Best Fell Walks in the Lake District

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District

By Dave Roberts   

on July 9, 2018   No ratings yet.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District

What are the top 10 Fell Walks in the Lake District? Who knows, but here’s a selection of 10 of the best circular walks in the Lake District that we think come close! The only thing we’re certain of is that we’ll have missed out someone’s favourite walk!

Helvellyn via Striding Edge

Height Gained – 890 metres ,  Distance – 6.5 km, Time –2.5 hours – plus your choice of descent.

The ascent of Helvellyn via Striding Edge would be near the top of most people’s list of best walks in the Lake District, if not the UK. Not only is this a cracking little scramble, Helvellyn was voted Britain’s most popular walk in 2018, though they omitted to mention which walk up Helvellyn was the most popular!

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Striding Edge

Blencathra via Sharp Edge

Height Gained – 625 metres ,  Distance – 4.4 km, Time –2 hours – plus your choice of descent.

Another scramble you say? Yes say we! You can’t beat a good scramble, and Sharp Edge on Blencathra is as good as they get. We won’t even begin to muse over whether Sharp Edge or Striding Edge is the better scramble!!

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Blencathra Sharp Edge

Corridor Route up Scafell Pike

Height Gained – 930 metres ,  Distance – 7.4 km, Time –3 hours 

Of course we’ll include one of our own on here, with the Corridor Route being our suggested best route up Scafell Pike. Of course, there’s the route including Scafell, the Corridor Route from Seathwaite, Piers Gill and the approach from Langdale to consider… But if we included them, then you may as well visit our home page!

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Corridor Route Scafell Pike

Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside

Height Gained – 1220 metres ,  Distance – 20 km, Time –8 hours 

The Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside or Rydal is one of the Lake District’s Classic circular routes. Taking in the summits of Heron Pike, Rydal Fell, Great Rigg, Fairfield (of course!), Hart Crag, Dove Crag and High Pike – this is a full day’s outing. Being reasonably central, the views are extensive – especially towards the neighbouring Helvellyn.

Bow Fell via the Climber’s Traverse

Height Gained – 1050 metres ,  Distance – 16 km, Time – 6 hours 

This route up Bowfell from the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel is one of the Lake’s Classic routes. Avoiding the more popular ascent via Three Tarns, the Climber’s Traverse finds a more interesting way up along the approach taken by climbers to the Great Slab. It descends via Crinkle Crags and Cold Fell for a satisfying circular walk.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Bowfell Climber's Traverse

Skiddaw via Longside Edge

Height Gained – 960 metres ,  Distance – 13.2 km, Time –5 hours 

Skiddaw has a reputation as a lump of a mountain with few interesting routes, but the approach from the west via Longside Edge puts paid to that view. Ascending along the ridge of Longside Edge, you get to climb one of England’s highest peaks, awesome views, an airy ridge and a hidden waterfall as well as some of the Northern Fell’s only craggy faces.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Skiddaw Longside Edge

Walk up the Langdale Pikes

Height Gained – 730 metres ,  Distance – 12 km, Time –5 hours 

The Langdale Pikes dominate the views from most direction in Great Langdale, despite being just over 700m in height. This route takes in Stickle Tarn before climbing up  Pavey ArkHarrison StickleThorn CragLoft Crag and Pike of Stickle. For an even longer day out – complete the Great Langdale Round.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Langdale Pikes

High Street from Kentmere (The Kentmere Horseshoe)

Height Gained – 860 metres ,  Distance – 8 km, Time –3 hours plus your choice of descent

The mountain of High Street in the Far Eastern fells surely deserves a mention on the best walks – and our choice is the Kentmere Horseshoe route. The approach along the rollercoaster ridge of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick alone makes this walk worth doing.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Kentmere Horseshoe

Great Gable via Moses Trod

Height Gained – 710 metres ,  Distance – 10.5 km, Time – 5 hours 

Great Gable is one of the Lake District’s most iconic mountains, it’s the National Park’s logo – you can hardly get more iconic than that! While it can be approached from Wasdale, the approach from Honister Pass via the Moses Trod is a classic route.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - Great Gable

The Mosedale Horseshoe

Height Gained – 1570 metres ,  Distance – 19 km, Time – 7-8 hours 

Our final route brings us back to Wasdale Head with a classic circular walk around the Mosedale Horseshoe including the summit of Pillar. This is a challenging route, but includes a satisfying haul of summits including Yewbarow, Stirrup Crag, Red Pike, Steeple, Pillar, Looking Stead and Kirk Fell.

Best Fell Walks in the Lake District - The Mosedale Horseshoe

Have we missed any of your favourite routes out? Let us know in the comments!


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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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Welcome to Walk up Scafell Pike

Walk up Scafell Pike is the dedicated on-line guidebook for walking routes up Scafell Pike in the English Lake District, with free walking maps and full guides to all the routes to the summit of England’s highest mountain.

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 978m high and is one of the mountains climbed on the Three Peaks Challenge walk. It’s a formidable mountain that needs respect, with no such thing as an easy route up  the mountain to be had. All the walks and hikes are a challenge, and well worth the effort to reach the roof of England.

The Routes to the Top of Scafell Pike page has an interactive map that shows all the walking routes to the summit of Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head, Scafell Pike from Borrowdale and Scafell Pike from Langdale as well as hotels, campsites and pubs near Scafell Pike (add your Lake District business for free), and there’s a page for each walk that shows the route, parking postcode,  a downloadable file for your GPS device as well as details on the weather for the mountain.

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for more Scafell Pike facts such as how long will it take to climb Scafell Pike, where can i start the walk from and other questions.

Main Walking Routes up Scafell Pike

Route Name Starting Point Parking Post Code Distance Ascent Walking Time
Scafell Pike from Wasdale or Wasdale Head Wasdale or Wasdale Head  CA20 1EX (Wasdale Head)  4.2km*  900m*  3-4 hours**
Scafell Pike from Seathwaite, Borrowdale (Corridor Route) Borrowdale  CA12 5XJ  15km (round trip)  1000m  6 hours+
Scafell Pike from Langdale Langdale  LA22 9JY 9km  1130m 4 hours**
Scafell Pike from Hardknott (southern approach) Eskdale Hardknott CA19 1TG – for Boot – then continue up Hardkott Pass to GR NY211 011  17km  1000m  6 hours
Scafell Pike Corridor Route from Wasdale Wasdale or Wasdale Head CA20 1EX (Wasdale Head)  7.8km*  970m*  3-4 hours **

*Distance/Ascent noted is for one way only.

**Time is for one way only, and variable. Very fit walkers can walk up and down in 3-4 hours(depending on the route)and will know their own timings and speed. If in doubt, assume the longest duration for your ascent and add the longest for your descent, depending on route. Add a good half hour or more for the summit stop as well.

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