Scafell Pike and your need to know guide on the Wainwright


Wainwright Number:

Southern Lakes

OS Map:
Explorer map OL6

Scafell Pike is 9783m high or 3209ft tall. 

This Wainwright is located in the southern Fells of the Lake District.

You can head up to Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head. This is the easiest and one of the quickest routes to the top of England. It follows a clear path most of the way and is the most popular tourist path to the top of Scafell Pike too. 

You will need Explorer map OL6.

The surrounding and closest Wainwrights to Scafell Pike are Lingmell, Great End, and Scafell

At the top of Scafell Pike is an enormous cairn. In fact, it is that big that there are steps up the side of it for you to climb to the true top of England. 

Here's our guide on Scafell Pike for you to check out. Have a read throughout the page. Or find what it is you're after in the contents just below. With thanks to @Ratzoz on Instagram for giving us the use of his photo's too. 

If there's anything else you'd like to know on the Wainwright then let us know through our Contact page as we might be able to help you and more people out there too. 

Scafell Pike is among one of the three mountains in the national three peaks challenge, where all three mountains are conquered in 24 hours. This is an event that many walkers take up throughout the summer with it having longer daylight hours. And the chance of better weather is a little more likely.

The other two mountains in the three peak challenge are Snowdon. Which is the highest mountain in Wales. And also Ben Nevis, which is the highest mountain in Scotland. It can be a really tough twenty four hours climbing and driving from one place to the next. So anyone who completes this challenge I applaud.

As I’ve mentioned Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England and stands at 978m high. The second highest mountain is Scafell which lies just next to Scafell Pike in the Lake District. Some used to believe that Scafell was actually taller many years ago. But this has since been proven otherwise.

And strangely enough, it’s now a matter of guesswork just how tall Scafell Pike actually is. The is because the main summit cairn sits on the highest point of the mountain. This wouldn’t usually be an issue, but the cairn itself is three metres tall and eight metres in diameter. So trying to move a few stones to check the height is well out of the question.

Traditionally It is said that the total feet of the Fell is 3210ft as this is an easily memorable number. And so would give the height of 978.4m. But this isn’t something that can now be argued or checked on Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

The mountain itself sees around 100,000 visitors and climbers a year who make it to the summit of the Wainwright. This number is astronomical on just one mountain but Scafell Pike is by far one of the most popular of mountains in England and especially the Lake District. And crazier than that is that these 100,000 visitors all climbed Scafell Pike from Wasdale.

So this figure doesn’t take into account the other routes up the highest mountain in England. Now that takes some serious thinking about. But I know for us, when we climbed Scafell Pike, there was a continuous stream of walkers the entire time that we were there. And we started our hike very early in the morning too.

Its name comes from the language of the Vikings and means ‘bald summit mountain’, which fits perfectly as there is no vegetation, just a boulder field at the summit. The rock on Scafell Pike is igneous and the formation of the boulder field is thought to have been caused by weather erosion on the mountain.

Scafell Pike also holds the claim to having the highest standing body of water in England on the Fell. This is Broad Crag Tarn which lies at around 820m high on the way to the top of the mountain.

How high is the highest mountain in England? (m/ft)

Scafell Pike is 978m high or 3209ft high depending on which works best for you. It is the highest of all of the 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District and is a great climb to the top.

Although it is the highest mountain in England. It is ranked only at number 66 in the highest mountains in the UK. So once you've hiked to the top of Scafell Pike, you'll soon be looking for a higher adventure close to home too. The majority of the taller mountains in the UK are located in Scotland. So you might just get the bug to start bagging those as well when you've completed the Wainwrights

As I mentioned above though, there is now guesswork to just how tall the mountain is. And this is down to the massive cairn that stands on the highest point of the Wainwright. Therefore covering the true height of Scafell Pike itself.

There really is no better feeling than conquering this beauty of a fell. Then thinking that if you can climb Scafell Pike then you can hike all of the 214 Wainwrights. Although just because it’s the tallest of the fells in Cumbria, it doesn’t mean it’s the hardest. And this is something you’ll find out as you walk the other Wainwright’s too.

But the walk up to Scafell Pike and the challenge that you face as you head up to the summit is greatly determined by which route that you take. And you can find out more about the different routes as you read through the page. 

View from Scafell Pike near Wasdale
View from Scafell Pike near Wasdale

 Where is Scafell Pike located?

Scafell Pike Location on Google Maps amongst the other Wainwrights

So where exactly in the Lake District does Scafell Pike sit? Well, it’s in the Southern Fells of the Lakes. And is located between Eskdale and Wasdale. You can start your hike from either of these as well as a few more locations. Or why not try them all out for a true insight into the fell itself. Each route has something new and unique to offer in the heart of the Lakes. And you'll get to see new views overlooking scenery throughout Cumbria

This is the beauty of walking the mountains in the Lake District including Scafell Pike. You never just climb a Fell and that is that. There are so many routes up and down from many starting points too. Put different weather conditions on top of this, and you'll never get bored of the same Wainwright. It's a new experience each and every time.

Scafell Pike can be seen from the summits of its neighbouring Fells from all over the Lake District. And with it having a distinct profile it makes it easy to locate, and always seems to keep drawing your eye back to it even when you’re not trying.

Check out the map here to see exactly where this Wainwright sits in the Lakes. And to gauge where your best starting position is to get bagging this magnificent fell for yourself. 

The co-ordinates for Scafell Pike are 54º27’15.2”N 3º12’41.5”W. These will help you to locate where this Wainwright is should you need to. In addition to this, the ordnance survey grid reference is NY215072, which you can locate in the OL4 Lakeland’s map for the Lake District. Find out more about which maps to use further down the page.

If you’re looking for the postcode to Scafell Pike, this would be CA20 1EX. This will take you to the Wasdale car park for the start of your walk here. Which is the most popular starting point for the hike up England’s tallest mountain. And one of the easiest routes up too. Which you can find more about as you read on.

So how hard is Scafell Pike to climb?

This all comes down to personal opinion and how physically fit you are too. It can also depend massively on the weather conditions on the day that you choose to hike Scafell Pike. Along with what equipment and goodies you are taking with you on your hike.

On top of this, it really does depend on where you are starting from and how far you are planning of going throughout the day. So if you wanted an easy answer then sorry to disappoint. It really is hard to say just how hard Scafell Pike is to climb. Because of the varied routes and paths leading up to the top of England, it can be a rather simple walk right up to a very challenging climb through the heart of the Lakes

But for us climbing this Fell last year it wasn’t the hardest of the Lake District mountain walks by far. We hiked up the Fell from Wasdale and set off just before sunrise on a clear and still morning. And on my birthday (and Hazel's too), just had to mention, which made it all the more enjoyable. It maybe also helped with energy levels as I was on a high for the day too.

Check out our own hike up Scafell Pike right here

But the challenge of climbing any mountain or Fell in the Lake District comes down to your fitness levels and capability. For one individual the hardest route will seem easy to them. Whereas with others the easiest route up to Scafell Pike will seem like the biggest walking challenge they have faced. 

So it really comes down to you and how much Fell walking you've done before. Along with the essentials that you take with you, and your overall knowledge of the surrounding area. Always plan, as this makes it less stressful and much more enjoyable on the day. And remember it doesn't matter how slow you go, it's the journey along the way that matters. 

When we first went to the Lakes over five years ago now. We felt nervous on the Wainwrights and you'd never believe us but it took us three separate attempts to get to the summit of Place Fell. This was down to our confidence in the mountains. But you build up each time and that's what makes it all the more enjoyable. 

And now nothing could stop us from getting onto the Fells in the Lake District, including Scafell Pike. Check out the routes up Scafell Pike below to find the best path and route for you to get to the top of this highest mountain in England. Or click here to be directed there now.

The best weather possible for us

But with perfect weather conditions and a clear route the whole way up from Wasdale Head. Our journey to the top of Scafell Pike really was an enjoyable hike. So if you’re looking to achieve the same it is entirely possible. There really are no tricky complications. Except for the odd boulder field to make your way over closer to the summit. Which makes a nice change to be fair in the terrain.

It does, however, go without saying that you should always wear suitable walking shoes for this Wainwright and take a map etc. with you at all times. The weather can change rapidly in the Lake District, so it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities.

The walk from Wasdale Head is the easiest route up Scafell Pike. And you can find out more about this route below in our 'routes' section of the page. 

Summer on Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England) overlooking other Wainwrights
Summer view from the top of England (Scafell Pike)

Weather on Scafell Pike

The weather on Scafell Pike can change rapidly, just like anywhere else in the Lake District. However, with you being on the tallest mountain in England, you might find yourself further away from civilization than in another place in the Lakes.

Our advice would be to always check the weather before you head out on any Lake District mountain walk. But especially so for the likes of the bigger and sometimes tougher Fells in the Cumbria. You might think this is aimed at winter conditions, but in actual fact, you can get caught up in bad weather at any time of the year up Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike takes around four hours for the shorter and easier routes up to the top. So this is a lot of time for the weather to change on the Fells. What can seem like a clear day one minute, can very quickly change into a whiteout within minutes.

Scafell Pike weather in the Summer

In the summer months, you should always be prepared to take plenty of water with you on your walk up Scafell Pike. The heat of climbing a big Fell in the Lakes in the heat of the day throughout summer can take it out on you. So don’t risk getting the likes of sun-stroke while out walking. Always take plenty of water and then take extra on top, just in case you run into an unforeseen situation.

The weather on Scafell Pike can be just as bad in the summer as in the winter. You will still get plenty of days of rain, low cloud and wind even in the middle of summer. So take care, and expect any of these to creep up even if they don’t forecast for it. The Lake District makes up its own weather each day, and Scafell Pike is no different. 

Check out our own hike up Scafell Pike right here

Scafell Pike weather in the winter

In the winter months, obviously, the snow and ice will be a huge challenge. Even though there may not be snow on the low lying Fells and Wainwrights in Cumbria. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be any as you head higher up. The temperatures will drop significantly and so snowfall on the top of Scafell Pike is something that is regular in the winter months. So make sure you are well equipped with crampons, ice axe, extra clothing etc.

Another weather condition that can be disorientating is getting a whiteout from the snowfall or blizzard. Or zero visibility from low lying cloud cover. Because of this, you should know how to use a compass and be able to read a map too. Don’t head out into these conditions on Scafell Pike if you don’t know how to use the basic equipment, as you may get into trouble. Especially on some parts of any route up Scafell Pike that are less clear.

It really is a matter of using your initiative and if you don’t feel confident then don’t head out. There’s always other days and the last thing you want is to have to call out the mountain rescue team in the Lake District. You can challenge yourself but don’t be an idiot on the Fells. Check the weather and plan your visit and route to Scafell Pike accordingly.

Scafell Pike in winter mountain weather
Scafell Pike mountain in winter snow

Scafell Pike mountain weather forecast

Whenever you decide to hear into the Lakes for any hiking it's always best to check the weather forecast. This is because it can change so quickly. So check out the link here to find out the up to date mountain weather for Scafell Pike each day. It's what we use when hiking in the Lakes and we've found it to be pretty accurate too.

It's well worth checking out. And if you haven't done so already, check out our own birthday hike up Scafell Pike right here.

How long does it take to climb this Wainwright?

Depending on where you start your climb from. Hiking up Scafell Pike tends to take between two and three hours. Coming back down generally takes less time but again this will all depend on your fitness levels and the route that you take.

As well as this, it very much depends on how many photos you want to take along the way. There are so many other Fells to see along with the Waters in the Lakes (Wast Water etc), so it's worth taking some time out. 

Also how much you value your snack stops and water refill stations along the way. It should never be a rush to reach the summit of any Fell in the Lakes. And especially with the likes of Scafell Pike, enjoying the journey to the top makes it all the more special.

What routes can you take up Scafell Pike?

There are many different routes that you can take up this Wainwright. And although we’ve only climbed from Wasdale, I’ll list the other starting points as well for your reference. One day we’d love to make our way through each of the starts. And to really see all of what Scafell Pike has to offer in the Lake District. And as we do, we'll keep you posted on them walks too via our blogs

Route up Scafell Pike

So here’s the list of your starting places on the way to the top of England to Scafell Pike. 

1. From Wasdale or Wasdale Head as I’ve mentioned a little about already.

2. You can climb the highest mountain in England from Langdale.

3. Scafell Pike can also be climbed via Seathwaite in Borrowdale.

4. Another popular starting point to hike this Lake District mountain is from Eskdale.

So let's take a closer look at each so that you can get a better idea of the routes. And which might be best for you to to get to the top of Scafell Pike for yourself. 

Scafell Pike and the easiest route from Wasdale Head

The easiest route up Scafell Pike is from Wasdale near Wast Water.

The postcode for this is CA20 1EX and will take you directly to the car park for your walk up Scafell Pike. This is the route in which most people will take for the Three Peak Challenge too. This is because is it direct straight from the car-park and up to the top of England itself.

Unlike other walks that can include other Lake District mountains on your way to Scafell Pike. From Wasdale, there is a direct route to the summit and so this is in our opinion the easiest way up the Fell. You can check out our walk up this very path here to get a feel for it yourself. But once you locate the path from Lingmell Beck it is straight-up Brown Tongue for the steepest part of the walk.

Once over the steepest section of the walk up Scafell Pike, you keep onto the left path. This will take you up some zig-zag paths and then onto the boulder field. This is iconic to Scafell Pike and you know you're nearing the top when you see it ahead. 

As you make your way carefully through the boulder field you'll reach the top of England and the highest Wainwright in the Lake District. Then it's one small push to the top of the almighty cairn. From here you can take in one of the best views in the Lake District. Take a look here for more information about the views from the top of Scafell Pike

This whole route to the top will take you around two hours as a general rule of thumb. But it will depend greatly on your fitness levels. You might run to the top or take a little longer too. But this would be our advice on which route to take if you’re looking for the easiest route up Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike from Wasdale head route that we took
Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head route

The route up from Great Langdale to the highest mountain in England

This route up to Scafell Pike is a longer walk than that from Wasdale Head. You’ll be looking for an approximate walking time of around eight hours. And the route from here is about a 12-mile walk. This makes it much tougher than that from Wasdale head, but also means that there are fewer tourists and walkers on these paths in the Lakes.

It can be a good thing and bad, whichever way you look at it. But either way, it doesn’t stop you from enjoying the superb views as you climb higher towards Scafell Pike from Old Dungeon Ghyll. You follow the valley to start your walk into the depths of Mickleden, which keeps the paths quite level as you start off.

After a couple of miles, you take the left path off up to Rossett Pass and continue up some zig-zag paths. The views of Bowfell take up a lot of the scene that opens up in front of you on this walk. Along this path, you will reach a main crossing point in the Lake District at Esk Hause. And in front, you’ll see the crosswind shelter too for if you need a little pit break on your walk up Scafell Pike.

You head south-west here and continue the path as it takes you to the real summit of Esk Hause and then onto the Scafell high ridge. The ground will start to get stonier as you head closer to Scafell Pike as it has a boulder field on the top of the Wainwright. Once you have taken the decent and then accent back up between Broad Crag col you’ll see Scafell Pike come into view.

It’s not too long until you’re onto the summit and admiring the views of the Lake District from all around you. It’s a long journey to the top of Scafell Pike. But there are many stunning spots along the way. Ones that open up onto the Lakes around you, before you even reach the top of England.

Langdale starting point to the top of England
Scafell Pike from Old Dungeon Ghyll

Route from Seathwaite to Scafell Pike

The third route that you can take up to Scafell Pike leaves from Seathwaite in Borrowdale. There are toilet facilities from the parking spots at the beginning of the route. And the parking is along a farm lane or further into Seatoller too. You can find out more about parking for Scafell Pike here.

From Seathwaite your path up to Scafell Pike is around 15 miles. The approximate time to climb to the top of England and back down on a round route will take you anywhere up to around eight or nine hours. Depending on your level of fitness and knowledge on the Fells too. As well as weather conditions on the day, as this can change your walking pace drastically.

The walk from Seathwaite will take you to Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route which is a popular choice for climbing the Wainwright. You will also pass Styhead Tarn on your way up too. This is a main crossing point where a lot of paths meet that then go off into different directions around the Lakes. So it’s important to have a map and make sure that you take the right path off from here.

The walk as a whole has an easier gradient than others. Although there are some steep sections along the way. Most of the paths are pretty distinct as they have plenty of footfall throughout the year. But there are some boggy areas, and in misty conditions, even clear paths can be deceiving. So take a good map and compass with you, and know how to use them too.

But this walk from Seathwaite offers some great views as you climb higher in the Lake District on your way to Scafell Pike. It should be on any hikers list to do. It is for us, that’s for sure.

From Seathwaite to Scafell Pike route image
Seathwaite to Scafell Pike route via the Corridor Route

Hiking up the tallest mountain in England from Eskdale

This is possibly the least popular route up to the top of Scafell Pike. It might be because of its location in the far south of the Lake District as the starting point. Or because you can cross over from Scafell onto Scafell Pike. This generally isn’t the first choice of routes to get to the top of England, as the col between Scafell and Scafell Pike is known for being a daring one.

It isn’t dangerous if you take the right path down to Foxes Tarn, but it does look scary. And any other route coming off of Scafell is strictly for rock climbers only.

The walk to Scafell Pike via the start point of Eskdale will take around eight to ten hours to complete. And some of the paths are less distinct than those on other routes. Again this is down to the fact it is less trodden than the other routes. On top of this, there is some marshland or bog to cross over and so in low visibility it can be hard to navigate your way through. I would recommend this route for those who know the Fells a little more. And to those who have good navigational levels as opposed to the new walker to the Lake District.

There are a few variations on walking to Scafell Pike from the parking in Eskdale. But all of the smaller routes do lead back to the main path nearer the top of the Fell. This being said, you still want to make sure that you are on the correct path at all times, or you can get lost very quickly on the open Fells in the south of the Lakes.

Eskdale start point for the Scafell Pike Wainwrgiht climb

Are the paths good climbing up Scafell Pike?

Climbing up Scafell Pike is well-trodden and therefore the paths are generally good. Although there are areas in which a little more care is needed. This varies from route to route on the way up the Fell. I’d advise wearing the best footwear possible and taking your time on any paths or lack of paths that you come across. Just to make sure you handle them correctly.

The best walking routes or clearest walking paths are from Wasdale Head, Seathwaite, and Langdale. Hiking up to Scafell Pike from Eskdale has perhaps the least trodden paths and more bog than any other route too. So this makes for less distinct paths, meaning more care and navigation knowledge would be needed in poorer weather conditions.

This being said, if you know your way around the Lake District and do plenty of research prior to your trip. Then you shouldn’t fall into the trap of not knowing the routes you will be taking. Along with a map and compass, you should be just fine on the Fells and the surrounding Wainwrights.

But if you aren’t so confident then I would advise sticking to the more walked routes up Scafell Pike such as from Wasdale Head.

You will also be faced with the boulder field at the very top of Scafell Pike and so a little more care is needed crossing this. It isn’t dangerous but the rocks can be slippery in both dry and wet conditions. So take your time and enjoy the hike up to the top of England whichever route you take. Take a look here to see which routes and walks you can take up Scafell Pike and there approximate walking times too.

Check out our own hike up Scafell Pike right here

Best parking for the fell

Again the best parking for Scafell Pike very much depends on your starting point. But there are car parks located all around the Lake District and when it comes to one of the most popular fells in the Lakes. There is no shortage of car parking.

Although I would recommend getting to your start point early. Especially in the summer months as car parks can fill up quickly. This avoids the disappointment of trying to find somewhere else to park up and also adds valuable time to your day when you should be out enjoying the walks that are there for you.

This is not to say that getting up at 3 am to start your walk in the Lake District is a favourite of everyones. But for me, it works a treat in the summer to see the sunrise around you too. I would highly recommend it if you ever have the chance, you won't be disappointed with the views over Cumbria on a whole.

Parking at Wasdale Head for Scafell Pike

National Trust car park

When you drive down the side of Water Water on your way to start your walk up to Scafell Pike you’ll see the vast dark water on the right-hand side. As the water comes to an end you’ll see a turning on your right-hand side too. This leads over a little bridge and into the National Trust car park.

This is also where the camping is located too if you are looking for this during your stay. You can find out more in our camping for Scafell Pike section for Wasdale Head. With this being a National Trust car park though, you will have to pay to park here. The money that you pay does go into the National Trust to help keep the paths in the Lake District well kept for walkers each year to visit.

If you are a member of the National Trust anyway, then you can display your badge and then park there for free too. Although this may have changed so that you now scan your card for a free permit ticket all day. So there is the added benefit if you’re already a member.

The village green

However, if like us you prefer to not pay for car parking then there is an alternative. If you stay on the road before crossing the little bridge you’ll find that the road leads down to the village green. The postcode for this is CA20 1EX

This is a triangle grassy piece of land and parking here is free all year around. However, this does get full quickly. When we parked up on our walk up Scafell Pike in the summer, even at 4:30 am in the morning it was getting full. This does also add on a little extra walking time onto your hike up Scafell Pike, but that simply means just taking in more of the views. In our opinion, you can’t beat that anyway.

And on top of this, there is a portable WC there too. But take your own toilet paper or extra tissues. This is again because of the amount of footfall that comes through each day. Ladies and gentleman, you don’t want to be caught short. So take some with you just in case.

Parking at Wasdale Head village green in the Lake District
Parking at Wasdale Head village green

Parking at Great Langdale for Scafell Pike

National Trust car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll

There is a National Trust car park located at the start of your walk up Scafell Pike if you are wanting to head off from Great Langdale. The car park is at Old Dungeon Ghyll and is free for members of the National Trust. The postcode for this car park is LA22 9JX.

However, if you are not a member then you will have to pay to park here, although the parking is around £8 a day I believe from when we last used a National Trust car park in the Lake District. The car park itself is located around 400m away from their campsite. So again if you are looking to stay in the area while on your visit, this could be a good option for you. Although it’s best to check fees, availability, and open times, especially during the winter months.

National Trust Stickle Ghyll car park

This is located down the road from the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park. And although a little further away to start your walk. It is a good alternative if the other car park is full. And vice versa for that matter. This is also a pay and display car park, but again if you are a National Trust member then parking will be free for you. The postcode for this car park is LA22 9JU.

There are also toilets here to use before you start your walk up to Scafell Pike, something that I would always recommend before starting off. It’s a long time on the Fells to Scafell Pike and back via Great Langdale. So I would use the facilities before starting off, as you won’t see any more until your return to the car park here.

And for walking up to Scafell Pike and back down again from Dungeon Ghyll or Great Langdale, you’ll be looking at around an eight-hour hike. And that’s in standard weather conditions. If it’s poor weather you can guarantee that time will go up too. So make sure you’re prepared for the long walk from Langdale in the Lakes.

Parking at Seathwaite for the walk up Scafell Pike

Seathwaite lay-by parking

This is possibly the best parking for your start walk up to Scafell Pike in the Lakes. It is down a lane that leads to a campsite which I have mentioned below in our camping section for Scafell Pike too. The postcode for this parking lay-by is CA12 5XJ which leads onto a working farm. Here there is also a campsite which I have mentioned also in our camping section for Scafell Pike.

But parking here in the Lake District is free and there is plenty of space to park. And with a turning circle at the end of the lane too. This makes it easier when it is busy to get back down the lane too. There are also toilets located here at Seathwaite which makes it even more perfect a place to start. And from the end of the car park lay-by and through the farm is straight onto the walk up to Scafell Pike.

So there really isn’t a better place to get parked up for your hike up the tallest mountain in England. I would like to note that although there is plenty of parking here, it cannot be guaranteed that there will be a free space if you turn up at midday on a summers day.

This parking spot for your walk up to Scafell Pike Fell is a popular one, so just take note of that to avoid disappointment.

Seatoller National Park car park

This is located as it's suggested at Seatoller which is near the beginning of the Honister Pass through the Lake District. If you get chance to drive this pass while you’re in the Lakes then it is certainly worth it. The views are outstanding of the local area looking up to the Wainwrights and Waters too, including Buttermere.

The postcode for this car park is CA12 5XN. As with the other National Park car parks, it is a pay and display unless you are already a member. Parking is around £8.00 a day and you’ll certainly need all day for hiking up Scafell Pike from here. It is around a half an hour walk from this National Trust car park at Seatoller to the starting point of the walk. So with the same going back as well, you’re looking at an extra hours walk time from starting here.

This is worth taking note of as it can make a massive difference especially in the months where daylight hours are less than in the summer. However, if you like extra walking to your journey in the Lakes then it’s a good alternative to the Seathwaite parking above to climb up the highest Wainwright.

Parking at Eskdale for hiking up to Scafell Pike

Eskdale Head road parking area

This is not a car park by any means, but rather on the roadside parking. It is opposite Wha House Farm which is owned by the National Trust. However, parking here on the side of the road is free. Which is a good thing as long as you can get parked here. The postcode for the approximate area is CA19 1TH.

It might surprise you that for every 1000 walkers up Scafell Pike, it’s estimated that only 60 start their route from Eskdale. This is 6% and so if you’re worried about parking spaces, you won’t be competing with the hoards at the likes of Wasdale Head for the spaces.

Brotherikeld parking

As with the above parking, this is on the side of the road too. If there are no spaces free opposite Wha House Farm, then you can park here instead. It is located just next to the telephone box and so it easy to see as you head through Eskdale itself. Again parking is limited, but it doesn’t see the same footfall as other places in the Lake District. And parking is free here too as there are no main car parks in the area.

This is probably due to the fact that it is so far south, and many tourists tend to stay in the more centrally located areas in the Lakes. In addition to this, the walk up to Scafell Pike from Eskdale is one of the longest and can take up to around ten hours to complete. So it’s not a route that you take lightly. And it’s graded as a hard walk too. So for the general tourist, starting from the likes of Wasdale Head is a more feasible option when they’re on holiday.

The people who most start from Eskdale are generally those who know the Lake District a little more. And are more regulars to the Fells and Wainwrights which they offer. This is not to say to not go with this option, as with all walks it will offer a whole new perspective to Scafell Pike and surrounding Fells too.

Cairn at the top of Scafell Pike in the Lake District, the highest of the 214 Wainwrights, also listed in alphabetical order
Cairn at the top of Scafell Pike at sunrise

What is at the summit of Scafell Pike?

On reaching the top of Scafell Pike you will have to make your way through the largest boulder field in England. This can be great as when you get to this part of your hike you will know that the summit is in sight and that you’re not far off at all.

There is a huge cairn to mark the summit of Scafell Pike which can be walked up and gives you some of the best views across the Lake District. So there is no need to worry that you’ve missed it when you reach the top. Even on a seriously cloudy day, it would be hard to miss the 8m diameter of the cairn in front of you.

So it really does feel like a serious sense of achievement when you get to the top of Scafell Pike. And I know for us we were buzzing from the experience.

What are the views from the top of the tallest mountain in England?

Being on the tallest part of England gives you the advantage point that you just don’t get from the other Fells in the Lake District. From the top of Scafell Pike and 978m high you don’t just see around the rest of the Lakes. But much further than that too.

On a really clear day from the top of Scafell Pike, you can see the extensive view ranging towards even the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. And on top of that you can see towards Snowdonia in Wales too, along with the Isle Of Man, and north into Scotland. There aren’t many places where you can get views like this.

Being on the top of Scafell Pike really does make you feel as though you’re on top of the world. Even for a brief moment. It’s the buzz of reaching the top and feeling small in such a vast expansive area.

Although sometimes the views from the top of Scafell Pike aren't always as vast as you'd like. Check out the video below from the summit of Scafell Pike in the Lake District in the middle of winter. There really are no views, but what an achievement in itself. 

With winter walking in the heart of the Lakes though, please always put your safety first. Just as I mentioned in the weather section of this page. 

Looking north from the top of Scafell Pike

Starting from the furthest point north that you can see from the top of England is Scotland on a really clear day. As you move back into the Lake District you will have great views of many of the other Wainwrights in the heart of the Lakes.

Looking directly north you will see the mighty Great Gable standing proud centre of view, with Green Gable just sat behind. Further back you’ll be able to see the Skiddaw range of Fells in the Lakes too. This has Skiddaw at the top place, with the likes of Carl Side, Ullock Pike, and Skiddaw Little Man either side of this giant. Blencathra lies just a little to the northeast but again is easy to spot on the skyline from Scafell Pike.

The main water that you can see in the north of the view is Derwent Water which lies just outside of Keswick town. You can spot the tiny Fell of Castle Crag although it doesn’t look like much of a Wainwright from where you’d be stood right now.

To the north-west, you can see High Stile which stands at 807m and it’s surrounding Fells too. It really does make you want to get moving to start bagging more while you’re in the Lakes for however long this may be.

For us personally being at the tops of the higher Fells just makes us want to keep on going. It’s not about bagging the Wainwrights, but really gaining knowledge of an area which you fall in love with. Standing at the top of the likes of Scafell Pike and looking around seeing the other mountains makes us feel at home. Surely that’s better than any check list of Fells.

Views to the east from the top of England

To the east of Scafell Pike, you’ll gaze down and around the likes of the Langdale Pikes. This includes Pike O’Stickle and Pavey Ark. Beyond this the edges of Grasmere and Rydal Water just come into view as they glisten in the sun on a clear day.

To the northeast stands the whole of the Helvellyn range of Fells which is another spot with epic views in the Lake District. There are some magical spots in the Lakes and the view from the top of Helvellyn itself certainly is one of those too. And not because of it’s sheer height. But because of it’s location in the Lake District too. You really do feel as though you’re in the heart of the Lakes from the top of Helvellyn. Check out our walk to the summit here and the 360-degree views which we saw from the top.

Looking towards the south from Scafell Pike

There are two Waters which can be seen to the south from Scafell Pike and these are the edges of Coniston Water and of course Wast Water itself in the south-west. The deepest of all the Waters in the Lake District. The main structure of the Fell that sits in between these Waters is Scafell in its bold stance. Looking towards Scafell from the top of England, makes you realise how difficult it can be to cross over to this beast of a Wainwright.

The crags and sheer rock face on the north side really do make it look scary to the general Fell walker. But if you did want to hop across to Scafell from Scafell Pike it can be done. Although you’d need to know the paths you need to take as much of the north face is strictly for rock climbers only.

Beyond this looking out towards the south is the sea leaving the border of Cumbria.

The views from the west of the tallest mountain in England

The little cluster of Wainwrights to the north-west of Scafell Pike include the likes of Steeple, Caw Fell, and Haycock. These are mostly climber via Wast Water or Ennerdale too. Both make great day walks in the Lake District.

There really are so many Fells and beauties that you can see from the top of Scafell Pike. And it doesn’t matter how many times you reach the top of this mountain in the Lakes, it’s always a pleasure to these views. It really is a view that you could never grow tired of.

Which OS map do you need to climb Scafell Pike?

The ordinance survey map that you will need to climb Scafell Pike is OL6. This covers the whole of the southwest of the Lake District. And includes the routes around this Wainwright too.

If you are starting your walk from somewhere more northern in the Lakes for example Borrowdale. Then you may need further maps to help you on your route as well (OL4). Personally, I’d recommend buying all four of the Lakeland’s OS maps. And then you’re set for wherever your journey starts from.

Other maps that you can use for climbing Scafell Pike are the following:

- OS Landranger 89 or 90

- British mountain maps Lake District (1:40 000)

- Harveys Superwalker XT25 Lake District West (1:25 000)

See below for links to check thee out and see which might be best for you. Our personal favourites to go for are the OL Lake District maps. Just because we find them clear and easy to use.

Where to stay around the fell, Campsites, etc

As with the above, it again depends solely on your location for starting and ending your hike up and around Scafell Pike and the surrounding area. Check out the likes of booking.com, YHA, and local campsites below for camping in your chosen Scafell Pike location in the Lake District.

Some of the campsites may be season dependant so always check in with them before you turn up first.

There are also plenty of inns and B&B’s around the Lake District. But again these can get booked up quickly throughout the year. In addition to this they do tend to be in busier towns and so finding somewhere closer to the fells might need more research to get the best for you possible. Check out the list below of campsites in the area for Scafell Pike hiking. 

Campsites around Scafell Pike and Wast Water

Wasdale Campsite near Scafell Pike

If you are looking to start your walk from Wasdale then one of the best campsites is Wasdale campsite. It is located just as it suggests and is great for all types of camping. This isn't too far off from the Scafell Pike postcode of CA12 1EX. So is easily located from the main car park for the walk too.

You can pitch up your tent here on the natural campsite, which holds some stunning views around the area. And if you have a motor home or camper-van then these are welcome too. There are hardstanding pitches for camper-vans, with the choice of electric hookup as well.

On top of this, you can hire one of their glamping pods for your camping stay in Wasdale for your hike up Scafell Pike. Or choose their family-sized bell tent which gives the added warmth away from the elements. Especially throughout the winter months. And yes, you’ll be thrilled to know that Wasdale campsite is open all year round. So they’ll be no reason to stop you visiting Wast Water and Scafell Pike any time of the year.

Check out the link here to read more about Wasdale Campsite in the Lake District.

Church Stile Farm and Holiday Park

This campsite is located in the little village of Nether Wasdale which is just south-west of Wast Water and so on the way to Scafell Pike from the south. It’s sat in the wooded area on a sheep farm and they have plenty to offer for your stay.

As with the Wasdale campsite, they have tent pitches available. As well as hard standing pitches for motor homes as well as static caravans. In addition to this, you can opt in to stay in one of their glamping pods too or the Shepherds hut. Better still. you’re only five miles away from Wasdale Head and so this is a great alternative for your stay, and for exploring the whole of the south of the Lake District in general.

campsite example in the Lake District

This site is open from the week before Easter but does close from October each year for winter. So this is worth knowing if you’re looking into a more out of season visit to Cumbria and to climb Scafell Pike too.

Again check the link out here to look at the availability for your stay on this campsite in the south of the Lake District.

Campsites around Eskdale for Scafell Pike

Fisherground Campsite in Eskdale for your start up Scafell Pike

Sat in the heart of Eskdale this amazing campsite gets the award of being in the ‘50 world best campsites’ listed in the Independents. It’s a great hub for starting your walks around the south of the Lake District including for Scafell Pike. But this campsite is closed throughout the winter months too.

It’s a family-friendly run site with 215 pitches on-site. So there is plenty of room for your tent, motorhome and trusted dogs to come along too. They also offer the choice of electric hookup if you need this added facility.

There is a village shop in Eskdale too so you can pick up any supplies that you need for your hike up Scafell Pike from here. And with campfires being allowed you warm yourself through after the long days walk in the Lake District.

Check out the link here to learn more on this campsite. Another great place to stay for your walk up Scafell Pike

Campsites around Seathwaite to stay for Scafell Pike hike

Inside out Camping at Seatoller

This is camping with a difference. The only option here is to stay in one of their camping yurts. And they have six of these available. So it makes for a quiet and peaceful stay in the Lake District. It’s a great location to stop in and only a short drive to the start point of Seathwaite. Where you can begin your hike up Scafell Pike then too.

Along with a lot of the campsites in Cumbria, they do close in the winter months. So it’s best to check their website for full details here.

Seathwaite Farm Camping

This campsite is one that is used by plenty who want to hike up to Scafell Pike. It is located just at the end of the car park from Seatoller, on the road leading to the start of the walk. So it makes it a prime location for the likes of campers and hikers in the Lakes. They allow tents, as well as motorhomes and there is lots of room for all to get pitched up.

The postcode for the Seathwaite Farm Campsite is CA12 5XJ. There is a bus that stops at the end of the lane too. So if you’re here in your motorhome and wanted to leave it there for the week. You can hop on and off of the bus which will take you around the Lake District too. So if you’ve explored Scafell Pike and want to have a hike further afield then there is this option for you.

Although from the campsite itself, there are plenty of walks that you can get on to. So there is no end to the amount of exploring that you can do from here to hike other Wainwrights in the area.

They do have a toilet and shower block, and they are open all year round. Although it is advisable to check with them beforehand to make sure there is room for you on their grounds. For more information, you can check their website out here.

Campsites at Langdale for Scafell Pike

Great Langdale Bunkhouse

This epic accommodation has 20 single beds all in bunk bed form. It’s great for families as well as larger groups where you can all stay together in one place. There is central heating and constant hot water throughout. So you’ll never need to worry about a cold shower while staying here.

It’s a great location for beginning your walk up Scafell Pike from the east of the mountain. What’s great about the Great Langdale Bunkhouse is that it is open all year. And with it being in such a great location, once you’ve had a day walk up Scafell Pike and back. You’ve got days ahead of you to enjoy the Langdale Fells too.

Take a look here for more information on this accommodation.

Looking out from the top of Scafell Pike
Looking out from the top of Scafell Pike

B&Bs and hotels around Scafell Pike and Wasdale

Wasdale Head Inn

This is one of the most popular of accommodations when walkers are wanting to climb up Scafell Pike. It’s located at Wasdale Head and so makes it a perfect spot to stay for exploring the Fells around this area.

Wasdale Head Inn is a 200-year-old hotel which has rooms and apartments available for your stay here. There is also a bar and dining area so you can get your energy back after a long day walking in the Lake District and the Southern Fells.

Pets are allowed to stay here if you have your trusted companion alongside you. And you can choose to go all-inclusive so that you don’t have to worry about anything else while staying here.

The only downside to this hotel is that the Wi-Fi isn’t always the best. But then when is it when you’re in the middle of the Lake District. Having the scenery and beauty of the mountains from your window surely take the need of having Wi-Fi away anyway.

Check out the link here to find out more on this hotel.

Burnthwaite B&B

Also located at Wasdale Head, this is a B&B on a working sheep farm. Now you might not agree, but for me, it doesn’t get much better than this. I mean it’s not every day you can stay on a sheep farm in the Lake District. So jump into the experience and see what it has to offer. I’m sure the Herdwick sheep won’t keep you awake on your stay here. Unless it’s sheering season of course.

It’s only 1.3 miles away from Wast Water so the start of your walk up Scafell Pike from here is within a short distance. So after a full English breakfast when you wake up, you’ll be ready to hit the mountains around the area. And make a full day of hiking in the Lakes.

Burnthwaite B&B is also pet friendly and if having breakfast isn’t enough to keep you going throughout the day. Then you can buy one of their packed lunches for the day too. Just another thing you don’t have to worry about while hiking in the Lake District and up Scafell Pike then.

Again, follow the link here to find out more on your stay with them.

True Freedom Seekers
Thank you for taking the time to read our page. We hope you have enjoyed the information which we have for you. Please feel free to reach out to us about anything regarding the Lake District. Or leave a comment below. Happy Wainwright bagging.

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