This exhilarating Lakeland ridge walk climbs from the Buttermere Valley up to the summit of Rannerdale Knotts. Though it’s one of the smaller and more rounded Cumbrian fells, it gives stunning views over three lakes and many high peaks.
Our route returns via the shoreline of Crummock Water and Nether How woodland to the pretty little village of Buttermere.
Have a look at our downloadable route map
From the starting point at the National Trust car park in Buttermere walk straight across the road to
a stile. Cross the stile and follow a narrow grassy track until the path begins to get steeper.
As the path steepens, take the left-hand track leading towards the ridge of Rannerdale Knotts. This
is a good point to pause and enjoy the view over to Buttermere lake and the surrounding hills, such
as High Snockrigg in the east.
Follow a gentle incline along the ridge to the summit, offering another superb panorama of both
Rannerdale (or the secret valley) and Crummock Water. Soon you reach the highest point cairn (we'd
appreciate it if you didn't add stones to the cairn, paths need stones much more than cairns do!).
From the summit, follow the narrow, winding, grassy track to your left downhill towards Crummock
Water. The track leads you to a very steep, stone-pitched section. This area can become slippery
during wet weather, so take care. When you leave the pitched section follow the track further downhill
until it branches left and gently descends towards a road. Cross the road and go through a gate
leading to the lakeshore. Walk alongside the lakeshore until you see a gate to your left leading into
Nether How woods.
Go through the gate and follow the path through the wood. The path briefly leads to the lakeshore
again before re-entering the wood. Take a path to your left leading through Nether How wood to a
Cross the bridge and follow the path to the right, through the woods until you return to your start
Top Tip: This walk is great any time of year but it is spectacular in the spring when the bluebells are out.
Start/Finish: National Trust Buttermere Car Park (NY: 172 172)
Distance: 3 miles (4.8km)
Fairly strenuous route in all weathers; sturdy boots and clothing essential. Mostly on grassy paths, with a steep, stone-pitched descent of Rannerdale Knotts.
Time to complete the walk: 2-3 hours