#234 – Rannerdale Knotts, Crummock Water

Sunset over Crummock Water

Rannerdale Knotts

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It seems odd that, surrounded by hills and mountains as we are in North Wales, Chris and I seemed to have spent more time on Scottish and Lake District mountains this year.  August was no different, which is why we ended up at Rannerdale enjoying views of the sun going down over Crummock Water in the North-West Fells of the Lakes.

The route, going anti-clockwise in the loop

The North-West Fells of the Lake District

Looking out to Crummock Water at the start

The objective – Rannerdale Knotts ahead

We had decided on a less energetic dog-walking day for Chris on day one and a trip out on the higher Grasmoor Hills for me the day after.   Rannerdale Knotts seemed to fit the bill for Chris, and Border Collie ‘Mist’ wasn’t all that bothered about where we went, just as long as it involved dinner on the return, so Rannerdale Knotts it was.

The bridge crossing Squat Beck

Leaving the lake behind

The Rannerdale Knotts Ridge, viewed from the east

Rannerdale Knotts is an interesting little hill next to Crummock Water, and legend has it that the valley with the stream of Squat Beck was the site of a battle between a combined army of the British and Norse settlers fighting against the invading Normans.   There is little evidence to support the legend, but we decided there was no point in letting that spoil a good story, so keeping an eye out for marauding Normans we set off.

Time to start gaining height ….

…. with Chris not entirely convinced by the state of the path ….

…. but there’s always a good view to look at to take the pressure off!

The path turns out to be as steep as it looked ….

…. and even steeper in places

The hill rears up steeply on three out of four sides, and we had one of the steep sides as our way up.  The path started OK on grass but then became steeper with a set of loose-looking stone steps heading upwards.   Chris didn’t seem all that impressed with the state of the path, but it turned out to be solid enough, even if it did start gaining altitude fairly rapidly – at least the views helped to distract her a bit.

At last a chance for a breather ….

…. and more views down to Crummock Water

One more steep section ….

…. but fairly short ….

…. before it gets level

Once past the steps it was straightforward, if still a bit on the steep side.  A short section of steep grass pointed us at a rocky little summit with a gradually descending ridge in front of us.    The hard work was definitely over, though to be honest neither the angle of the slope nor any sense of difficulty had the pulse racing.


Looking southeast up the valley and lake of Buttermere ….

…. while the views to the northeast are the Grasmoor Hills

Steady walking along Low Bank ….

…. with Robinson and Hindscarth in the distance

…. and High Stile and High Pike rising above Buttermere

‘A hill that doesn’t get the pulse racing’ is perhaps a good description of Rannerdale Knotts, but we were, after all, just looking for a good dog walk with a view and this ticked the boxes.   The hill does have the advantage of being surrounded by other, higher mountains though, with good views over to Buttermere and to the Grasmoor Hills, my destination for the next day.

All good things come to an end – time to start the descent

Time to head for home

A sandwich and a coffee for the humans and a couple of biscuits for ‘Mist’ added further justification for the trip, but it is a small hill and it wasn’t long before we had reached the end of the descending ridge to drop down into the valley to return to the camper parked near the lake.    The sun slowly set on Rannerdale knotts and darkness fell over the lake.  The next day on Grasmoor was shaping up to be a good one.

Evening sunshine on Rannerdale Knotts ….

…. before night falls over Crummock Water

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
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5 Responses to #234 – Rannerdale Knotts, Crummock Water

  1. My parents and I did that route before it was ‘fixed’ and it was steep, loose scree – I was pretty terrified! It isn’t the correct route that they’ve ‘fixed’ however, the old route slants across a lot more and doesn’t go straight to the summit but further along the ridge. You then used to walk back slightly along the ridge to the summit. That path unfortunately has fallen into disuse now

    • Yeah, I tried to locate the old path from the map but it’s not very obvious on the ground now. Steep loose scree sounded like fun! A nice wee hill all said – I did the Grasmoor hills the next day, and had a great day – I’ll blog that in a fortnight.

  2. Dina says:

    Absolutely beautiful impressions from a glorious landscape, Paul. What a lovely trail with great vistas! I hope to visit Cumbria again next year.

  3. Pingback: #235 – The Grasmoor Hills – a quiet corner in the North-Western Fells of the Lake District | Paul Shorrock – One Man's Mountains AKA One Pillock's Hillocks

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