughts wander back over forty years. My parents regularly took us to a little beach at the foot of Rannerdale Knotts where we swam, canoed and skimmed our way through my childhood. I do not remember climbing any hill at the time but I assume we did.
Rannerdale Knotts is one of my favourite 25 walks in the Lake District.
Do not make the mistake of starting the walk at Buttermere. I love the approach from the designated parking beside Crummock Water. Here the emergence straight in to the valley is a wonderful surprise. It is hidden till the last moment.
Follow the footpath all the way up the valley to the col and a meeting of paths. Then double back on to the long shoulder of the fell.
Rannerdale Knotts is much more comfortably done UP the steep end, down the ridge and down the valley in my opinion. I I agree though that this is the best circuit. You should have mentioned the Rannerdale bluebells. If you do this walk in the first or second week of May the valley is full of them – a truly beautiful sight – although you won’t get them to yourself – they are deservedly famous!
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