Scafell Pike : The Lake District

by | Feb 2, 2020 | Go Outside, The Lake District, Walking

Route Information

An out-and-return circular walk Via The Corridor Route

Route Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 13.64 km (8.5miles)

Route Elevation: 977 m

Route Ascent: 942 m

Route Time: 4-7 hrs

Start and Finish: Seathwaite Farm, Seathwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5XJ

Depending on the featured walk and especially in mountainous areas, you may need to Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in to your own pace.

Facilities

There are toilets and a phone box just to the left of Seathwaite Farm.

There are pubs and cafe’s in Keswick but if you can’t wait that long, there is a bar that does food on the left hand side of Scafell Hotel called the Riverside Bar. There is also a cafe next door serving tea and scones etc.

Hazards

As with any walk in the mountain there will always be hazards. The main ones are on the Boulder Fields and near Piers Gill.

The Urban Ranger Website cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent, and to be able to read a map and use a compass. Plan your route properly with the latest advice from the AdventureSmart website

Public Transport

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast

MWIS Lake District Mountain Weather

 

England’s highest mountain, coming back via the Corridor Route and through the very scenic Seathwaite Valley.

Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain and is often climbed by the hoards from Wasdale Head. If you like your walks a little less congested, then there is no better route to the summit, than through the very scenic Seathwaite Valley. The route is longer and brings you back down the Corridor Route which is famed for its impressive views whilst carrying an element of confusion and danger.

Many people have been lost around the Peers Gill area just before the Corridor Rout starts and sadly people have died. This only seems to happen in poor visibility or at night time, so please do not be off put this very rewarding route.

Starting off from Seathwaite Farm where the lanes are free to park on (you can park on the farmland for a donation of £5.00 during busy periods) head through the farm and through the gate which leads you into Seathwaite Valley.

Sandwiched below Glaramara and Seathwaite Fell the well-marked path leads you to Stockley Bridge with its pretty waters flowing through the carved rock. Pass over the bridge and through the gate where you will then head left. You will now make a steady climb up towards the foot of Great End. This should take you around one hour and its steady but demanding at the same time.

The last final push will get you through Ruddy Gill with Sprinkling Tarn to your left just out of view. Once at the top it levels out for a few hundred yards as you head left and down across the stepping stones of the ford. Once across the stepping stones the path starts to ascend again taking you around Great End before joining the main path near Esk Hause.

One on the main path which is well marked with cairns, Great End will be on your right as you head up towards Calf Cove. The path here can be confusing so keep your eyes on the lookout for the cairns which are small but noticeable. From hear the path levels for a while before hitting the tricky boulder field as you make your way to Broad Crag.

You will go down a saddle before reaching Broad Crag and once again you will head through a tricky boulder field. There are cairns marking the way often sat on top of boulders so keep your eyes peeled for them. On at Broad Crag you should be able to see the summit of Scafell Pike in front of you which can be very deceiving. There is one more surprise, which is a steep descent from Broad Crag to another saddle before making your way up to the summit of Scafell Pike. The climb is quiet demanding and especially in winter conditions with snow and ice.

I always take the left-hand side before crossing over half way up before it gets less demanding as you reach the summit from the South East. If you are lucky like I have been on many occasions the views across Lakeland are rather impressive.

From the summit you will head just slightly North of North West and join the main path that comes up from Wasdale. This is where you will start to see the heavy traffic of walkers trudging the loose stones and scree which makes the path difficult heading either way. Follow the path downwards until you reach the T-Junction above Lingmell Col, from here head right and away from the main path. There is a cairn marking the way so you will know when you have reached it.

Follow the path as it descends towards Piers Gill. Some people take a detour and take in Lingmell with its impressive views across Wast Water. Once at Piers Gill do not follow the path to the left, head straight on between Criscliffe Knotts and Round How. You will pass another impressive feat of nature on your left with a rather impressive Gill.

The views across to Great Gable always get me and I stand and admire the view of its impressive western slope. You will now have one trickier place to navigate as the path dissipates with only rock to your right. If you look closely there is a cairn on top of the rocks leading you up a short few metres scramble. For those with a sharp eye there is actually an arrow etched into the rock pointing upwards.

Once past the scramble you will continue your descent past Spout Head and down towards Sty Head. Towards the bottom it can get a little boggy so stay to the path until you reach the T-Junction before heading left to Sty Head. I always stop at Sty Head and have a nibble and a drink wherever I am heading, its part of my mountain experience now.

Leaving Sty Head, you will take the path North East down towards Styhead Tarn. In summer it’s a great chillin place to absorb nature and get those worn feet in the tarn, in winter it’s a case of keep moving. Eventually you will come to a footbridge which you will head right across and then follow just to the right of styhead Gill. The path does not exist here so you will have to navigate your way across the boulders and in heavy rain, it’s a stream. You will eventually see small cairns to your right and once again the path becomes visible.

You will eventually come to Taylor Gill Force Waterfall on your left before heading down past Greenhow Knotts. The path can be tricky here given the stones are not very friendly in my opinion and I have slipped a few times with tired feet so be careful. Finally, you will head through the gate and across the bridge which you first saw on the start of your walk. Once across the bridge turn left and follow the path back to Seathwaite Farm.

I have done this walk many times now and, in all weathers, including 70mph winds. On a good weather day, it’s a great walk. In poor weather it brings is challenges which can be equally enjoyable if not the views.  

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