You are here:

Rannerdale Knotts

  • Difficulty
  • 6.3km
  • 259m
  • 2-2.5h
  • Download/Email a PDF of this hike button

Please provide your details for accessing the free download. Please note, you can access PDF only if you agree to the T&C and Privacy Policy statements.

Rannerdale Knotts is a great day trip. The drive to Buttermere is exciting and once walking you get wonderful views throughout the walk.

Getting there

Get yourself to Buttermere. Be aware, the roads to get here are narrow and very steep. There is parking within Buttermere, as well as parking on the edge of the road coming into town.


Total Gain: 259m


Type of Hike Loop
Crowd Levels High
Route Signage None
Toilets None
Family Friendly Yes
Backcountry Campgrounds None
When to Do When Dry, no fog

 Detailed Description

We often stay at the YHA in Buttermere, so the GPS track shows the walk from this location. For most others, you can save 0.5 miles of the route by starting right in Buttermere.

Start opposite the Bridge Hotel in the heart of Buttermere. From here, cross the road and immediately pass a gate and then head uphill through Ghyll Wood. This trail ascends through woods along Sail Beck.

Go over a gate, exit the woods and cross on a path to link with another path heading right and continuing uphill.  Soon you will see paths heading off to your left – take one of these as it connects with another path that goes along the top of the ridge, all the way up to Rannerdale Knotts.

There are wonderful views as you ascend in all directions. Once at the top of Rannerdale Knotts the descent is less straightforward. From the top, continue roughly ahead and then drop down to the left. When the path splits take either route. However, we like to go right and down a steep slope with stone steps, though these steps are tremendously slippery in wet weather!

You will soon come to a T-junction, go right and head downhill. As you descend you will eventually take a faint path heading to your left. It is easy to miss this path and continue ahead to Hause Point, from which you’ll need to retrace your steps.

Follow the path as it continues SE down as it descends to the end of Crummock Water. You will see a road at the bottom of the path and you will need to cross it and go through a gate for the last bit of the walk back.

The final part of the trail after the road is the most challenging for route finding, as the route isn’t clear. Follow the shore of Crummock Water as it curves around, with a path that is often not visible. Cross a bridge and then go through a gate and bear left, leaving the lake and heading along a field, on a disappearing path. The little stream should be on your left while you walk through the field.

You soon reach a camping area and car park. Go through the final gate and walk into town, returning to the Bridge Hotel.

Insider Hints

  • We love the drive to Buttermere, and usually take a day trip here. Coming from Keswick, we go over Newlands Pass and then return via Honister Pass. It’s a great drive, but narrow, exposed and steep.
  • You can get to Buttermere from Keswick on the Honister Ramber Bus
  • Buttermeres ‘The Fish Inn’ has good food and a good selection of ales after a day of walking.