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image for Walking Route item typeHelvellyn from Thirlmere at Thirlmere

Walking Route

Walkers on Helvellyn

Walkers on Helvellyn


At first glance the western side of the Helvellyn range may seem a little dull. They display slopes of a fairly uniform nature which when compared with the likes of Striding Edge and Swirral Edge on the other, eastern side, certainly lack that immediate, 'in your face' drama. Helvellyn though is a big mountain and the two sides of it are an integral part of why it is such a popular mountain. If you are into a total scrambling experience then there is nothing wrong with doing the edges. If on the other hand you want to savour the fantastic view down on to the edges from the summit, and if you just want to walk to get it rather than scramble then there is no finer way of doing it than approaching up the well-graded paths from the Thirlmere side.

The three highest peaks of the main ridge can quite comfortably be done by climbing the zig-zags of the Helvellyn Gill Path to Helvellyn's summit. Then descending to Grisedale Tarn taking in Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike along the way. The best way back is down by Raise Beck, which is a little confined but soon leads down to Dunmail Raise from where you can make use of the permissive path to get back to the start.

Duration: 5 - 6 hours

Miles: 9

Time/Effort 3 out of 5
Navigation 2 out of 5
Technicality 3 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 819
OS map OS Explorer OL5


Cumbria Tourism


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Map reference: NY 319143  Lat: 54.51938 Long: -3.05353