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" Rannerdale Knotts and the Bluebells "

Date & start time:    Saturday 12th May 2018.    11.30 am start.

Location of Start :   Cinderdale car park, Crummock Water, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 163 194 )

Places visited :         Hause Point, Rannerdale Knotts and back via Rannerdale Valley.

Walk details :             3.9 miles, 1000 feet of ascent,  3 hours 10 mins.

Highest point :          Rannerdale Knotts, 1160 feet - 355 mtrs above sea level.

Walked with :             Jo, Sherran and Bill, Ann and dogs Dylan and Amber. (Harry at home).

Weather :                    Sunshine and blue skies but partially overcast with a slight breeze.

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'Tis May and the seasons move on . . .

  In the garden we have seen the seasonal flowers change from snowdrops to daffodils and primroses.

Now it is time for the bluebells to be flowering. They have been in evidence here in Loweswater for the last few weeks

but the cold temperatures of the late spring mean their growth has been slow.

With the month now well under way, the flowers at Rannerdale should be out, so Saturday we planned a visit to see them.

Sherran and Bill are staying for a few days, and Jo is over in Loweswater today (Saturday)

and so we set off mid-morning rather than later in the day, so as to avoid the crowds.

It didn't work . . . all three Rannerdale car parks were full so it was road parking for us at Cinderdale today.

- - - o o o - - -


Recent overnight rain have left a puddle on the roadside

but more importantly it has given the fields sustenance

to allow the grass to grow and sheep to feed,

good for all as there are plenty of young lambs about now.


We chose to walk up to Rannerdale Knotts first

and defer our visit to the bluebells

until the second half of the walk.


Consequently we start with a short road walk

towards the base of the climb up from The Hause.


Even that path looks busy !


- - - o o o - - -

As we pass Rannerdale Farm the slopes of Mellbreak are seen across Crummock Water

but it is the lambs that catch our eyes and the lens of our cameras.

A classic black herdwick lamb follows its mum around the field.

These two have had their fill for now and relax in the sun.

The bluebells are there to see in the lower field, enclosed by the fell wall,

but there will be plenty of time to see them later as we plan to return via the Squat Beck and Rannerdale Valleys.

For the fellwalkers, the grey heather clad slope on the left is the Lad Hows ascent of Grasmoor, with Whiteless Pike away to the right.

A wide panorama across the opposite roadside wall

towards Great Bourne and Scale Force in the distant trees.

The blue speck in the last photo comes closer and reveals herself as a young lady paddle boarder.

Her family are on the beach by The Hause.  She's wearing a wet suit but the lake is now apparently warm enough

for a shorter dip without one, in fact I had my first river dip of the season in Harry's pool this week . . . but it was still cold !

Time to warm up with the start of the climb up Rannerdale Knotts.

Dylan is running ahead of us, as befits his age and exuberance.

The gorse is in full bloom on some of the earlier bushes and contrasts beautifully with the blue skies and the lake below.

The colour of the lake is muted slightly by the high cloud that is occasionally taking the edge off the bright sunshine .

In the brighter moments it is warm enough for people to shed a layer of clothing.

Sherran and Ann bring up the rear for that reason whilst Jo strides on up the slope.

Nearing halfway up the climb as we begin the section with the pitched rock steps.

Climbing rapidly now and closer to the edge, the views down Crummock to Low Fell always pleases.

Dylan is away on an adjacent crag again . . .

but even at this distance he still sits when asked, while I set the camera up for the photo.

Another of Ann's photo of course.

I don't specify whose photos are whose . . . but this one is obviously not mine.

The viewpoint just down from the summit rock is, as always, a 'must visit' spot

before we complete the last fifty yards to the top.

The multiple rocky crags that give Rannerdale Knotts its 'knotty' name, can be seen on here.

The summit is central, highlighted by the person in the red top.

From this lower lofty height we also get to see the full summit ridge of Grasmoor,

from the north western face on the left all the way across the top to the start of the descent behind Wandope and Whiteless Pike.

Below us, the fields of Rannerdale Valley show a definite hint of blue, especially the one on the left.

Light high clouds are building up as we walk the ridge of Rannerdale.

Hopefully there will be sufficient sun to make the bluebells shine when we get there.

These guys don't seem to mind the weather.

They seem pretty oblivious to us too as we walk past.

The coloured plastic tags in their ears are their official animal passport numbers

and the red ruddle on its head, probably a smit mark identifying current breeding information for the farmer.

This is a mixed hill flock, the previous one a Herdwick, this one a classic Swaledale sheep.

We've walked most of Low Bank

and take a last photo of Buttermere and the High Stile ridge from the old sheep fold.

A last closer view of Great Gable and Haystacks 

before we say goodbye and drop down the back of the fell into the Squat Beck Valley.

Another old sheep fold can be found here, high on the fell.

Sheep enclosures like this have fallen into disrepair as farming practices change and improved transport

has made it easier to deal with the seasonal tasks of sheep rearing back home at the farm itself.

Dylan feels the day is warm enough for a dip . . .

it is certainly more sheltered and warmer here as we walk down the back of the fell.

Ann and Jo pass on a dip . . . walking purposely past without a second glance.

We follow the wall and the main path down the valley.

The small river joining us ahead is the Rannerdale Beck . . . and with its arrival the valley assumes its correct and more popular name of Rannerdale.

Anticipations rise as the colours become more intense on the valley sides ahead.

Not everyone has a camera in hand . . .

This gentleman's easel has various shades of blue being applied in real time.

We pass through the fell gate and over the small bridge . . .
. . . into the part of the valley famous for its flowers.

A bleached tree trunk adds contrasting colour to the scene.

A victim of the winter storms of recent years.

The National Trust have planted several new trees to cope with the gradual loss of the old ones.

The blue of the flowers contrast nicely with the yellows of the gorse and the green of the trees behind.

The bluebells in close up.

They have been delayed this year by the cold spring and slightly shorter due to the currently hot, dry conditions.

The bracken interspersed will eventually hide them as the flowers wilt, but there should be a good display for a few weeks yet.

The brightest of the flowers are on this side of the valley.

They have been taller and brighter in previous years and may still catch up if growing conditions remain suitable.

The flowers on the lower slopes and fellside opposite still have a while to go before they reach maturity.

Jo and Sherran walk on ahead . . .
. . . whilst I stop for a picture of the hawthorn.

Looking back at Rannerdale Valley . . . it could well be worth a visit if you are in the area in the next few weeks.

Looking across to Great Borne that we saw earlier.
A polite message from the local National Trust ranger.

Time for us to be heading back

as the next group of people walk up towards us on the track from Cinderdale.

That high cloud has in fact eased and we've managed a good visit in reasonably sunny weather.

Time to pack the dogs back in the car and head home for a late lunch.

Harry, who will have snoozed the morning away at home, will have a shorter and flatter walk this afternoon.

- - - o o o - - -

With the summit of Rannerdale Knotts in the background we take a seat in the garden

and enjoy a much anticipated lunch . . . grab a cup there's more tea in the pot.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . .the chance to extend a classic visit with a nice ridge walk.

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Previous walks - 28th April - 5th May - Our Northumberland Holiday

A previous time up here - 8th May 2017 - The Rannerdale Bluebells 2017

Next walk - 13th May - Local with Sherran and Bill