The highest point in England is the summit of Scafell Pike.
Learn more about the mountain, and discover the best walking routes to the top below.
Which Route to Choose?
There are several routes up to the summit of England’s highest peak Scafell Pike.
Which one you choose can depend on where you would like to start, and how interesting you want to make it. The image below shows the different areas around Scafell Pike.
Approaching from Seathwaite
This is probably best start for anyone staying in the Northern or Eastern Lakes, around Glen Ridding, Ambleside, Windemere, etc. Offers a shorter drive for the 3 peaks challengers.
Route = Corridor Route
Approaching from Wasdale
The shortest and most direct route up Scafell Pike. Best if staying in the South or South-Western Lakes, approaching via Wast Water. Offers a shorter walk for the 3 peaks challengers.
Route = Wasdale Walk
Approaching from Eskdale
This approach is much longer in duration, however can prove enjoyable. Going from the Eskdale valley up Cockley Pike Ridge then onto Scafell Pike is a very enjoyable scrambling day out.
Facts About Scafell Pike
- Height above sea level: 978m / 3,209ft
- Location: Lake District National Park
- Weather: Met Office Website
- Nearby peaks: Great End, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Scafell
- Adjacent Valleys: Wasdale, Borrowdale, Eskdale
- Size: The largest mountain in England, but the smallest of the top 3 in the United Kingdom that make up the 3 Peaks Challenge (Snowdon, Ben Nevis being the other 2)
- Best Map: Ordnance Survey Map OL6 (Amazon)
Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route
This route describes the most popular route up to the summit, starting at Seathwaite in the Borrowdale valley.
The route difficulty is fairly easy, probably touching a grade 1 but more on the side of a rocky walk.
Parking: Any space on the road up to the farm at Seathwaite (Google Maps).
Note, please don’t park on both sides of the road, but equally park at an angle so that more cars can fit in (some people park straight against the wall which limits the total car spaces unnecessarily).
The route moves up the path from the farm at Seathwaite, then right and up the steep bank towards Styhead Tarn. From here you gain the corridor route all the way to the summit of Scafell Pike. The decent can be using the same route, or alternatively crossing the summit boulder fields and descending past Great End and down Ruddy Gill back to Seathwaite.
After parking near to the Seathwaite farm on the side of the road, make your way along the road, through the centre of the farmyard, and out the other side.
Continue along the path beside the River Derwent until you reach a bridge (Stockley Bridge) where the path leads straight up the steep hillside (an alternative approach can be had by continuing down the valley up to Great End).
The route continues to Styhead Tarn. From here you need to follow the Corridor Route, which winds its way up the hillside towards the noticeable crack in the mountain side that is Piers Gill (see photo below).
The Corridor Route Scramble
While it isn’t the most difficult scramble (barely making a grade 1 in my opinion), it offers great views throughout, with one large step to down climb making the crux of the route.
It follows a winding route upwards, before turning left to make a final steep ascent onto the Scafell Pike summit.
Descent can be made via the same route, or alternatively you can brave the boulder fields that link Scafell Pike, Broad Crag and Great End (not very enjoyable) and descend the path next to Ruddy Gill.
Recommended Guidebook & Map
There is a great little guidebook by Cicerone for walking up Scafell Pike, which you can buy on Amazon here.
The best map for this route is the Ordnance Survey OL6, The English Lakes, South-Western Area, available on Amazon here.
(note the map doesn’t cover the short distance between Seathwaite farm and Stockley Bridge).
Recommended Scrambling Guide: (coming soon)
Recommended Accommodation: Seathwaite Farm Camping
You can camp directly at the start of the route at the Seathwaite Farm Campsite. This is perfectly situated for an early start up Scafell Pike.
They also have a camping barn with cooking equipment and a fridge.
See their Facebook page for more information.
Wasdale Route onto Scafell Pike
A short but steep approach to reach the highest peak in England.
Park at the National Trust Campsite Car Park at Wasdale (Google maps link).
The route follows Lingmell Gill from Wast Water, meeting the corridor route path and turning right up towards the summit of Scafell Pike.
|Duration||5 / 6 hours|
|Transport||Car - National Trust Campsite Wasdale|
Route Contributed by: Matt Jackson
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