Strenuousness:2 (Short day)/5
Terrain:Rough and rocky ground, grassy hillsides, bog and occasional exposure
Distance:9km / 6 miles
Starting Point:Wasdale Head
Public Transport:Very difficult. The closest train station is Seascale. You may be able to get a taxi but there is no regular bus service.
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No route up Scafell Pike is easy, but the climb from Wasdale is the most direct and the shortest. Although that does mean you’re walking uphill from your first step, right up to the top!
Park at the Wasdale Head car park (OS ref: NY187085) and set off south-east along the public footpath across the valley floor to the footbridge (OS ref: NY189082) which crosses Lingmell Beck.
From the footbridge, follow the path southwards, climbing diagonally up the hillside until joining the main path up Lingmell Gill (OS ref: NY192074). Follow the path up (west) alongside Lingmell Gill for just over a kilometre until it splits (OS ref: NY203074) at an area known as Hollow Stones.
From here, take the left-hand path south-west, climbing steeply up towards Lingmell Col. The craggy mass of Scafell Pike will be rising on your right as you climb. From Lingmell Col (OS ref: NY210077), turn off the well-made path and head right (south) up Scafell Pike. Take the shallowest route between two crags, marked by cairns.
The path curves round to your left and finally reaches the boulder-strewn plateau at the summit of Scafell Pike, marked by a large cairn and trig point (OS ref: NY215073). You’ve reached Scafell Pike from Wasdale, give yourself a moment to take in the magnificent views and tranquillity.
From the summit, retrace your steps, following the path with its line of cairns to the north-west, descending slowly at first, then more steeply down towards Lingmell Col.
Follow the track downhill and west, back into Wasdale valley and where you started your walk. Although another mile along the valley floor to your north is the Wasdale Head Inn (OS ref: NY186088) – a well-earned refreshment stop might be in order.
Where to Park: The Wasdale Head Car Park
Embarking on your adventure to climb Scafell Pike from Wasdale begins at the heart of the picturesque Lake District – the Wasdale Head car park.
The initial stage of your journey to conquer Scafell Pike starts from the Wasdale Head car park. After safely parking your vehicle, your adventure on the highest peak in England commences. The car park, conveniently nestled at the base of the mountain, offers a perfect starting point.
Location: The car park’s geographical coordinates are approximately 54.4559791° N, 3.2620112° W.
Facilities: The Wasdale Head car park provides free toilets, and you’ll be able to refill water bottles.
Parking: It’s a pay-and-display car park costing £9 for the whole day unless you’re a member of the National Trust, in which case it’s free. It’s coin-only, so remember to carry some with you, but depending on where you arrive, you might be able to pay by card at the nearby Wasdale Campsite shop. Arrive early during peak seasons, as spaces can quickly fill up.
Also, note that you might struggle to get a mobile phone signal at the car park.
Where to Stay: The Wasdale Head Campsite
If you’re planning on climbing Scafell Pike from Wasdale, and if camping is your thing, setting up your base at the Wasdale Head Campsite is highly recommended. Nestled right in the heart of the Lake District, this campsite offers a perfect balance of natural beauty and convenience, all just a stone’s throw away from the start of your hike.
The campsite provides a wide selection of pitches, catering to tents, campervans and motorhomes alike. You’ll find that each pitch comes with ample space, ensuring you’re not cramped and can enjoy your stay comfortably.
Where to Stay: The Wasdale Head Inn
The Wasdale Head Inn is an ideal base for your Scafell Pike adventure. This historic inn in the valley heart is known for its warm hospitality and rich climbing heritage.
Wasdale Weather Forecast
The data for the weather forecast for Wasdale has been provided by the Met Office. The data is updated once daily, so please ensure you check the Met Office website for the most recent information. The exact location of the data refers to coordinates (lat: 54.468, long: -3.2559).
Today, expect a day of heavy rain at Wasdale Head. The wind will gust at speeds up to 36mph, so it's recommended to consult official guidance and keep a close eye on the forecast. The UV index is low, therefore no particular precautions are necessary. As the weather conditions are quite severe, it is advisable to monitor the forecast closely.
Tomorrow, Wasdale Head will experience a cloudy day with varying rain conditions. The morning will start with light rain, turning into heavy rain by midday and easing off to drizzle in the afternoon. Wind speeds are expected to pick up, with gusts reaching up to 38mph, so it's recommended to consult official guidance and keep a close eye on the forecast. The UV index will remain low throughout the day, so no specific protection is required.
On Monday, the weather at Wasdale Head will be partly cloudy during the day, transitioning to full cloud cover later in the afternoon, with light winds from the south-west to south-east and temperatures around 7 degrees Celsius.
On Tuesday, expect a predominantly cloudy day at Wasdale Head, with light rain likely around midday, and temperatures hovering around 7 degrees Celsius throughout the day.
On Wednesday, Wasdale Head can expect a mainly dry day with sunny spells in the morning, transitioning to partly cloudy conditions in the afternoon, and light winds throughout the day.
Data provided by the Met Office. Last updated: 3h ago. When considering Scafell Pike weather, take note that the conditions you encounter at the base of Scafell Pike may be vastly different from those you experience at its summit. Higher altitudes often bring colder temperatures, stronger winds, and decreased visibility. Therefore, it is always advisable to check the mountain weather forecast before you set off for your hike.
Frequently asked questions about Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head
How demanding is the climb to Scafell Pike via the Wasdale Head route?
Scaling Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head poses a moderately strenuous challenge, marked by the route’s steepness, tricky navigation and technical aspects. Although it’s a shorter trek that spans approximately 4.5 hours, you’ll navigate through varied terrains, including rocky grounds and grassy hillsides.
Where does the journey on the Wasdale Head route commence?
Your adventure will kick off at the Wasdale Head car park. From this point, you’ll embark on a south-eastern trek along a public footpath, crossing a charming valley to reach a footbridge over Lingmell Beck