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Stretched Panorama showing Striding Edge Helvellyn and Catstycam

View Helvellyn in a larger map

Walks Index  |  Helvellyn Walk  |  Angle Tarn Walk  |  Place Fell walk  |  Pipe Track Walk  |  Stepping Stones Walk  |  Silver Point Walk  |  Patterdale Boundary Walk

Helvellyn Walk from the How Cottage in Patterdale

Helvellyn Walk Highlights

Route: Patterdale - Grisedale Valley - Hole in the Wall - Striding Edge - Helvellyn - Swirral Edge - Red Tarn - Glenridding

Distance: Approx 7.5 - 9 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

OS Map: OL5

Helvellyn Walk Details


The classic walk for the Dale. Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in England behind Scafell and Scafell Pike and this route includes the magnificent Striding Edge.


From the cottage turn left and follow the road to just oppopsite the White Lion pub. Here you can either go cross country following the Stepping Stones route or continue on past St Patrick’s church and then take the next left, conveniently signposted Helvellyn and Grisedale Tarn. Follow the road up the hill and at the top turn right (signposted Helvellyn). Cross the bridge over Grisedale Beck and head through the gate.

You’ll see the path stretching up towards Hole in the wall away to your right and on a clear day will have a view towards Striding Edge and up the Grisedale Valley. Continue up through the field and then once through the gate take the higher path to the left.

Follow this all the way up the side of the Grisedale Valley until you get to Hole in the Wall. At this point you can either go over the Hole in The Wall ladder towards Red Tarn, or take the style to the left to go over Striding Edge.

On Striding Edge remember that there is a path on the north side, which switches to the south side just before the chimney. If you are going to walk the edge itself please be very careful, especially in wet or windy conditions.

There is then a scramble up to the summit itself with various paths to follow. Once on the summit you’ll see the cross shelter and also the summit marker itself further along the ridge. On a clear day the views west and east are truly stunning. On a cloudy day they’re not!

Head off the summit from the north down Swirral Edge towards Red Tarn, and from there take the winding path back down via Greenside mine and into Glenridding. From there you can either walk walk back along the road or if you still have the energy go over the top past Gillside Farm via Lanty’s Tarn back into the Grisedale Valley and back to The How.


Alternate Routes

Many and varied. You can of course reverse the route and start from Glenridding. An easier (but longer) ascent and descent than Striding Edge or Swirral Edge can be made via Whiteside and Helvellyn Lower Man.

Other Useful Info

Always check the weather before you set off and make sure you’re properly equipped for the walk. A good rule of thumb unless you’re experienced is to see if you can see the summit when you get to Hole in the Wall or Red Tarn. If you can’t then it might be worth not trying the ascent.

Click the link for more information on Helvellyn including a weather forecast and more routes and photos. Also don’t forget to check out the Patterdale Weather Forecast.

Morgan on the summit of Helvellyn

Walks Index  |  Helvellyn Walk  |  Angle Tarn Walk  |  Place Fell walk  |  Pipe Track Walk  |  Stepping Stones Walk  |  Silver Point Walk  |  Patterdale Boundary Walk

Helvellyn in the Lake District. Photo ©  Rob Shephard