Helvellyn via Striding Edge

Lake District National Park, England

The trail:

  • Location: Lake District National Park, England
  • Categories: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Tundra / Highland / Mountain / Rural / Lake / River / Stream
  • Duration: 5-7 hours
  • Distance: 10 miles

Walking the trail:

  • Summary: Recently voted Britain’s favorite walk by Ordnance Survey, this circular trail up to Hellvellyn summit (950m) takes in some breathtaking Lake District views. Combined with the razor ridge Striding Edge you get thrills and chills with your views!

I thought I would capitalise on the walk voted no 1 on the recent 2018 “Britain’s favorite walks” ITV program.

Of course this is the mountain Helvellyn (950m) in the Lake District. I walked this 5 years ago after hearing about the infamous Striding Edge ridge and was keen to see what the fuss was all about!

It is a rather beautiful trail consisting of flowing streams, rolling hills, sharp ridges and absolutely stunning 360 degree Lake District views from Helvellyns summit.

This particular route (im not sure what route the ITV Show used) is a 10 mile circular starting from the small village of Glenridding, Penrith. There is a car park located at CA11 0PD and a local café so pretty perfect for getting nicely setup for a good days hike!

The route starts off by following Greenside road which runs along Ulls Water river and then once the road finishes you continue following the river into the mountain wilderness..yay! The path takes you all the way up to Red Tarn with the flat looking Helvellyn peak right ahead. At this point you double back on yourself heading towards a rickety old stile called “the hole in the wall” which is the starting point of Striding Edge!

Now I tacked this grade 1 scramble in pretty tame conditions. It had just rained quite heavy but on the ridge it was clear and not very windy so for myself I didn’t feel particularly exposed or intimidated by it, actually thought it was fairly simple. However in high winds, low visibility, snow then it would be a totally different experience.

A lot of the ridge has a lower easier path to walk to reduce the exposure and the hardest section called the “chimney” which is a 7m technical climb can also be circumnavigated. I can definitely say this route is very cool and interesting and is well worth attempting! Once past the chimney it’s a straight forward scramble all the way up to helvellyn were you can look back down the ridge with great satisfaction plus it’s a tremendously beautiful looking ridge as well especially with the Red Tarn gleaming to its left and the mountain landscapes all around!

The rest of the trail is a doddle and keeps you at 800m elevation heading north towards Whiteside and then a rather simple but steep descent to bring you back down towards Glenridding and back onto Greenside Road.

You then have a choice of a few pubs to relax and reminisce about your day conquering Striding Edge! :)

Any questions on the route feel free to message. GPX route also available.