Starting in the village of Glenridding, the 14.1 km ascent of Helvellyn begins, at a modest 950m above sea level. Helvellyn is probably one of the most popular ridge walks in Britain and is also the 3rd highest.
Striding Edge and Swirral Edge make up the mountain, with Striding edge considered the most spectacular. However, it does have a reputation of being both scary and difficult. More scrambling is required up the Swirral side, and is considered more difficult, particularly on the way down. The terrain is very steep and exposed. Make sure you catch the mountain on a clear, dry day to make the most of the views and to avoid tricky terrain in wet and windy weather. Unfortunately, it might be potentially too dangerous for your four-legged friends.
Near the start of Striding Edge is the Dixon Memorial, which reads “in memory of Robert Dixon of Rooking, Patterdale who was killed in this spot on the 27th day of November in 1858 following the Patterdale Foxhounds”. At the far end of the ridge is another memorial stone to painter Charles Gough.
Red Tarm sits between both edges and is home to a small population of the 'Schelly', which is a rare freshwater white fish. They are only found in a few tarns in the Lake District and the Arctic!
Helvellyn and it's surroundings makes up 1 Furth, 3 Wainwrights, 4 Nuttalls, 3 Birketts, 1 Marilyn, 2 Hewitts, 1 HuMP and 1 County Top - Historic.
Route from Thirlmere (via www.golakes.co.uk)
1. Cross the footbridge over Helvellyn Gill at the back of the car park then follow the path South East alongside the gill to another footbridge. Cross the footbridge, then climb the steep zig-zags to a wall. Through the gate continue climbing to the remains of another wall. From here the path ascends the steep scree-covered shoulder South East directly to Helvellyn's summit.
2. From the summit of Helvellyn follow the main ridge path South until it forks at Swallow Scarth, take the left branch and follow it South to Dollywaggon Pike. From Dollywaggon Pike the path turns South East. Continue along it and descend the steep zig-zags to Grisedale Tarn.
3. At the tarn turn West and follow the path across the low col to the head of Raise Beck. Join the path on the South side of Raise Beck and follow it down towards Dunmail Raise.
4. Just before the road turn right and follow the Permissive Path North to the footbridge over Birkside Beck. Cross the bridge and continue North along the path as it traverses the mountainside into the forestry plantations. The path is followed North for just over 4km back to the car park
Route from Glenridding (via www.trekkingbritain.com)
There is a large Lake District National Park pay & display car park.