Helvellyn via Striding Edge walk, Lake District

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Helvellyn is one of the Lakes most popular walks and this is a classic Lake District view over Striding Edge, with Red Tarn to the left and Ullswater Lake just visible in the distance.



Helvellyn via Striding Edge - One of the most popular walking routes in the Lakes


My first ever 'proper' hike in the lakes was to Helvellyn via Striding Edge many years ago, and it had been a few years since my last visit. On my two previous walks along Striding Edge I couldn't actually see much from it due to poor weather. Because my brother and a few mates are just starting to get into walking - I thought I would introduce them to this classic ridge walk. As ever it's difficult finding a free day when everyone can make it - but on this occasion the weather was very kind - infact it was one of the best days I've ever walked in - beaming hot sunshine and no wind - so plenty of water and suncream was needed! 


Helvellyn walk overview:


Distance: 11.1km, 6.9 miles.
Total climb: 2,686.02 ft Time: 4hours 45mins
Difficulty: Moderate - some scrambling involved with hands. Different routes can be taken along Striding Edge depending on challenge wanted. Route is ok for experienced walkers (inc. children). Beware of route in icy/snow conditions - it becomes very difficult requiring crampons/ice-axe.

Map of the walking  route:


Map walking route Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
[Click to enlarge] This particular walking route is one of the most straightforward ways to tackle Helvellyn. It starts from the road at Patterdale Hall - heads up to the 'Hoel-in-the-Wall' then does a basic loop around Red Tarn - taking in Striding Edge - Helvellyn and descending back down via Swirral Edge. It took us around 5 hours with plenty of stops.

Climb elevation height Map walking route Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District


Photos of the walking  route:



Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Most people when tackling Helvellyn park up at Glenridding - which can get rather busy - so I find the best place to head for is Patterdale where if your lucky you can park up for free on the grass verge just near Patterdale Hall.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
From the main road we follow the lane to the Kennels.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
Looking up towards Patterdale Common and the Grisedale Valley with Nethermost Pike in the far distance. 

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
We now begin the long hike up towards the 'Hole in the Wall'

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
Glorious sunshine and views today up the Grisedale Valley

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
It's going to take us about an hour to walk up Patterdale Common towards the 'Hole in the Wall'

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike in the distance.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District
There are many routes up to Helvellyn - and previously I have walked right up through the centre of Grisedale Valley to the dip in the distance (centre left) - and then up to Dollywagon Pike, the Nethermost Pike and then Helvellyn - it's a long walk though! I've also wild camped at Hard Tarn before which is just below Nethermost Pike in roughly just above the centre of this picture. 

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District


Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenriddig, Ullswater, Lake District

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
The 'Hole in the Wall' isn't far off now and we've said we will rest, drink & eat when we get there :-)

It is a bit of a slog up this section of the walk - but for me once this section is done and you get to the 'Hole in the Wall' - the worst of it is over and it's a lot more enjoyable.


Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
The 'Hole in the wall' - it's not a cash machine :-) Quite a few people where taking a rest around here - it;s the perfect place to stop - fuel up and get ready for Striding Edge.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
The first glimpse of Helvellyn - and the beginning of Striding Edge to the left. We will descend Helvellyn via Swirral Edge to the right of Helvellyn in this pic and return to this point via the path to the right. 

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Now we can see Red Tarn - and a few people are swimming in there already.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
It's quite a busy day today with the weather and being a weekend - so you can see people getting ready to tackle Striding Edge to the left - and more of Striding Edge itself in the centre of this picture. You can also see the final scramble that is required after Striding Edge up to the summit of Helvellyn.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Striding Edge in all it's glory. For those who have never walked Striding Edge - there are quite a few routes along - which you can choose from at any point along the way depending on how challenging you want it to be. You can go right over the ridge on the top - or there are easier routes along the side. There are plenty of kids who do it with families - so I'm sure anyone with a little walking experience and a reasonable level of fitness/head for heights can do it - just make sure the weather is good. I've not yet tried Striding Edge in  the ice or snow - it would be a different proposition entirely then!

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Us lot making our way across the top of the Striding Edge ridge line.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Looking back along Striding Edge - you can see the easier and quicker path to the left of the ridge line clearly in this pic.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
I guess the last bit of Striding Edge is the most challenging and you have to use your hands here to climb down - but it's pretty straightforward as long as you take your time. There is always a bit of a queue to get down this bit on a busy weekend as it is quite slow.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
We are nearly at the end of the scramble up to Helvellyn here and I love this classic view of Striding Edge. You can also see the path to the right of the last bit of Striding Edge in case you don't want to climb down the last bit. 

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Red Tarn next to Striding Edge looks quite small here!

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Pose Scott :)

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
We've done the hard part now and it's pretty level up here! This is looking south along the Helvellyn range to Nethermost Pike.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
The view from the Helvellyn summit Cairn and highest point. Ullswater Lake is in full view now and the Pennines are in the far distance - which is where we drove over via the a66 and is actually covered in mist today - but that doesn't matter to us up here :-)

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Looking back to the many visitors up here today. Usually it's quite windy up here - so the walls where some walkers are sat today offers much needed shelter - but today it doesn't matter.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
We been the descent down Swirral Edge. We actually passed a few people coming up Swirral Edge - and some I'm presuming would descend via Striding Edge - but for me - you have got to do Striding Edge first and come down Swirral Edge.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
Looking back at the route we have just taken via Swirral Edge, and then it's back to the Hole in the Wall

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
We are back on familiar territory as we walked up this route earlier - and it's much easier and quicker to get back down :-)

Striding Edge, Helvellyn, walk, hike, route, Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater, Lake District
And there we have it - the walk approaches it's end. We get down into Grisedale Valley near the Kennels - and head back along the lane to Patterdale Hall and a much needed drink :-)

I hope you have enjoyed that little write up - and that it inspires you to want to give Helvellyn and Striding Edge a go your self! Be warned it's not always sunny like this though :-) This was maybe my 6th visit to Helvellyn and I've never had clear weather like it - luck of the draw I guess.  If you have any questions about this route - just post a comment and I'll try and answer. 

Blog Post by Stuart Hodgson, 'The Hiking Photographer'


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