Although Rannerdale knotts is small in size at 355m, it is seeped in a large vat of history. The area having been under Norman control in 1086 has been written into legend by a historical writer, Nicholas Size, who wrote about “The Secret Valley” and the “Battle of Rannerdale’ where the Britons ambushed and defeated the Normans. The battle is meant to have taken place in the valley between Grasmoor and Rannerdale Knotts, which between April and May is awash with Bluebells; rumoured to have grown from the blood of the fallen Norman soldiers. Walk in the footsteps of ancient Britons on this intriguing Wainwright walk.
You can park near the Fish Inn, Buttermere which costs £6 for the full day, however, there is a National Trust car park in the area and some parking on the B5289 at the side of the road. From the Fish inn walk along Sail beck, through a gate and passed a sign for Sykes Campground. Keep the beck on your right, following it to the shore of Crummock Water, then turn right walking along the lake edge to a bridge. Cross the bridge and start-up through the woods above the shoreline until you reach road B5289.
Cross the road to the path which starts to climb rapidly up the yellow gorse covered hill of Rannerdale Knotts. Before long you will reach some rocky outcrops and the steepest part of the walk. This can involve using your hands to pull up in some places and there are some wet patches on the rocks so be careful especially when its been raining. Remember this is the hardest part of the walk and it doesn’t take long to reach the summit from this point.
Once at the summit the views are sublime. Gaze across Crummock Water to a view of the Wainwright Melbreak and across Buttermere to glimpse Redpike, High Stile and Wainwright’s favourite hill Haystacks. Then looking to the north you will see Grasmoor and below the “Secret Valley”.
The route down to Buttermere is more of a meander and certainly not as tricky as the route up. Roll down the grassy path, all the way to Buttermere and finish off with a ginormous ice cream from Sykes Farm Tearoom.
This small circuit is suitable for young children, although care must be taken just before reaching the summit at the steepest point.