Walks in the Lake District – Scafell Pike

Seathwaite from Sty Head

Looking back to Seathwaite and Borrowdale from the Sty Head path

This track leads steeply up to pass a copse of trees. It was a warm day when I did this walk and it made for hard work in the sheltered confines of the valley but the view back down to Borrowdale made the effort worthwhile.

Sty Head Tarn

Great End seen from Sty Head Tarn

After the steep section, an easier high grassy valley is reached. The path follows this along to Styhead Tarn – a particularly pleasant place to stop. The picture shows Great End (910m/2985ft) with Styhead Pass the low saddle to the right. The route lies up to the pass just a little way above the tarn then left for a short distance before following the path branching right and downhill at first. This is the Corridor Route and it goes to the right of Great End as seen in the picture. Scafell Pike by the way is the far off peak on the right.

Corridor Route

Looking back from the Corridor Route to Great Gable

The path heads down to cross the stony bed of Skew Gill – don’t go up the ravine it’s not nice – and steeply up the far side to become an interesting traverse of the inhospitable looking slopes that fall to the Wasdale side. There are a few rough sections but nothing difficult. The picture is looking back to Great Gable the way we have come from mid way along the Corridor.

Great Gable seen from a tarn just below the Corridor Route

After passing the  forbidding ravine of Piers Gill – definitely don’t go down there – a pleasant shelf is reached where there is a small tarn which is another good place to rest. This picture was taken on another day but it’s a nice view so I’ve included it here.


Scafell Crag from just beyond lingmell Col

The main summit path soon branches off to the left and yes that is the quickest way to Scafell Pike but following the line of the wall and the other path to Lingmell Col gives a view of the 200 metre high ramparts of Scafell Crag and the wild beauty of Hollowstones – worth a diversion? I think so. The main path can be picked up again at Lingmell Col. Scafell is the second highest peak in England.

Scafell Pike summit view

Summit view from Scafell Pike looking towards Pillar

There is little good to say about the steep rough and often busy path to the summit whichever way you go but if you want to climb Scafell Pike then it is there to be done. At least the views from the top is one of the best in Lakeland.

Skiddaw from Scafell Pike

The view north from the summit

Looking northwards to Skiddaw and Derwentwater with Styhead Tarn seen below. The summit is left by the path leading down to the northeast.

Langdale Pikes

The Langdale Pikes from above Esk Hause

You will be thoroughly fed up of stones by now. The track from Scafell Pike traverses one of the roughest areas in the district before relatively smooth slopes with grass are reached. The view shows the Langdale Pikes on the left of the picture. When the col of Esk Hause is reached take the main (north easterly) path down a gentle slope to the stone shelter and turn left again once there (direction northwest). Alternatively one can take the short cut missing out the shelter altogether.

Less than a kilometre from the shelter a track branches right to follow Grains Gill back down to Stockley Bridge. If you miss this then you’ll end up at Sty Head where you can follow the ascent route back down past the tarn. Either is okay but Grains Gill offers some variation and is a little shorter.

In total this walk is about 13.5 km or 8.5 miles in length with a highpoint of 978m or 3210 feet at the summit of Scafell Pike. Please see my other blog for more Lake District walks and here’s an account of this route from Wasdale

About Pete Buckley

Hi I'm Pete and I'm a UK based outdoor enthusiast, part time writer and photographer. My work includes action adventure novel The Colonel of Krasnoyarsk as well as a couple of travel stories recounting firstly a campervan adventure around New Zealand and then a week on foot in the Swiss Alps, hiking from the Eiger to the Matterhorn. The subject of these pages is predominantly hiking in the English Lake District (which is near where I live), North Wales and the Scottish Highlands as well as cycling; from rides with the kids to trail riding in the Highlands of Scotland and other wonderful places... Thanks for visiting.
This entry was posted in Hiking, Lake District, outdoors, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s