Our guide to the UK’s favourite walk – Helvellyn
With the sun shining and longer days ahead, we are all searching for the best walks to try out this summer.
It goes without saying that the Lake District is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK – with England’s largest lake, Windermere, and the popular market town of Ambleside among its many attractions.
But one walk that stands out, literally, is Helvellyn. It’s the third-highest mountain in England. Sitting on the doorstep of our Ullswater Heights Park, Helvellyn offers breathtaking views of the Lake District and beyond.
Here’s our guide to one of the UK’s favourite walks, Helvellyn.
Why Helvellyn is the UK’s favourite
Helvellyn remains a hugely popular walk and was recently voted as the UK’s favourite in a poll by Ordnance Survey. ITV also released a top 100 UK walks programme alongside it which celebrated the iconic peak in all its glory.
Helvellyn offers the best of both worlds. For the adventurous thrill-seekers, you can walk along its razor-sharp ridges; Striding Edge and Swirral Edge. And, for those who would rather have an easier route, you can set off from Thirlmere – but all routes reach the same picturesque views.
What you see on the route
There are many ways to ascend Helvellyn, but one thing that will remain the same whichever route you decide to follow is the spectacular scenery around you.
On your way up, you may come across all sorts of animals and wildlife. There are a lot of birds who frequent the mountain, including ravens and buzzards, as well as many pretty plants that are believed to have lived on its slopes since the last Ice Age. Helvellyn is also home to Britain’s only alpine species of butterfly: the rare Mountain Ringlet!
Once you get to the top, you can see panoramic 360-degree views on a clear day. In the foreground, you will see Red Tarn down below and the stunning lakes of Thirlmere to the west and Ullswater to the east. The Solway Firth, Morecambe Bay and Blackpool Tower are some of the furthermost landmarks that can be seen on the horizon.
How many people climb Helvellyn?
Nearly 300,000 people hike up to Helvellyn’s summit every year. In total, it typically takes around six hours to complete. Although, it depends on where you start and how many breaks you’d like to take along the way!
Make sure you come prepared for the changes in weather, which are to be expected when climbing any mountain. It’s recommended to wear layers of clothing, including a thermal underlayer and a waterproof jacket, as well as great quality walking boots and a comfortable rucksack.
Why Ullswater Heights is the perfect base camp
Our Ullswater Heights site is the ideal place to walk Helvellyn following this route, the Wainwright route, starting at the edge of Ullswater Lake. You can arrive at your luxury lodge to have a good night’s sleep before your big day – simply get up and go.
Once you’ve finished your adventure, you’ll no doubt be ready for a rest and your lodge at Ullswater will be waiting for you. Enjoy a homemade meal at our onsite Lake House Bar and Restaurant before unwinding, putting your feet up and relaxing in your own private hot tub – you will have earned it!