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Helvellyn from Glenridding via Swirral Edge & Striding Edge - Route.

Distance: 10 miles / 16 kilometers

Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Grade: Difficult/Strenuous

Map: OS Explorer OL5 - The English Lakes, North Eastern Area

Start Point: Glenridding visitors centre near the Fairlight Guest House and Fellbites Cafe.

Grid Reference: NY 386 169

Nearest Post Code: CA11 0PD

Serial Distance Grid Reference Description
01 0.00 miles NY 386 169 Starting at the pay and display car park at the Glenridding visitors centre (near the Fairlight Guest House and Fellbites Cafe) on the A592, opposite the Fairlight Bed and Breakfast/Fell-bites Cafe, keeping them on the left, turn left heading up Greenside Road heading west.
02 0.25 miles NY 381 171 After about 0.25 of a mile continue passed the Travellers Rest Inn, shortly after the Inn the road bends sharp right. Turn left at the junction and head up the track passing Gillside Farm camp site on your left.
03 0.5 miles NY 376 167 Cross the bridge over the Glenridding Beck, after about 200m turn right on the track that follows the dry stone wall.

Keep on this well defined path as it follows the stone wall for about 1 mile. Continue along the path passing Blea Cove Beck (NY 369 171) to the weir. There are good views of the disused mine on Swart Beck.

04 1.5 miles NY 363 163 After passing the weir, turn right at the track junction and continue along the path keeping Glenridding Beck to the right.
05 1.75 miles NY 357 168 The track bears left leaving Glenridding Beck, continue along the track keeping Red Tarn Beck on the left. After passing over a foot bridge (slippery when wet), the climb is steady and steep, climbing about 1030 feet/310 meters over 1.25 miles.
06 3.75 miles NY 350 154 At Red Tarn Beck an ideal place for a picnic and a well earned rest. The tarn is very picturesque, dominated by the back drop of the crags of Helvellyn sitting between Swirral Edge (on the right) and Striding Edge (on the left). From here there are a couple of route options.

Route option i. Scrambling up and along Swirral Edge over Helvellyn (3080 feet/940m above sea level), then after taking in the views, another exposed scramble down and along Striding Ede - this route is not recommended in high winds or without crampons when icy - as the path is very exposed. Then follow the path to the style at the Hole in the Wall.

Note - this route can be busy as the path is narrow, care is needed, especially when giving way to other walkers, their dogs and children, but there is plenty of passing room. This part of the route is about 2 miles long and can take about 1-2 hours depending on how busy the route is and time sight-seeing the views, an excellent place for a picnic. This route can be a little nerve testing if you are not keen on heights and a bit of care when scrambling the rocks. The spectacular views make it worthwhile.

Route option ii. or to avoid the scramble over Helvellyn, follow the obvious path that branches left, down to the style at the Hole in the Wall.

07 7 miles NY 359 155 At the bottom of Striding Edge follow the well defined path to the Hole in the Wall.
08 7.75 miles NY 365 163 Continue along the path as it gently rises to the cairn on Birkhouse Moor.
09 8 miles NY 371 161 The path descends Little Cove following Mires Beck down a clearly defined and well laid path, with very pleasant views of Ullswater.
10 9 miles NY 376 167 The path rejoins the route at serial 3 above. Cross back over the bridge at Glenridding Beck, then back down Greenside Road to the car park and start point.