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Helvellyn. The Lake District

Helvellyn is the 3rd highest point in England and has amazing views at the top. On a clear day you can see across to Yorkshire, the Solway Firth, Blackpool and North Wales. It’s a fairly difficult climb whichever route you take up. The most dangerous and famous route is via Striding Edge and Swirrel Edge. The jagged ridge climbs up alongside Red Tarn up to the peak. This route is only for more confident walkers as there are fatalities there most years.

A more gentle route up is from Thirlmere, there are a few places to start the walk e.g Wythburn or Swirls which zig-zag up the West Side of Helvellyn. Climbing from this side avoids climbing the edges. Whilst this route is safer, it is still icy in winter conditions.


Depends on what route you take, both sides deserve your respect, conditions change quickly and there are some big drops;
Difficult – Avoid the ridges and walk up from the Thirlmere side
Challenging – Climb up the Striding Edge or Swirrel Edge

OS Map

North East
OS Grid Ref: NY 34245 15110
Latitude: 54° 31′ 37″ N
Longitude: 3° 1′ 3″ W


From the top you get great views down onto Red Tarn which is surrounded by the famous ridges. In the distance behind Red Tarn you will be able to see Ullswater then to the left you see Blencathra and Skiddaw. At the top is a cairn and a shelter which is shaped like a cross to provide cover whatever direction the wind is going in.

If you look at the shelter from the cairn side, off in the distance you may be able to see Ingleborough in Yorkshire and to the right you may see the bay with all the wind turbines in the sea.

Places close by

Places close by: Lower Man, Nethermost Pike, Catstye Cam, Red Tarn, Swirrel Edge, Striding Edge

Nearest town/village: GlenriddingPatterdaleWythburn

Have you been here? Comment below with your experiences

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