History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The circular route from Glenridding takes between 5 and 6 hours, so you need to be well supplied with good footwear and adequate supplies of food and water. I can't emphasize strongly enough the need for a good OS map. You'll want the OS Explorer 007 map. I also recommend purchasing one of the specialized route maps covering the climb up Helvellyn. These are available at any tourist information centre in the area, and from most stores in Ullswater and Keswick.
Now some facts and figures: Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in the Lake District National Park, at 3117 feet. A climb up to the summit can easily be combined with a walk along Swirral Edge to Catseye Cam. The eastern arms of Helvellyn curve to form a semi-circle. At the base of the ridge is Red Tarn, a beautiful lake that has been dammed to provide power for mining further down the valley. The outflow from the tarn eventually runs into Glenridding Beck, and then into Ullswater.
Striding Edge provides one of the most chalenging and best known scrambles in the Lake District. It requires a fair bit of fitness to make the traverse, but no special equipment if the weather is fine. Pay attention to that last sentence! If conditions are difficult, particularly in winter, the arete become a dangerous place, and has been the scene of many accidents over the years, some of them sadly fatal. Don't let that put you off; just use common sense! Also note that if you arrive on a sunny summer day you may find yourself waiting in line if people are passing in both directions. One of the most popular routes is to take Striding Edge to the summit, then cross the level plateau of the summit to take the ridge opposite, and take the path back down past Red Tarn to Hole-in-the-Wall and the main path back to Glenridding.
I've talked about the eastern approach; how about the Thirlmere route? The western approach has one advantage over the eastern one - its shorter. However, that shorter route comes at the cost of a steeper slope. So its a trade-off; do you want a steep, shorter route, or a longer, gentler climb?
Address: Patterdale, Cumbria, England
Attraction Type: Countryside - Mountain
Location: Paths leave from Glenridding and Thirlmere. Paid parking at both locations.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Brothers Water - 4.5 miles (Countryside)
Allan Bank - 4.6 miles (Historic Building)
Dove Cottage & Wordsworth Museum - 5 miles (Historic Building)
High Force Waterfall - 5 miles (Countryside)
Aira Force - 5.1 miles (Countryside)
Rydal Mount - 5.3 miles (Historic Building)
Rydal Falls - 5.4 miles (Countryside)
Lodore Falls Waterfall - 5.4 miles (Countryside)
Nearest Accommodation to Helvellyn:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')
Glenridding - Ullswater
Tourist Information Centre
Beckside Car Park
Tel: 017684 82414
Fax: 017684 82414