Rannerdale Knotts from Buttermere

5 mins read

A Scenic Walk Through Rannerdale Knotts and “The Secret Valley”

If you’re looking for a walk that’s steeped in history, Rannerdale Knotts is the perfect choice. Although it may be small in size at 355m, it’s full of intrigue and legend. The Norman control of the area in 1086 is just one part of its fascinating history. It’s also been written about by the historical writer Nicholas Size, who described it as “The Secret Valley”. One of the most famous events to occur here was the “Battle of Rannerdale”, where the Britons ambushed and defeated the Normans. This battle is said to have taken place in the valley between Grasmoor and Rannerdale Knotts.

If you visit between April and May, you’ll be treated to the sight of the Bluebells in bloom. Legend has it that these flowers grew from the blood of the fallen Norman soldiers. By walking in the footsteps of the ancient Britons on this intriguing Wainwright walk, you’ll get to experience a truly unique part of history.

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

Starting the Walk from Fish Inn, Buttermere

When embarking on this peaceful hike from Buttermere, along Sail Beck to Crummock Water, be sure to keep the beck on your right and follow it until you reach the lake’s shore. From there, continue walking along the lake edge until you come across a bridge. Cross the bridge and begin your ascent through the woods above the shoreline until you reach the road B5289.

Bluebells of Long How, Buttermere
Long How, Buttermere

Climbing up Rannerdale Knotts

Cross the road that is marked as B5289. Then, you’ll see a path that leads up the yellow gorse covered hill of Rannerdale Knotts. As you start walking, you’ll notice that the path gets steeper and steeper. Once you reach the rocky outcrops, you’ll encounter the hardest part of the walk, so be careful. You might need to use your hands to pull yourself up in some places, and there could be some wet patches on the rocks, especially after it has rained. But don’t worry. This part of the walk doesn’t take too long, and once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view.

Enjoying the Scenic Views at the Summit

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”. 

Descending to Buttermere

Are you ready for a picturesque walk down to Buttermere? The route is more of a meander and not as challenging as the route up, so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Roll down the grassy path at a leisurely pace, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the peaceful lake. Once you reach Buttermere, treat yourself to a delicious ginormous ice cream from Sykes Farm Tearoom. It’s the perfect way to end your walk and savour the experience. Remember to take plenty of photos and cherish this beautiful memory forever!

Suitability of the Walk for Young Children.

This small circuit is suitable for young children, although care must be taken just before reaching the summit at the steepest point. This beautiful and enjoyable walk is highly recommended for those seeking a scenic adventure. Remember to bring proper gear and stay aware of your surroundings for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Parking Options Near Rannerdale Knotts

You can park at the Lake District National Park Car Park in Buttermere, which costs £6 for the full day. Alternatively, you may find some parking on the shoulder of the road near B5289 or there is a National Trust car park in the vicinity.

Plan your walk with OS Maps and make sure you can access it offline.