Rannerdale Knotts and Crummock Water.

Start. Buttermere.

Route. Buttermere - Ghyll Wood - Grassgarth Coppice - Low Bank - Rannerdale Knotts - Rannerdale - Cinderdale Common - High Wood - Lanthwaite Wood - Fish Ladder - Pump House - Iron Stone - Low Ling Crag - Scales - Scales Bridge - Buttermere.

Notes. The Buttermere valley, less developed than the rest of the Lake District, a perfect mix of lake, woodland and fell, something for every level of fitness. Lake side rambling, high mountain walking plus a little inbetween. Moody peaks dip their toes in crystal clear lakes before rising almost sheer to over 2000ft, craggy ridge lines make for some of the best mountain walking in the Lake District. On a normal day that's where I'd be wandering, those fabulous fells, striding out over impressive ridge lines, today was not normal unless you're local then it probably was. The weather gods promised low cloud and heavy rain, I found myself under blue sky scraping ice from the car before I could go anywhere, was it really going to rain?

I spent some time in Buttermere watching wonderful plays of light dancing across the high fells, so fascinating it was I neglected to take any photos. Light show over I wandered into Ghyll Wood, a narrow path ushered me above Mill Beck beneath ancient oaks depositing me at a rather large ladder stile, I crossed to access the open fell side. The steep climb that followed terminated at the start of a green trod traversing Low Bank, this wonderful ridge walk deposited me on the rocky crown of Rannerdale Knotts, it may be low just 1165ft but the views are stunning. As the weather was closing in I didn't hang around, a steep dizzy descent deposited me on the tarmac valley road. I wandered North to Cinderdale Common passing Rannerdale Farm en route. Once at Cinderdale a gate allowed access to the Crummock Water shore path, in my humble opinion one of the best lake shore walks in Lakeland.

Through a gorse thicket I rambled, I traversed High Wood and Lanthwaite Wood, somewhere between the two the rain arrived, heavy drizzle, the kind that soaks you to the skin, even worse sticks to the camera lens making picture taking almost impossible. After donning waterproofs I continued around the head of the lake, passed the fish ladder and pump house I walked to access the west shore. My plan had been to ascend to the twin summits of Mellbreak, walking into the tempest at low level was bad enough, I didn't need to torture myself any more than I had to.

Into the deluge, head down, hood up, camera safely in bag, every so often the rain eased allowing me to grab a few shots. Passed Iron Stone and Low Ling Crag I battled. Once I'd forded Scale Beck the rain stopped, a chink of blue cut through the cloud base. Thoughts erupted in my head, if the weather was improving I could include Buttermere in my round. As quick as it appeared it was gone, a brief interlude before the main event continued, which ended in the Walkers Bar of the Bridge Hotel.

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The narrow trod through Ghyll Wood, a perfect start to the day.

Above Ghyll Wood viewing High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike.

Seen over Crummock Water, Blea Crag to the left, Mellbreak the right.

Traversing Low Bank with a wonderful view over Buttermere for company.

On Low Bank looking to Robinson and the nearer High Snockrigg.

Lurking behind Gale Fell, Starling Dodd and Great Borne.

From the summit Rannerdale Knotts wonderful views to the head of Buttermere.

Mellbreak and Crummock Water with Loweswater in the distance.

Dizzy descent from Rannerdale Knotts.

Dipping it's toes in Crummock Water, Mellbreak seen from the aggressively steep descent from Rannerdale Knotts.

On a broad grassy saddle above Hause Point enjoying stunning views up the Buttermere valley, taking in Fleetwith Pike and Hay Stacks, High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike.

Mellbreak across Crummock Water with the Loweswater Fells on the far horizon.

The scene over Crummock Water, the Loweswater Fells, Fallbarrow and Darling Fell.

Heavy weather sweeps in from the west, washing High Stile, Red Pike, little Rannerdale Knotts and me, I'm hiding behind a tree trying to keep the camera dry.

The Boat House in Lanthwaite Wood.

Dramatic views over Crummock Water, Rannerdale Knotts and the High Stile massif.

Mighty Grasmoor with Whiteside to the left.

It's been a wet walk along the west shore, this is a view from Low Ling Crag to Whiteside and Grasmoor.

Rannerdale Knotts across Crummock Water.

A dismal scene over Crummock Water.

Was this a promise of things to come, no but it was good while it lasted, the view Mellbreak and Scale Knott.

Last shot before turning my back on the valley for today, Rannerdale Knotts backed by a cloud kissed Grasmoor.

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