Quite by chance I happened to be in the lake district at just the right time to see the amazing Rannerdale bluebells (or Rannadale, as the sign says). Bluebells are normally found in woodland and the fact there are bluebells means there must have been trees at some point. Bracken, which grows after the bluebells have flowered, now provides cover instead.

The Battle of Rannerdale

The valley was said to be the location of a battle between native Britons and Norman invaders around 50 years after the 1066 invasion. The Normans were ambushed and defeated and according to folklore it was the spilt blood of Normans that the Bluebells grew from. Happy thoughts as you’re wandering around looking at the pretty flowers hey!


There’s only a tiny car park at the site, which soon fills up, especially when the flowers are in bloom. If you can manage the walk, there’s a National Trust car park at Buttermere.

All the photos were taken around lunchtime, not the best time for photography, but as I’d all my gear with me I thought why not. I knew I was going back for sunset, so it was a good chance to get a feel for the place.

It was an ideal spot to capture some drone footage, although there was too many people there to fly in the day, so after a couple of short flights around the edge of the valley I gave up and left it until later.

I intended to take more stills at sunset, but by the time I’d finished shooting video with the drone, the sun had sank too low. I did try some more shots of the sheep amongst the bluebells and gorse but they weren’t as good as I’d hoped.

The sign may have warned against trampling the flowers, but no one told the sheep! They seemed to find the bluebells and gorse quite tasty.

Further reading

If you want to know more about Rannerdale, here’s a link its Wikipedia entry.

Bluebell macro photography

You can view my recent bluebell macro photography by clicking here.