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How hard is Scafell Pike?

Reaching the highest summit in England is on many a tick-list, a challenging walk that brings amazing views (to Wales, Scotland and Ireland on a clear day!)  But how hard is the climb?  Is it technically difficult, or just a tough walk?

Our favourite way up (and Julia Bradbury’s too – see attached video) is from Seathwaite in Borrowdale.  It is a tough day, so pick a sunny one if you can.  Allow a full day for the return trip – typically 6 to 8 hours for the average walker. 

The total return distance is around 10 miles and the amount of ascent and descent is getting on for 3000 ft (the summit is 3210 ft above sea level).  Trekking poles are great for this kind of day out, as they give you that extra uphill push and help protect your knees on descent.

From July 29th to August 2nd 2024, we will be inlcuding a guided ascent as part of our 5-day Borrowdale & North Lakes walking holiday.  We will have two MLA qualified mountain leaders on hand so that you can decide on the day if you’re feeling good and want to push for the summit or if you would prefer to take things a little easier and walk one of the fantastic routes in the Borrowdale Valley below. 

The walking grade for the Borrowdale week is level 3 (Moderate) but including the Scafell Pike option day would bump this up to a 5 (Challenging).

The route we will take is the same one shown in the Julia Bradbury programme HERE, which demonstrates very clearly the kind of terrain you will cross but also reveals the jaw-dropping views that make it all worthwhile when you get to the top.

We’d be delighted if you can make it!  Please see: Borrowdale and North Lakes Walking Holiday with Scafell Pike Option.


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