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" The Real Rannerdale Bluebells 2021 "
Date & start time: 18th May 2021. 10.30 am start.
Location of Start : Cinderdale car park, Crummock, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 162 192 )
Places visited : Hause Point, Rannerdale Knotts, Low Bank, High Rannerdale and back.
Walk details : 3.9 mls, 1080 ft of ascent, 2 hours 45 mins.
Highest point : Rannerdale Knotts, 1160 ft - 355 m.
Walked with : Sue and Mike plus the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Sunshine and fluffy white clouds, a lovely day for walking and photos.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.
I return to Rannerdale with Mike and Sue and we find the bluebells at their best.
We defer our visit to them a short while as the lovely weather encourages us up onto Rannerdale Knotts first.
My companions wanted to include a fell walk with their visit to this famous local spectacle.
(Note: this page includes a few photos first shown on the 14th May.)
Sue and Mike are over from the North East and staying locally now lock-down is easing, so time and travel for them is no problem today.
We take the opportunity to visit Rannerdale, but make it more of a walking day out by climbing to the summit first.
To make it a circular outing we head out on the short road walk from Cinderdale to Hause Point.
Over the wall to the left we see the blue haze that covers the fields where the bluebells grow.
After the recent rains the colour is more intense as presumably the flowers develop into full bloom.
Before we head across to the flowers we're going to climb Rannerdale from the hause,
about a forty minute climb to the top.
The clouds above us cast light and shade on the fells and the water.
We're in temporary shade but Ling Crags on the opposite shore, stands out in bright sunlight.
No-one on the beach which is unusual . . .
but there are three people on the path from Loweswater who won't take long to get there.
There are also three people on the water below us.
They've taken up the post lock-down craze of paddle boarding.
A third of the way up from the hause we get our first views of Buttermere and the higher fells at the head of the valley.
From the higher viewpoint (above the steps) we get our first sight of Loweswater and the Solway Plain.
We've reached the summit rocks that form the outer end of Rannerdale. This has been one of our favourite family views over the years.
[ Should you wish to join myself and friends on the 19th July this year as we lay Ann to rest here, you will be very welcome.]
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A gentleman sits on the adjacent true summit, with a camera on a low tripod next to him.
It turns out that he's recording a time-lapse video of the moving clouds crossing high above the valley.
Sue, Mike and I continue the walk by heading out along Low Bank, to the second of the Rannerdale Knotts.
To our left the impressive bulk of Grasmoor with its companion Whiteless Pike.
Below us, in the fields below the intake walls, the blue colour stands out even though most of the bluebells are in the shade for this photo.
Sue stands on top of the second summit.
Mike climbed it too, but he was so quick on his descent that he missed out on the kudos of a summit photo.
The path up the Squat Beck Valley meets our path at the top of the valley
but we cheat and take a well used short cut about a hundred yards before the hause.
Rannerdale ahead now as we leave the high ground and head back down the valley towards the lake.
The popular path follows the wall and fence all the way down, but a second footpath crosses a small footbridge by the green field.
By crossing the bridge and climbing up to the fell wall we get to view more of the bluebells !
When the bluebell flower dies, green seed pods are formed. By July these will be dry and brown and full of small black seeds.
They normally drop close to the parent plant but can travel in the wind, presumably causing the flowers to propagate this far up the valley.
By following the wall we stay clear of the display.
The display here is not as intense, but it is extensive.
Ahead, where the bank shelters the flowers, the display has built up to a much greater extent.
I change the camera lens to capture this unexpected view of Rannerdale Farm.
The fence separates us from the Rannerdale Beck for a while longer
but at leas we can stand back and admire the view of the flower-covered banks.
The Ash tree is late setting its leaves this year as well . . . again due to that cold dry April.
Contrasting colours . . . the shade of Mellbreak emphasises the bright sun on the flowers.
A blue sheen on the grass means the bracken is slow to grow, which is all to the good.
Grasmoor behind provides the contrast as we continue our descent to the main valley path.
Mike makes his way down . . . we are much closer to the beck now.
Another favourite view of the valley, brought to life by the addition of spring colour.
Other photographers are out to record the scene too.
Mike uses his phone camera, not everyone is carrying a big SLR's on a tripod !
Me . . . I just point and shoot . . . but I did change the lens first !
In the narrower part of the valley the gorse is in flower too.
From the bridge we look across and up to the main track we will take back to Cinderdale.
The view of Grasmoor and the Hawthorn tree, now white with flower.
The picture is more colourful than on my visit just four days ago.
To protect the flower display the National Trust have erected a rope fence again this year.
It seems to work as no-one seems to be walking through the displays.
A photo call for Sue and Mike's photo album.
The best flowers down here in the valley are on the south facing slopes.
Mike looks across the valley to the Crab Apple Tree and the display on the opposite side.
The flowers on the main fellside are yet to reach their full potential, but the ones on this slope are good this year.
More people arriving as we leave the bluebell fields.
As we leave the valley we have a look back at Rannerdale Knotts
which we climbed just a few hours ago.
Low Fell and Crummock Water ahead as we walk the main path back to the car at Cinderdale car park.
The flowers, particularly the ones on the north facing slopes did improve in subsequent days
but by the time I've been able to post this, the flowers in the main display will probably have past their best.
I think the April weather made it a late flowering event this year, but it was a fine display which matched some of the best that I've seen.
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Technical note: Pictures generally taken with either a 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 . . . those perfect growing conditions at last.
Previous walk - 16th May - Dick Knave - Dick Roger
A previous time up here - 27th April - 14th May - Rannerdale Bluebells ( The 2021 build-up to today's display.)
Next walk - 19th May - Round Buttermere with the Grown Ups