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Helvellyn from Wythburn
Statistics:
Map of the walk
Start:
Wythburn
Start (OS ref):
NY324136
Map (1:25,000):
Explorer OL5
Parking:
Car park in Wythburn
Distance:
6.6 miles (10.7 km)
Time:
3 - 4 hours
Difficulty:
Strenuous climb and descent
Climbing:
890 metres
Hazards:
Care on Browncove Crags
Refreshments:
None
Route:
Summary: This lovely walk has been submitted by Denis, a regular contributor to the Walking Englishman. I am envious of the conditions he enjoyed to do this spectacular lakeland walk which starts from the car park in the hamlet of Wythburn and begins with a vigorous climb up to the Helvellyn summit before descending north & west to Swirls and then through forest back to the start.

elevation profile
The Story of the Walk:

wythburn car park
Striding Edge
The start at Wythburn car park
Striding Edge

This route is probably the easiest, direct route, to Helvellyn. It is also one of the shortest and ,therefore, quite steep. It does not feature the drama or dangers presented by Swirrel Edge and Striding Edge. It does afford some magnificent views in clear weather. Having said that it is important to remember it is a mountain with a summit at 3118 ft. and particularly during inclement weather needs to be treated with respect. The circular route is 8 miles with a 2500 ft ascent. The walk starts at Wythburn car park found at NY324136 just off the Grasmere to Keswick road (5.00 parking)

Striding Edge and Red Tarn
Swirral Edge
Striding Edge and Red Tarn
Swirral Edge

From the car park take the gate at the top end of the car park and turning right start the steep climb up through the forest. Continue straight up past a cross path following the sign to Helvellyn. On clearing the conifers continue up the open fell on the clearly marked footpath with Comb Gill over on your left. The path zig zags as it negotiates Comb Crags to pass Birk Side. As you climb take the opportunity to look back at the views over Thirlmere and across the Western fells. The path to the summit is now clearly visible as it progresses to the col between Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn and it is at this point you gain a magnificent view of Striding Edge. Just a short walk now to the stone cross shelter which is about 150 yards before the trig point at NY 342151.

Swirral Edge and Catsty Cam
Helvellyn summit
Swirral Edge and Catsty Cam
Helvellyn summit

Leave the summit in a west north west direction to gris reference NY331156 at Lower Man. It is at this point the very steep descent commences down Browncove Crags to arrive at Swirls car park NY316168. You now have a 2 mile walk back to meet the outgoing cross path and then drop down to Wythburn. The track is a mixture of forest roads and a narrow ,undulating, path through the trees. After heavy rain the track can look like a river in places with quite dramatic waterfalls. And thats it, the finish of a quite short but satisfying walk in the north east of lakeland.

Waterfall at Helvellyn Gill
Thirlmere and Derwent Water from Helvellyn
Waterfall at Helvellyn Gill

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