Summary: Helvellyn is a fine alternative to Scafell Pike, and for those wanting a little less steepness and less overall ascent, Helvellyn is well worth considering. Still a big summit, feeling every bit as high as the Scafells and with a huge summit plateau, this is a great place to be. In fact, Helvellyn was once thought to be the highest mountain in England!
For the walker there are a variety of routes on offer and our guided walks can range from moderate to challenging in difficulty. A favourite of ours is from Swirls in St. John's in the Vale. We ascend on good tracks with only relatively short steep sections, until the summit plateau is gained around the Brown Cove Crag area. From here it's a high mountain amble to the true summit. On a clear day the views are incredible in all directions. Returning the same way is an option, but we'd recommend a visit to Lower Man and White Side too. This doesn't add much effort to the day but gains 2 extra summits and many more views to savour. It also has an 'off the beaten track' feel to it.
Summary: For those wanting to go the more adventurous route to the summit, we'd recommend Striding and Swirral Edges above Red Tarn. Starting from the Glenridding area the paths to Red Tarn are well maintained and make for an easy initial walk. From here we can take in the scale of Helvellyn as it looms high above Red Tarn, to our left is Striding Edge and a classic grade 1 scramble taking us all the way to the summit. This is loads of fun and well worth doing for anyone with a head for heights.
From the summit we can either descend via Swirral Edge (similar to Striding Edge) or follow a walking route via White Side.