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How to Climb Scafell Pike (England's Highest Mountain)

Nestled within the captivating Lake District National Park in England lies Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England.

Towering at 978 meters (3,209 feet) above sea level, it's a beacon for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Climbing Scafell Pike is a challenging experience that offers stunning views (on a good day), challenging terrain, and a guaranteed connection with nature.

In this blog, we'll guide you through the essential steps for a successful ascent of Scafell Pike.

The summit of Scafell Pike
The summit of Scafell Pike

Preparation is Key

Before embarking on your Scafell Pike adventure, it's essential to be prepared.

Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Weather check - The Lake District is notorious for unpredictable weather. Check the forecast and be prepared for sudden changes in conditions. Dress in layers and bring waterproof clothing. Remember if the weather isn't right, the mountains will always be there another day!

  • Navigation - Familiarise yourself with the route. Although some paths are well-trodden, map and compass skills are essential as you never know what will happen! Phone navigation apps are great but should not substitute a map or GPS device. The trails can be challenging to follow, especially in adverse weather. (Or consider joining a guided group if you're not confident. 😉)

  • Fitness level - The ascent to the summit of Scafell Pike is physically demanding and shouldn't be underestimated. Ensure you are in good physical shape and capable of hiking for several hours at a steady pace. Start with smaller hikes to build stamina.

  • Gear - Invest in proper hiking boots, a comfortable backpack and essentials like water, snacks, a first aid kit and a headlamp. Don't forget your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery! Check our full recommended kit list.

Image shows backdrop of Scafell Pike. Text reads "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success"

Choose Your Route

What are the best routes up Scafell Pike? There are several routes to the summit catering to various skill levels and preferences. Two of the most popular routes are Wasdale Head and Langdale.

Wasdale Head

Known as the shortest but steepest path, this route starts from Wasdale Head and takes you through beautiful valleys before a steep ascent.

It's challenging but offers incredible views. BEE Adventures runs this trip in one day from Manchester and Lancaster. Book our Scafell Pike guided walk here.


This route starts from the Langdale Valley and is longer but less steep.

It provides a gentler climb with stunning panoramas along the way. We also run this trip as a multi-day camping adventure which you can book here.

Photo of a map and compasses

Start Early

Early morning starts are recommended, not just to avoid crowds but also to make the most of daylight hours.

Parking spaces are limited and can fill up fast. We've seen many times cars being turned away! It's safer to complete the hike in daylight and you'll have a better chance to enjoy the stunning landscapes too.

Respect Nature and Leave No Trace

Scafell Pike is a designated National Park, and it's crucial to preserve its beauty for future generations.

Follow the Leave No Trace principles: take your rubbish with you and stick to designated paths. Respect the environment and you'll contribute to its conservation.

Safety First

Safety should always be a top priority when climbing any mountain. Here are some safety tips:

  • Stay hydrated - Carry enough water and stay hydrated throughout the hike.

  • Know your limits - If the weather worsens or you feel unwell, consider turning back. It's better to abort the hike and return safely.

  • Emergency contacts - Ensure someone knows your plans and estimated return time. In case of emergencies, carry a fully charged phone. Mountain rescue teams tend to get calls from campsites once someone due back hasn't returned.

  • Group hiking - If possible, hike with a group or at least one companion for safety.

Enjoy the Journey

While reaching the summit of Scafell Pike is a thrilling achievement, remember that the journey is just as important.

Take time to appreciate the magnificent landscapes, listen to the sounds of nature, and savour every step.

Group of hikers on Scafell Pike

Climbing Scafell Pike is a rewarding adventure that allows you to experience the natural beauty and challenge of England's highest peak.

With proper preparation, the right gear and a respectful attitude toward nature, you can conquer this mountain and create unforgettable memories.

So, gear up, lace your boots, and embark on a journey to the top of Scafell Pike. The views from the summit will be worth every effort.

We hope you have found this blog useful. If you have any questions about getting into the outdoors, please feel free to email us at or call 0161 706 1104.

We run multiple Scafell Pike trips throughout the summer months, so if you'd prefer not to worry about driving, parking and finding the top, come and join a friendly group with experienced guides! Here are our upcoming adventures:

Mountain guide's tips on how to climb Scafell Pike

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