Hill: Rannerdale Knotts
Date: Thursday 30th December 2021
Company: Just myself
Distance: 5km, Ascent: 265m
Time: 1Hr 35Mins

The weather forecast this morning was again sub-optimal. To avoid heavy rain forecast in the afternoon, having only just managed to dry out my kit from the day previous, I set out early in the morning. Low cloud / fog was however forecast throughout the day.

For the first walk of the day, I drove to Buttermere to ascend Rannerdale Knotts. The ascent from Buttermere is much more gentle than the direct ascent from Crummock Water.


I adore beautiful Buttermere and try to visit on each trip to the Lakes. It does however seem to be getting busier and busier, albeit not today. While walking in the Lakes is generally much busier than walking in Scotland, I met no-one else on the hills yesterday or today. I guess you have to be a little mad to walk in rubbish weather .

Buttermere sign:


Old School:

Bridge Hotel:

I started the ascent via Ghyll Wood, a wood I had walked through four months ago on undertaking a traverse from Braithwaite to Buttermere via a number of Wainwrights including Grisdale Pike and Grasmoor.

Entrance to Ghyll Wood:

In the oakwood:

Beyond the wood I followed one of several tracks leading towards Rannerdale Knotts.

On one of several tracks through the bracken:

Track leading towards Rannerdale Knotts:

Despite Rannerdale Knotts only reaching a lofty height of 355m, the summit was capped in cloud . It was still a nice walk and on the plus side, it wasn't raining.

Rannerdale Knotts:

Rocky top en-route to the summit top:

Buttermere below the cloud:

Before long I was approaching the summit.

Final ascent of Rannerdale Knotts:

Rannerdale Knotts was my 100th Wainwright, not counting Helm Crag which I have to do again to scramble up the Howitzer which I didn't fancy doing when it was covered in snow. There seems to be some debate as to whether you have to climb the Howitzer to compleat a round of the Wainwrights. I think you do, as you have to thread the needle to summit the Cobbler and you have to climb the In Pin atop Sgurr Dearg in the Cuillin. Wainwright himself did not however ascend the Howitzer.

At the summit of Rannerdale Knotts:

From the summit I returned via the route of ascent but instead of descending back through the wood, I followed the grassy track back to the road.

Descent back to Buttermere:

Looking back towards Rannerdale Knotts:

As I had set out early, it was still early. I therefore decided to ascend one more Wainwright hopefully before the forecast heavy rain. I opted to ascend nearby Hen Comb.

For the ascent of Hen Comb, I parked at and started from Maggie's Bridge car park (my guidebook suggests starting from Kirkstile Inn, I suspect because there seems to be no access or right of way from Maggie's Bridge).

Hill: Hen Comb
Date: Thursday 30th December 2021
Company: Just myself
Distance: 6.7km, Ascent: 370m
Time: 1Hr 55Mins

I think I somehow managed to accidentally on purpose miss a sign advising no access at the start of the walk and therefore might or might not have been prepared for a potential confrontation with a GOML (Get Off My Land) . Gotta love the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

An ascent of Hen Comb via its north ridge is the natural route up this hill. As there is a good path made by boots for much of the way, I suspect many walkers do ascend this way.

Track from Maggie's Bridge car park:

Looking back from beyond the small wood:

To get up the hill it was just a case of putting one foot in front of the other and heading up until there was no more up . I suspect this would be a nice enough hill when there are views but today it was just a wet bog-stomp.

Hen Comb:

Fence en-route to Hen Comb summit:

Wet underfoot:

Fleeting glimpse of the summit:

On reaching the summit I visited the cairn and then returned via mostly the same route.

At the summit of Hen Comb:


Limited view towards Loweswater:

The rain started just as I reached the car. Perfect timing.