Having spent a lot of my time in the hills and mountains of the Lake District UK, I thought I would share my top 5 Lake District Fells with you all in this post. This small selection of fells are the ones I highly recommend to those of you who really wish to embark on the hillwalking experience the Lakes have to offer. Including the incredible views, maybe the best views, but that's for you to decide. Some of these Fells are quite challenging to walk and others aren't. So, instead of telling you the routes I would take, I'll explain a little about each location allowing you to choose a route suitable to yourselves. Anyway, enough waffling on from me... Lets go!
1. Helvellyn 950m
Recently voted as Britain's favourite walk. Helvellyn, via Striding Edge, is a favourite for many people including myself. It has everything you would expect from a mountain in Britain; incredible views in all directions, sharp ridges, scrambles, a tarn and much more.
I recommend ascending Helvellyn via Striding Edge and descending via Swirral Edge over to Catstycam. However, if the ridge looks a bit too much of a task, there are many easier ascents that can be made from the Thirlmere reservoir side. Striding and Swirral Edge are two of the finest ridge walks in the UK, of course, they aren't for the faint hearted but I do recommend them in order to fully experience this mountain. If taken with care, I assure you, this will be one of the best days out you will have! Once completed, it's easy to see why Helvellyn is such a popular location. It really is amazing!!
Glenridding, Patterdale and Grasmere
2. Blencathra 868m
Blencathra, also know as Saddleback, is one of the finest mountains here in the Lake District. This is my absolute favourite. I have reached the summit many times and each time I visit I always enjoy it more and more. It doesn't get old! Blencathra has six separate fell tops, the highest being the Hallsfell Top summit at 868m (2848ft).
There are many routes to choose from when walking up this mountain. A favourite of mine being via Hallsfell Ridge or Sharp Edge, sometimes both done together. It's really up to you and how confident you feel as to which route you take. Blencathra is a huge favourite for mountaineers. In winter conditions, this is where the best of Blencathra is revealed. It becomes very alpine like. The ridges and steep climbs become more difficult and caution must be taken. But, with the right equipment, skills and experience, this shouldn't be a problem. On a clear winters day, you really could mistake Blencathra for somewhere in the Alps. It's Incredible!
Keswick and Penrith
3. Loughrigg Fell 335m
Located just north of Ambleside, Loughrigg is a small fell yet bursting with beauty. Again, there are multiple routes to the summit; from Ambleside, Rydal, Grasmere and Loughrigg Tarn. So, do some research and pick one that suits you. They're all fairly straight forward and simple.
My favourite route up is from Rydal White Moss Woods car park. Ascending via the Loughrigg Terrace which offers one of my favourite views in the Lake District. A beautiful vista overlooking Grasmere towards Helm Crag, Helvellyn and more. As seen in my image on the right.
Once on the summit, the views on Loughrigg are really hard to beat. Grasmere, Langdale, Coniston, Windermere and many more are all visible. Not to mention the many fells surrounding. My favourite views from Loughrigg are to the West, overlooking Loughrigg Tarn and Elterwater in the valley below.
Ambleside and Grasmere
This is one of my favourite small hills in the Lakes and one I always recommend to people who are after a short hike or an intro into fell walking.
Make this your next small walk!
4. Haystacks 597m
Located at the south eastern end of the Buttermere Valley. Haystacks is an extremely popular fell for many walkers! It was also the favourite summit of the famous and influential guidebook author, Alfred Wainwright. He quotes "for beauty, variety and interesting detail, for sheer fascination and unique individuality, the summit area of Haystacks is supreme. This is, in fact, the best fell-top of all". He isn't wrong, Haystacks is fantastic!
Haystacks is often climbed from Buttermere via the Scarth Gap Pass or Warnscale. There is even a simple route from Honister, giving you the option to add Fleetwith Pike to this walk as well. All of the routes are great ascents. The scenery and mountains surrounding are incredible. If you're an avid wild camper or looking to get into camping, this is the place to go! Pitching a tent at Innominate Tarn or even trying your first Bothy night here - it really does bring a sense of adventure. There are two bothy's up here, Dubs Hut and the famous Warnscale Bothy as seen in many photographs. They provide a fantastic wild sleeping experience and there's no need for a tent, win win!
Keswick and Cockermouth (10 miles approx)
5. Crinkle Crags 859m
Situated at the head of the Langdale Valley. Crinkle Crags stands tall with a series of five rises and depressions known as crinkles.
The views from the summit are pretty spectacular! From wide open views over the Langdale Valley and distant fell to amazing views of Englands highest mountains and views all the way out to the Irish Sea. Crinkle Crags isn't one to be missed!
Having only recently hiked this myself, we found our starting point at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Langdale was perfect. Crinkle Crags can be hiked on its own and its brilliant, but if you're up for a challenge and a great day out then adding Pike O' Blisco or Bowfell (maybe even both) to the route can make it an exceptional day of hiking and adventure.
After experiencing Crinkle Crags on a sunny, blue skied day, with views that went on for miles and miles this mountain was well worthy of a place in my top five!
That's all folks. My top five right there! Some of them you may have already done. Maybe some of them you haven't, either way... make one of these fells your next hike, you won't regret it!