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We booked this a while back as we all wanted to tackle Striding Edge again and hopefully get a good view at the top of Helvellyn. It has been over 8 years since I last did Helvellyn, I have done it a couple of times but not had the clear views at the top as yet. It was just the girls this time, as the boys were busy and injuries. The forecast for the day looked positive, so fingers crossed for a clear view at the top this time.
Total Distance: 11 Miles Steps: ~33,000 Steps Highest Point: 3114 Feet Total Realistic Time: ~7 Hours
Helvellyn is a mountain in the English Lake District, the highest point of the Helvellyn range, a north–south line of mountains to the north of Ambleside, between the lakes of Thirlmere and Ullswater.
Helvellyn is the third-highest point both in England and in the Lake District, and access to Helvellyn is easier than the two higher peaks of Scafell Pike and Scafell. The scenery includes three deep glacial coves and two sharp-topped ridges on the eastern side (Striding Edge and Swirral Edge). Helvellyn was one of the earliest fells to prove popular with walkers and explorers; beginning especially in the later 18th century. Among the early visitors to Helvellyn were the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, both of whom lived nearby at one period. Many routes up the mountain are possible so that it may be approached from all directions.
My sister, niece and myself met up at Glenridding car park at 9:30am. There are toilets available, there is a 50p charge at the time. There are also nearby coffee shops. It was already getting busy, it is a spacious car park, luckily there were still a few spaces left for us. Car parking was £8.50 for all day parking at the time, it is near the starting point for Helvellyn.
The forecast was looking dry for most of the morning and early afternoon, some rain was forecast for late afternoon. We set off as soon as possible, hopefully this time we will get a clear view at the top. This was the plan today, to go up to Helvellyn via Striding Edge and then back down the other side on Swirral Edge.
Leaving Glenridding Car Park you head along the stream to The Piggery, there will also be signs for the start of the ascent to Helvellyn.
We got back to the car park and we were all very hungry and wet. We decided to go to the nearest pub called the Travellers Rest, it was pretty busy there at this point, I think everyone had the same idea for some hot food and a drink. They had a big outdoor seating area, we managed to get a spot.
Lovely girls day out, we got very lucky with the weather. As we were approaching Striding Edge we could see dark clouds looming over it, but as we got closer the clouds moved up and over Helvellyn. By the time we got to the top of Helvellyn it was clear with just a bit of wind. Then on the way down Swirral Edge it was clear, only when we got to flatter ground that it started lashing it down. We all got soaked, but it was so worth it. Everyone did well, well done to my niece, so proud of you for keeping going, the first part was a continuous up hill to Striding Edge which was tough. The boys missed out on the views but we do not mind doing it again, maybe next year?! 🙂
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro (for taking photos/videos and mapping using OS Maps)
- Comfy walking shoes (most important)
- Flask with Hot/Cold drink (a good cuppa is always welcome)
- ibuprofen (helping hand if you have any aches and pains)
- Food and snacks (fuel to keep you going)