Fellwalking: Rannerdale Knotts/ Whiteless Pike/ Wandope/ Grasmoor

This was a very enjoyable circuit walk in the North Western Fells of the Lake District, taking in Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike, Wandope & Grasmoor.

I started at the small car park off the B5289 where the footpath down from Grasmoor over Lad Hows meets the road. I then walked down the road (or the grassy if somewhat muddy path beside the road) to the starting point of the track up to Rannerdale Knotts (starting just before Hause Point)

The path soon starts climbing steeply and it’s not too long before the ridge line is achieved.

From which there are great views of Buttermere and Crummock Water.


After descending from the ridge the path joins with another footpath that leads up to Whiteless Pike (at this point you could return via a footpath that follows Squat Beck for a short but enjoyable ramble).

The weather was fantastic so the views just kept getting better.

Whiteless Pike was a good place to stop for the rest…

…before the walk along Whiteless Edge to Wandope.

From here there a good views accross to Whiteside and up to Crag Hill.

If you have the time and inclination you could take a detour to Crag Hill, but I took the path west to Grasmoor…

…resting and taking in the views from the summit before returning via the path south and then west over Lad Hows and back to my car.


All in all a great day out. Buttermere is close by and a great spot for a post walk beer.

Time: Around 5.25 hours
Grade: Moderate day walk
My rating: A+
Map: The English Lakes: North Western Area (OS Explorer Map Series)
Wainwright Guide: The North Western Fells (50th Anniversary Edition): Book Six (A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells): 6
Access: The walk starts at a small car-parking area just off the B5289. Google street view now covers this area, here’s a view of the parking area on the right. There’s also another carpark just before this one – either one will work.

Fellwalking – Grasmoor

Walkers on Lad Hows

“The Culminating point of the North Western Fells occurs overlooking Crummock Water, where the massive bulk of Grasmoor towers above the threshold of the Buttermere valley”

A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells: Book six – The North Western Fells

I parked at the parking area just north of Rannerdale bridge and decided I would attack the summit by going straight up Red Gill, the route described on page Grasmoor 7 of Wainwright’s guide and quite an obvious route from the road (the photo on the left below has pretty much the same perspective as the drawing in Wainwright’s guide), a decision I started to regret about two thirds of the way up, when the scrambling up the loose screes had started to make my calf muscles feel like they were burning up. At this point I didn’t have much choice though so it was onwards and upwards and eventually the steep ascent came to a finish and a short stroll west along the grassy tops took me to Grasmoor End and a fine view over Crummock Water.

From here it was a straightforward walk east to the summit of Grasmoor for a quick break and admiration of the superb views in all directions, following which I descended via Lad Hows back to my car.

One of the delights of walking in the Lake District (apart from a nice pint of real ale at the end of a walk) is the great variety of landscape within such a small region. I think the part covered by Wainwright’s “The North Western Fells” may be my current favourite area.

My rating: A.
Map: OL4 – The English Lakes: North Western area (1:25,000)
Wainwright’s guides: The North Western Fells (50th Anniversary Edition): Book Six (A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells)

Red Gill View from Grasmoor End Grasmoor Summit Shelter Grasmoor - looking towards Grisedale Pike

UPDATE: I climbed Grasmoor in 2014 via Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike and Wandope, a delightful ramble that I describe here.