Walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head – Virtually

Walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head – Virtually

By Dave Roberts   

on February 23, 2023   No ratings yet.

Walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head – Virtually

Further Details

Route Summary:

A slight variation to the most straightforward route up England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, from Wasdale.

Start and Finish: Wasdale Head

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 900m

Time: 4 hours or so

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.


There’s a campsite and toilets at  with seasonal catering van at Wastwater. There’s also the Wasdale Head Inn at the start of the walk, or rather at the end of the walk.


Despite being the most straightforward approach, some of the sections can be tricky to navigate. Especially as there ae numerous routes from the summit and ending up in the wrong valley will leave you stranded.

Public Transport:

None to the start of the walk.

Traveline for UK Public Transport


FREE parking available at start of the walk at Wasdale Village Green.

Post Code for Sat Nav: Wasdale Head, CA20 1EX

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Lake Distrct Mountain Weather

Recommended Guidebooks:

Recommended Maps:   

Walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head – Virtually Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head – Virtually

At 978m, Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain and is most often ascended via the Wasdale Path. This virtual walk takes a slightly different approach to the more direct walk from Wastwater. Scafell Pike can be exceptionally busy in season, especially as it forms part of the National 3 Peaks Challenge.

There are also a number of alternative routes to the top of England’s highest mountain, with the Corridor Route from Seathwaite being one of the best. Other routes include a lengthy approach from Langdale, which has the advantage of starting off nearer to the Lake’s hubs than Wasdale. Those looking for a quieter walk in can set off from Eskdale, which has a number of varying routes that are rarely trod.  The approach from Scafell is a tricky one, with the direct route including the rock climb over Broad Stand, while the walker will need to descend to Foxes Tarn and approach Scafell Pike via the Mickledore path.

1 Wasdale Head Inn

The walk starts from the Wasdale Head Inn, a pub that’s legendary with hill walkers. There’s no doubt that the views in all directions bar the one you need to head in, look amazing. With the Mosedale Horseshoe and Great Gable dominating the views, you’ll wonder why you’re walking up Scafell Pike at all!

2 Head off the road

The track heads off to cross Wasdale towards the path up the flanks of Lingmell. England’s highest mountain is there somewhere, just not yet.

3 Starting to Head Uphill

The path crosses Lingmell Beck and heads uphill along the flanks of Lingmell. Scafell Pike still isn’t in view, but the views across Wastwater make up for it.

4 Mind the Cow and spot Scafell Pike

The path gradually eases uphill and the views begin to open up, with Scafell’s crag the first to come into view. You’ll need to mind those cows, statistically one of the most dangerous animals in the UK, before the path contours around towards Lingmell Gill and your first views towards Scafell Pike (just about visible if you zoom in on this view).

5 Waterfall and an impending climb up Brown Tongue

At this point, all the first timers realise that those cheap boots were a false economy as they have to cross Lingmell Gill. Not too bad when the stream is like this, but it would be more usual for the water to be racing over the path at this point. To add insult to injury, the path heads up on one of it’s steepest sections up Brown Tongue.

6 Hollow Stones

The walk levels out as soon as you reach the area known as Hollow Stones. Makes a perfect spot to take a breather and enjoy the view back over Wastwater and ahead to the imposing crags of the Scafells combined.

7 Keep on Climbing!

As expected, the path keeps on climbing upwards, something it continues to do so until you reach the summit. The climb to Lingmell Col is steady and on a good path. The deaded scree is yet to come.

8 Corridor Route

The Wasdale Path and the Corridor Route join forces at this point. You can see how much more popular the Wasdale path is in comparison as you may struggle to spot the joining path on the view below. The Corridor Route is usually started from Seathwaite, but can also be ascended from Wasdale, and is one of the best routes up Scafell Pike.

9 Scree

There’s nothing pleasant about the final section to the summit. Horrible scree all the way. The only good news is that you’re not really there and that the section is comparatively short. Once you reach that huge cairn on the skyline (nope, not the summit!) the summit of Scafell Pike comes into view and the going levels off somewhat.

10 Finally – Scafell Pike’s summit

Yes, it will probably be this busy. It will probably be busier, especially on a weekend and more so if it’s in season.


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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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