09/02/2022

The 4 best Helvellyn walks, with route maps. From Glenridding via Striding Edge, Patterdale or Thirlmire - a must-do Lake District mountain

 

Helvellyn walk, Striding Edge, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Helvellyn is one of the Lake Districts most popular walks and I've done it plenty of times on various routes. Here's my top 4 routes with maps that you must try.


The 4 best Helvellyn walks that you need to know about


Helvellyn is one of the most popular Laker District mountains to walk and for good reason - on a good day the views are incredible and if you like walking along ridges then Striding Edge is one of the best ridges in the Lake District and Swirral Edge is pretty awesome too! Most people who walk to Helvellyn start from either Glenrididng, Patterdale or the Thirlmire side and below are the top 4 routes that I recommend, with screenshots of the map route and also links to the full interactive OS maps. If you've never done Helvellyn before - I thoroughly recommend going via Striding Edge first - it's one of the best ridges in the UK and pretty safe if you walk with care. But all 4 of the routes are great for various reasons.


To help plan your Helvellyn walks, I really recommend the Phone Map App by Ordnance Survey. You can download route maps to your phone such as those below and the app will show you exactly where you are on the route even when you have no signal - so no more taking a wrong turn :-)





#1. Helvellyn Walk from Patterdale, via Striding Edge, Swirral Edge and Red Tarn

This Helvellyn walk is a simple route to follow from Patterdale (it can be modified to start from Glenridding also). You head up to Helvellyn via Striding edge and return via Swirral Edge and the shores of Red Tarn and then trace your steps back to the start. I'd probably recommend this simpler route for first-timers who want to tackle Striding Edge but have a quicker return route


Helvellyn walk best route map Glenridding Striding edge Lake District
A simple Helvellyn walk route from Patterdale (or Glenriding) via Striding Edge - perfect for first timers

Helvellyn Walk Distance: 7.11miles
Helvellyn Walk time: 3 hours
Helvellyn Walk difficulty: Difficult




#2. Helvellyn Walk from Glenridding, via Striding Edge, Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam

This Helvellyn route is the most exhilarating and perfect for those who love a ridge and a bit of a scramble, where you walk to Helvellyn via Stridng Edge, and return via Swirral Edge & Catstye Cam. This is my favourite route.

Helvellyn walk best route map Glenridding Striding edge Lake District
A Helvellyn walk - perfect for adventure seekers 

Helvellyn Walk Distance: 7.78miles
Helvellyn Walk time: 4 hours
Helvellyn Walk difficulty: Difficult




#3. Helvellyn Walk from Thirlmire

This Helvellyn walk from Thirlmire is a good one to try if you want something a little bit different from the more popular striding edge route, or want to avoid the ridges! It's the quickest and shortest walk to Helvellyn - albeit quite steep! 

Helvellyn walk best route map Glenridding Striding edge Lake District
A quick Helvellyn walk route that avoids the ridges


Helvellyn Walk Distance: 5.80miles
Helvellyn Walk time: 3 hours
Helvellyn Walk difficulty: Moderate (but steep!)





#4. Helvellyn Walk, long route from via Grisedale, Dollywagon Pike and Nethermost Pike


If you want to increase the mileage or avoid the ridges then this Helvellyn walk (which can be done from Glenridding or Patterdale) is a good day out.

Helvellyn walk best route map Glenridding Striding edge Lake District
A Helvellyn walk that's perfect if you want to increase the distance for a grand day out!

Helvellyn Walk Distance: 11.52miles
Helvellyn Walk time: 5-6 hours
Helvellyn Walk difficulty: Moderate (but long!)




As mentioned, if you don't have a Phone Map App - I really recommend the one by Ordnance Survey to download the routes above to your phone to keep you on track every step of the way even when you have no phone signal.




Happy Hiking to Helvellyn!



Post by Stuart Hodgson 
'The Hiking Photographer'


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