hiking | Scafell Pike
What and where is Scafell Pike?
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, at an elevation of 978 metres (3,209 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Lake District National Park, in Cumbria.
Scafell Pike is a popular destination for walkers. There is open access to Scafell and the surrounding fells, with many walking and rock climbing routes. The shortest route is from Wasdale Head, about 80 metres above sea level, which is where we start ours too. Over 100,000 people climb Scafell every year, many as part of the National 3 Peaks Challenge.
Remember The Rules and have fun!
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.
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.
Starting at the National Trust Wasdale Head car park is the best way to begin this walk. Leaving the car park and slowly ascending up the track from the top of the car park, cross the small bridge and keep the river on your right. Pretty soon it's fairly obvious there is only one way up, and there is normally a good caravan of people making their way up and down. However, make sure you are prepared! Scafell is a relentless climb so bring your best legs, and strongest boots. The ground can get quite uneven in places, especially at the top.
If you are lucky and the peak isn't covered in mist you will be treated to views across the entire Lake District, even being able to take in Lake Windermere and others from the summit. And once you're done, turn around and head back down the same way. Stick to the path, you can't go wrong.
Key things to know:
Time: About 3-5 hours depending on your speed. Take your time.
Distance: 5 miles there and back. (Only the ascent is on the right).
Elevation: 2,929 feet
Calorie burning opportunity: Ridiculous.
Photo opportunities rating: 9/10 if the weather is right
Nearby pubs: None sadly, expect a short drive to Wasdale Head village afterwards
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: CA20 1EX
Parking at Wasdale car park does cost for the time out but take plenty of change and you will be fine. Use the National Trust link here or just search for it in your favourite search engine.