Joining two of our favourite paths this circular route passes through fantastic mountain scenery to summit Scafell Pike and shows you some outstanding long-distance views.
Starting at the National Trust car park at Wasdale, it follows and then crosses Lingmell Gill before branching off to climb through scree and a short gully to the ridge of Mickledore which is situated between the Scafell Pike and Scafell. From here you can see down to the Great Moss in Eskdale and the surrounding fells. A cairned, stony path weaves its way through boulder scree to the busy summit of Scafell Pike. Dropping down to Lingmell Col the route then branches off to follow the Corridor Route with stunning views of Great Gable and Piers Gill and take you down to Sty Head where there is a prominent Mountain Rescue stretcher box. To return to Wasdale the route descends along the side of Great Gable and eventually to the green at Wasdale Head, and a stroll back to the car park.
The summit of Scafell Pike is a giant boulder field of shattered rock of the Borrowdale Volcanics which vary in size from small stones to large boulders scattered over the top and down around the sides. Cairns mark meandering paths searching for the easiest way through the agglomeration and go off in all directions making it a particularly confusing place especially in cloud, darkness, or poor conditions. All of this regularly sees Wasdale MRT having to retrieve lost people who have come off in the wrong direction.
This area is especially popular with many thousands of visitors. So please keep to the paths, avoid the edges of stone pitching as that damages the foundations, and above all please do not shortcut zigzag paths - they are built to reduce unsightly erosion scars. Going off-path is better done elsewhere.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Scafell Pike; and includes 1 Furth, 1 Wainwright, 1 Birkett, 1 Marilyn, 1 Hewitt, 1 Nuttall, 1 HuMP, 1 County Top - Administrative, 1 County Top - Historic, and 1 County Top - Current County and Unitary Authority.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Head up to the notice board at the top corner of the parking area and out on to the road up to Wasdale Head Farm and Brackenclose. Turn left onto the road, cross the cattle grid, and bear left before the bridge to pick up a path to stay on the north side of Lingmell Gill which avoids passing through Brackenclose.
Continue ahead, with Lingmell Gill on your right, through a number of gates. Keep to the right as the path gets squeezed between Lingmell and the Gill, where it becomes rough and intermittently stone pitched.
The path soon crosses Lingmell Gill at a rocky ford, take care here and do not attempt a crossing if the beck is in spate. Follow the pitched path to the fork below Hollow Stones.
At the fork, bear right to take the right hand branch. Stone pitching continues for a while. Passing between large boulders the path becomes rough, and muddy in places where the gradient eases.
Continue largely ahead, aiming for the lowest point on the skyline, a path through scree can be seen zigzagging to it. Keep to the right hand side of the scree for the easiest ascent. The scree takes you to the bottom of a steep gully climbing left to right. Climb through the gully, the steepest section of which has a rocky rib on the left-hand side which may be easier.
Soon you top out on to a short stretch of ridge between Scafell Pike to the left and Scafell itself to the right. This is Mickledore. Ahead the view is down into Eskdale. Turn left and pass the MRT stretcher box. A cairned path appears amongst the jumble of rock. Follow this to join the busy path from Lingmell Col and bear right to the summit of Scafell Pike which is now in full view.
From the summit of Scafell Pike head initially NNW, and then north west to pick up the path down to Lingmell Col. A large cairn stands on the edge of the summit plateau beside the path. Follow this path down through rough scree and rock bands, to approach the col. Here the main path swings left, a large cairn stands to the right of the path. Turn right here through rough ground marked by a line of smaller cairns. Ahead the view is along a rough terrace to Sty Head and in the very far distance you can the southern end of Derwent Water.
Drop down the rocky steps onto a clear path. This is occasionally stone pitched, or marked with cairns. Do not turn off, or descend into any of the gills crossing the line of the terrace. There is no viable escape for walkers from the Corridor Route until reaching the end near Sty Head.
At the end of the Corridor Route, just above Sty Head turn left, cross the boggy bit, to the Stretcher box.
Take the path on the left-hand corner of the stretcher box, this soon gives a superb view down to Wasdale Head and surrounding fields. Follow this path as it descends along the side of Great Gable. Continue across the footbridge over Gable Beck and through to the far end of the field.
Approaching the cottages at Burnthwaite, turn left through the gate into the yard and bear right onto the access track. Follow this through the fields on either side, past St Olaf's church, to the car park on the green. Keep left and walk along the road for approx 100m (110 yards) to the corner where the road goes to the right, bear left, go through the gateway on the right, not the one to its left.
Follow the track along the edge of the field, through a gate and cross the stream at the stepping stones. Continue ahead, crossing Lingmell Beck, and go through the kissing gate into the bottom of the NT campsite. To get back to the car park, keep left along the track to the corner and go through the kissing gate on the left, then bear right back to the cattle grid by the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Scafell Pike via Mickledore||31m (34 yards) away|
|Illgill Head and Whin Rigg||41m (45 yards) away|
|Scafell Pike and Scafell via Foxes Tarn||76m (84 yards) away|
|A Mosedale Horseshoe||89m (98 yards) away|
|Kirk Fell and Great Gable||1.1km (0.7 miles) away|
|Scafell Pike - The Easy Way||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route from Wasdale||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|Great End, Scafell Pike, and Lingmell: a roundabout journey||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|Yewbarrow||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Middle Fell, Seatallan, Buckbarrow - a Greendale round||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011