About four months ago we successfully walked up Snowdon on what was probably the hottest day of the year. It was long and it was sweaty but it was so much fun and as we reached the summit we were already thinking about our next adventure. Scafell Pike.
Scafell Pike is quite simply the highest point in England, sitting (or rather standing) at 978 metres above sea level. Located in the beautiful Lake District National Park in Cumbria, where the surroundings quite literally take your breath away. It’s such a peaceful and magical place which made me fall in love with Britain all over again.
For all you budding walkers, climbers and adventurers out there read on to find out everything you need to know about completing Scafell Pike, from where to stay to what route to take, right through to where to have your celebratory meal.
We stayed in a beautiful little place called Wasdale, which is quite literally the most remote place I have ever visited. Even the drive was Manchester was a mini adventure in itself. It took just over an hour on the motorway until we hit the start of the Lakes. We then spent another hour and a half driving through the countryside, up and over hills, down winding roads and through quaint country villages. There were times we went over hills not knowing what was over the other side and we even had to stop to guide some cute (and utterly fearless) sheep off the road.
Wasdale itself has some of the best neighbours in England, from the highest peak to the deepest lake; not forgetting the famous walking pub, The Wasdale Head Inn.
Now, I’m no camper. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside but I also love a little home comfort, so the Wasdale National Trust Campsite was a great place to stay as it has 7 heated pods that you can hire, which are essentially wooden ‘tents’ with a small heater and a lamp. Nothing special but just enough comfort for us city folk! The facilities at the campsite are pretty decent – with showers, toilets, a small shop and a pop up cafe on the Saturday which sold tea, coffee, bacon/veggie rolls and porridge – just make sure you take a little cash with you.
We had planned to take the longer 14km route up Scafell but when we woke in the morning visibility wasn’t great, plus it was set to rain later in the day (and rain it did). So, being the sensible folk that we are, we decided to take the most direct route up to the peak. This route took us around 3.5 hours altogether with the ascent taking much longer than descent. But bear in mind, it may be the most direct route but it was definitely much steeper, and more challenging at times, especially as you neared the top.
Being a regular walker I was already pretty well equipped. I wore my Berghaus jacket and my trusty Trespass boots along with my regular gym gear. You might want to wear waterproof trousers which many of my group did, however, I’m much more comfortable in leggings. My number one tip for the walk is layers. It my feel like summer at the bottom but trust me, by the time you reach the top you’ll swear it’s the middle of winter as it quickly goes from sun to cloud. You might even want to take gloves and a hat (just make sure it’s securely on your head or you may well lose it to the strong winds).
I personally struggle to eat when I’m doing anything active. I had planned to be good and have some oats before I left but ended up eating some breakfast biscuits washed down with a coffee instead. We did make sure we were fully stocked for the climb though, with plenty of water and snacks including our favourite rice cakes and plenty of soreen. After we’d completed our climb we obviously had to reward ourselves in the pub with far too much wine and comfort food at the Wasdale Head. I chose the vegetarian lasagne with garlic bread, chips and salad, followed by a huge sticky toffee pudding and ice-cream. Well deserved I thought!
Take home message:
Climbing Scafell Pike is something that I think everyone in England should do. It brought me a great sense of gratitude and I was able to put everything into perspective. It’s the perfect place to get off the grid, switch off (there is NO SERVICE!) and spend some quality time bonding with friends (old and new).
The world is truly a wonderful place and we should always seek beauty in everything we see and do.
Have you climbed Scafell Pike? How did you get on? Let me know in the comments below or tag me in any pics on Twitter or Instagram.