Rannerdale

Bluebells and a crab apple tree on the flanks of a fell

Situated between Buttermere and Crummock Water lies Rannerdale Knotts. It has everything you could wish for in a Lake District fell - panoramic views as well as peace and quiet that is often difficult to find these days - plus a picturesque 'secret' valley. It needs special care at bluebell time, please play your part in looking after this beautiful display and stick to the paths.

One of three abandonned villages

Rannerdale (the sheiling at the pass of the raven in old Norse) was once the site of a settlement that shows continuous habitation from stone-age times up to medieval times, when it was abandoned. Two other settlements in the valley were abandoned at the same time, one at Scales, near Scale Force, and one at Peele Place.

Today it needs special care at bluebell time. Bluebells are slow growing; if their leaves are crushed by trampling they cannot photosynthesise the energy they need and it can take plants years to recover.

Thanks to tenant farmers Elaine and Raymond Beard there is a very special and important bluebell collection here. Raymond is a keen conservationist and farms with nature; in 2019 he turns 80 and remains a great guardian of the Rannerdale bluebells.

" We are asking people to fight the urge to ‘get in’ amongst these flowers and simply stick to the path. On average, and by my estimation, each time a person steps on the bluebells they crush seven to 10 plants. Let’s all be responsible for protecting the wildlife and the landscape for future generations"
- Paul Delaney, Ranger

Ridge with a view

From the top of the ridge, you can see three lakes and many higher and more famous peaks, notably Haystacks, described by Alfred Wainwright as: 'the best fell top of all'. Despite this he left it out of his 'best half dozen walks' due to it’s comparative lack of height at only 597m.
 
Usually climbed from Buttermere, Haystacks can also be accessed from Honister via the old quarry tramway.
 

The tallest waterfall around

Hause Point, the lakeside crag near Rannerdale, was where Victorian tourists embarked upon boats to take them across Crummock Water to the narrow gorge of Scale Beck where it enters the lake. This lead them to Scale Force, the tallest waterfall in the Lake District at 51.8m
 
Scale Force was one of the required sites to see in Victorian times. Wordsworth described it as: 'a fine chasm with a lofty but slender fall'.