Walking Guide and Walks
Helvellyn is the third highest peak in the Lake District rising to 950 metres above sea level. One of the most popular summits in England and Wales, the summit sees a steady stream of walkers throughout the year. The reason for its popularity is Striding Edge - a narrow ar&ecic;te that offers some scrambling for walkers heading for the summit. However, for some this is a challenge too far.
Most walkers approach from the east with the usual approach from Glenridding on the shores of Ullswater where the route takes you over Birkhouse Moor and on via Striding Edge to the summit. To complete the horseshoe the return is via the less challenging Swirral Edge with an optional ascent of Catstye Cam before descending back via Red Tarn to the start.
From the west paths from Wythburn and Swirls offer an alternative approach over less interesting terrain. These paths can be combined in a circular walk and for much of the route avoids the 'crowds' that can be encountered on the Striding Edge route.
A few words of warning. Under ice and snow Striding Edge needs to be treated with respect and appropriate equipment used. In addition, the east facing crags on Helvellyn suffer from cornices in snow so don't go too near the edge!
List of walks
★ GPS file available ☩ Route profile
|Red Tarn & Birkhouse Moor from Glenridding
|Red Tarn & Grisedale
|Helvellyn & Raise from Swirls
|Catstye Cam from Glenridding
|Helvellyn & Dollywaggon Pike from Wythburn
|Helvellyn & Wythburn from Swirls
|Helvellyn via Striding Edge
|Glenridding, St. Sunday Crag & Helvellyn
|Helvellyn & Fairfield Horseshoe from Patterdale
Table of summits in the Helvellyn Group
|950 / 3117
|890 / 2920
|858 / 2815
|736 / 2415
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