Blencathra (Saddleback)

Featured in the news in 2014 thanks to its previous owner’s decision to sell, Blencathra, also known as Saddleback, is an iconic part of the Lake District landscape. Its distinctive table-top shape makes it instantly recognisable.

There are a number of routes up, many of which involve a great deal of scrambling, so we have aimed this route at those who prefer more level routes, but still want to experience one of the Lake District’s highest fells.

The Route

A hiker climbing to the summit of Blencathra

A hiker climbing to the summit of Blencathra

This route to the summit of Blencathra is very easy to follow. A path from the car park at Grid Ref NY 302 256 zig-zags up Blease Fell, and is a fairly pleasant walk.

Once you have wound up the fell, you will find yourself on a long level plateau with a steep drop either side, giving views of Derwent Water, Thirlmere, and most of the more well-known Lake District fells, including Scafell Pike and the Old Man of Coniston, as well as out towards the Pennines and across to the Isle of Man.

For this route, the ascent is back the way you came, however, if you wish to have a longer walk with a pub dinner, then we recommend descending via Scales Tarn and Scales Fell, which will bring you out to Scales village, where the White Horse Inn serves delicious food.

Useful Information

Parking: There is a small amount of off-road parking available at the start of the route, Grid Ref 302 256; This is just past the Blencathra Field Centre on Blease Road, accessed via the village of Threlkeld

Start Point: Grid Ref NY 302 256; At the eastern end of the car park, there is a clearly marked public footpath leading up the side of the fell

Summit: Grid Ref NY 323 277; 868 metres above sea level

Distance: Approximately 5 miles

Terrain: Level mountain path with gradual incline

Total Time (Ascent & Descent): 5 - 6 hours

Suitable For: Adults with moderate fitness; Older children


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