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At 978 metres above sea level, Scafell Pike is the highest peak in England, and part of the famous Three Peaks Challenge. Located in the Lake District National Park and part of the Southern Fells, the summit cairn is also England’s highest war memorial. It was donated to the National Trust after World War I, in memory of the locals who died for their country.
There are several routes to the summit – while some are easier, they are all a real challenge, with some steep ascents, scrambling and tough terrain. If you’re looking for the easiest, and most direct route to the summit, then you’ll want to take the Brown Tongue route up from Wasdale. This will take you just over three and a half hours to make the assent up Scaffel Pike.
The alternative, if you’re looking for more of a challenge, is to take the Corridor Route instead. You’ll pass by imposing crags and tackle tricker rock climbs along the 7.6 miles you’ll hike – all in all, taking you about an hour longer than the Brown Tongue path. Parts of this route can be quite treacherous though be sure to stick to the marked paths – they’re there for a reason!
If you’re not confident enough in your hiking abilities, we recommend tackling some of the smaller peaks in the area or enjoying a relaxed walk instead. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so make sure you check the forecast before attempting the climb and ask the locals if you’re unsure whether it’s safe – they’ll know best.
Some of you will be travelling with your dog, and you may want to take him on the hike with you. If it’s well behaved, and most importantly used to long hikes, it is welcome to accompany you, but make sure to keep it on a leash when near livestock.
If you have some extra time, make sure you explore the rest of the Lake District, which is full of stunning walks, with hidden jewels around every bend. The villages around Scafell Pike are also worth a visit, especially Windemere and Grasmere. You can try out some fun water sports on Lake Windemere, try some local food in one of the many pubs, or simply enjoy the sunset over the lake with a glass of wine or an ice-cold pint.
By Catherine Mertens