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Helvellyn is the third highest peak in the Lake District at 950 metres and 318 feet in height. Its mighty peak forms a natural barrier between the troughs of the Thirlmere and Ullswater Valleys. The most famous route up is along Striding Edge, and one of the classic walking routes in the United Kingdom.


Helvellyn is also known for its contrasting gentle slopes on the western side and the rugged crags on the eastern slope.  

Starting from Patterdale the Striding Edge route begins through Birkhouse Moor and the area known locally as “the hole in the wall” which leads to the start of the ridge. Walkers can choose the tougher scramble along the Striding Edge ridge or the easier path just below it. At the far end of Striding Edge there is some scrambling, particularly around a rock gulley and then a steep scrambling ascent to the shelter at the summit of Helvellyn. The views from the summit are awe inspiring and a just reward for having completed a challenging walk.  

Just below Striding Edge Red Tarn has another route up Helvellyn, this time from Swirrel Edge which is another less challenging ridge and usually approached from Patterdale or Glenridding. Another approach from the south is via Grasmere which takes walkers up Grisdale Tarn before approaching the Helvellyn Plateau.

Alternatively walkers can take a short detour via Dollywagon Pike and Nethermost Pike before reaching the summit of Helvellyn. Most of the walks in the Lake District are captured in Wainwright’s Walking Guides which have exquisite sketches of the routes and mountain peaks and provide excellent references to this stunningly beautiful and unspoilt area of Britain.  


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