Top six Trail picks
Blencathra and Sharp Edge
Sharp Edge is one of the most thrilling ridge-walks in the Lake District, but it isn’t the only one you’ll be climbing. The route actually starts with an ascent of Hall’s Fell Ridge, plonking you directly on the summit, before nipping down to Scales Tarn and then ascending again via the slightly more frightening Sharp Edge. A descent of Doddick Fell adds another spur to this thorough exploration of one of the Lakes' most popular hills.
How’s your stamina? You’d better answer “good to excellent” before signing up for this monster. You’ll climb eight Wainwrights over a 20km route, including England’s highest, Scafell Pike. But there are many more highlights than that: some might say the view from mighty Great Gable, others the prospect from miniature Lingmell. Whatever you think, this highlevel exploration of the fells surrounding Seathwaite is bound to be spectacular. Just bring extra jelly babies.
Great Gable at sunset
Mountains at sunset never, ever, ever get less magical. Sunset from a high place never gets old, never looks the same twice; it even makes you and anyone with you look like a glorious, free wildling, all lit up by the golden glow. From the high platform of Great Gable, you’ll see the last rays of the westerning sun on the tops of the Scafell range and scattered over the Buttermere fells.
Helvellyn and Fairfield
Not only do you bag two Lakeland giants on this walk, you also start with one of its most delightful ridges. Starting with a climb up Helvellyn via Striding Edge, you then turn east on a high and rolling skywalk through the Eastern Fells. The views from here are wonderful and the walking is easy. Having climbed again to Fairfield you’ll drop to St Sunday Crag, which might just turn out to be the unexpected highlight.
Scafell Pike from Seathwaite
If you haven’t yet climbed Scafell Pike, there can be few better ways to do it than in the height of summer, with a merry crew of fellow hill-lovers and the buzz of the festival awaiting in the pub when you get down. You’ll take the Corridor Route up, with the option to nip over to Lingmell or Great End too (why not?). England’s highest: done.
Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike
Of all the fells in the Lake District, it was Haystacks on which guidebook Yoda Alfred Wainwright chose to have his ashes scattered. This small hill loses no sense of character for its relatively low stature, its rocky summit sprinkled with tarns. After exploring its high top, you have the option to head over to Fleetwith Pike. This is recommended, for the view down over Buttermere is astounding.
Scuttling over Sharp Edge.