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hiking | Helvellyn

What and where is Helvellyn?

The third highest point in England, beaten only by Scafell Pike and Sca Fell (also found in the Lake District), Helvellyn is a lot more accessible than the other two mountains (at least by car). Boasting fantastic views over three ancient glacial lakes and with the challenging walks across Striding and Swirril Edge, Helvellyn walkers will need to take care as both have claimed lives. 

However, the Helvellyn walk overall was named as Britain's best walk in January 2018 by Julia Bradbury, so it is well worth a go! 

Our strong advice would be to not attempt this route in winter unless you have crampons, ice axes and are experienced in mountaineering.

Remember The Rules and have fun!

3-4 hours

7 miles

Lake District

Get this route

Download our route and follow this yourself from either OS Maps or ViewRanger. OS Maps requires a subscription, which luckily you can get 10% off with Northern Stroll on any 12 month subscription. Check out our blog post for the code.

ViewRanger is free and much like OS Maps doesn't require any data to work. All you need is a GPS signal, especially if you have downloaded your maps beforehand. It also has OS Maps available as a layer inside the app.

Don't have ViewRanger on your phone yet? See our guide, or download it in your app store.

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Before you go...

The weather can change often in this area and phone batteries can struggle to hold charge in the cold. In addition, a sudden onset of fog can mean you lose your sense of direction. Always carry a paper map (find yours here), make sure you know how to use it and note down the number for mountain rescue. Better safe than sorry.

Route overview

A straight walk out of Glenridding up the edge of the Helvellyn range.


However if you come to look at the Striding Edge route and think it's a bit tough, you can either take the slightly lower track that exists in places alongside Striding Edge or walk up/down Swirral Edge instead. 


Make sure you bring good boots or sturdy shoes and have taken the necessary precautions for walking in mountains. Take a note of the mountain rescue number for the region, and take extra care if it has rained recently.

Just watch your step!

Key things to know:

Time: About 3-5 hours depending on your speed. Take your time.

Distance: 7 miles round trip

Elevation: 2,890 feet

Safety: PLEASE take the time to read this leaflet from Mountain Rescue and also note down the important contact numbers.

How to get here:

Postcode: CA11 0PD

Google Maps link

Parking can be tricky so make sure to find a proper car park in Glenridding if you can. Please use our link to the Visitors Centre.

3-5 hours

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Lake District
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