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Lake District Hotel in Grasmere - Bridge House Hotel - Helvellyn

Visit our Blencathra or Catbells pages for images of other Lake District walks or perhaps our Aira Force page for photographs of a low level waterfall route. For photographs of another Lake District walk, directly form Bridge House Hotel Grasmere, visit our Fairfield Horshoe page.

A Helvellyn ascent, different to the one below, is available directly from Grasmere via Grizedale Tarn and Dolly Waggon Pike. This route does not involve the scrambles of Striding Edge or Swirral Edge but does offer stunning views, particularly if you leave the main path and walk along the route close to the edge of the Helvellyn Massif heading north towards the summit.


Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in the Lake District. It lies a few miles north of Grasmere with Thirlmere Lake to the West and Ullswater Lake to the East. The main walking approaches to Helvellyn are from Grasmere, Withburn and Thirlspot in the West, and Glenridding and Patterdale in the East. These photographs were taken one Saturday in May and the ascent started at Glenridding near Ullswater.

Wainwright writes of Helvellyn - "Legend and poetry, a lovely name and a lofty altitude combine to encompass Helvellyn in an aura of romance; and thousands of pilgrims, aided by its easy accessibility, are attracted to its summit every year.... There is some quality about Helvellyn which endears it in the memory of most people who have stood on its breezy top; although it can be a grim place indeed on a wild night, it is, as a rule, a very friendly giant. If it did not inspire affection would its devotees return to it so often?" (Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells - Book 1).

The approch to Helvellyn from Glenridding

The first photograph shows the beginning of the route. St Sunday Crag to the left and Dollywaggon Pike and Nethermost Pike to the rear. Behind the two Pikes is Helvellyn itself - they are all part of the same massif.


On the right, Helvellyn is in the centre and Red Tarn below is beginning to come into view. The mountain on the right is Catstye Cam and the path on the left is on the approach to Striding Edge.

The approch to Helvellyn towards Striding Edge

Helvellyn and Red Tarn

On the left the whole of Red Tarn is in view and the path towards Striding Edge is more apparent near the "hole in the wall". The right hand shoulder of Helvellyn is called Swirral Edge. Swirral Edge is not regarded as daunting as Striding Edge but it makes an excellent approach to Helvellyn summit.

The photograph on the right is the view from near Helvellyn's summit. People clamber over the rocks of Striding Edge as the Mountain Rescue helicopter hovers above. This is one of the most popular routes in the Lake District, so there are bound to be some other walkers around - it was a fine Saturday in May too - a few other climbers didn't detract at all from this spectacular experience.

View from the summit of Helvellyn Lake District

On the left is the scene from the top looking eastwards with Catstye Cam on the left and Red Tarn below. The panorama from South to North (pictured below) presents views including Fairfield, the Coniston fells, Great Gable, Scafell Pike, Pillar, the Buttermere fells, Skiddaw, Blencathra, Morcambe Bay, the Solway Firth etc. etc.


St Sunday Crag and Fairfield from Nethermost Pike

On the left the photograph shows how we were accompanied by St Sunday Crag on our descent. Fairfield comes into view too as we ascend Nethermost Pike and then Dollywaggon Pike. Why are we ascending when we're coming down the mountain? Hill walking is often just like that!
Grizedale Tarn from Dollywaggon Pike Lake District

Finally, another tarn comes into view - Grisedale. The descent takes us down Dollywaggon Pike to Grisedale Tarn and then a four mile walk back to Grasmere. But hold on a minute... didn't we leave the car in Glenridding?!!

All these Lake District Photographs Bridge House Hotel Grasmere



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