Scafell Pike

England’s highest mountain may only be the third highest in the UK, but is considered by many to be a tougher ascent than that of its rivals Snowdon and Ben Nevis, thanks to the terrain being rougher, particularly towards the summit.

Whilst it’s a highly popular fell walk with tourists, care should still be taken, as Mountain Rescue call-outs to its peak are a regular occurrence, especially during poor weather. The view from the top is incredible, taking in the fells of Cumbria and out to the Isle of Man and beyond.

The Route

On route to Scafell Pike

On route to Scafell Pike

This is the easiest and fastest route up Scafell Pike, and as such can be very popular, especially with groups attempting the Three Peaks Challenge and Fell Running events.

The path from the National Trust car park takes you over a bridge over Lingmell Gill and around the Brackenclose climbing hut before crossing back over Lingmell Gill on a second bridge.

The path hugs the side of Lingmell Gill for about a mile and rises steeply. At Grid Ref NY 202 073 you will reach a fork in the path. Here you should turn left. You can turn right at this point, but the ascent is over a lot of loose scree that beginners will struggle with.

This path leads you up to the summit over rocky terrain with loose boulders, veering to the right at Grid Ref NY 211 077. The route is marked with cairns, but they can be difficult to spot during poor weather. Once you have made it to the summit, the quickest way back is the route you came down.

However, there is a slightly longer route that does involve some scrambling, but affords dramatic scenery on the way. Begin your descent back down the route you came up, but turn right at Grid Ref 212 076 onto what is known as the Corridor Route. Follow this path until you reach Sty Head at Grid Ref NY 221 094, where you will need to turn left, passing the Mountain Rescue stretcher box.

This path will take you alongside Lingmell Beck which features several waterfalls, before arriving at Wasdale Head, where the village pub is a popular place to enjoy some much needed refreshments.

Useful Information

Parking: Wasdale Head has two parking places; There is a pay and display National Trust car park (free for NT members) at Grid Ref NY 182 074 where you will also find toilets; There is limited further parking in the village at Grid Ref NY 186 084

Start Point: Grid Ref NY 183 073; At the south-eastern end of the National Trust car park the way up to Scafell Pike is clearly signposted

Summit: Grid Ref NY 215 072; 977 metres above sea level

Distance: Approximately 6 miles

Terrain: Rough mountain path; Loose rocks towards the summit

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

Suitable For: Adults and teenagers with good fitness


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