10th April 2010

An early morning wander around Helvellyn


Walk Overview
Time 07.25 to 12.20
Duration 4 hr 55 min
Distance 8 mile
Ascent 3160 ft
Walking with On my own
Swirls - Browncove Crags - Helvellyn - Helvellyn Lower Man - White Side - Raise - Brund Gill - Brown Crag - sheepfold Helvellyn Gill - Brown How - path above Thirlspot - Swirls
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Swirls, Thirlmere

Swirls and Helvellyn fit perfectly into the same sentence. The chances are that 9 out of every 10 people who walk from here are heading up Browncove Crags onto Helvellyn summit.

The car park is in effect split into two by the A591. One has splendid views over Thirlmere and pays host to an ice cream van, whilst on the opposite side of the road you have the toilet block and the beginning of the path to Helvellyn.

Unfortunately the water company who own the land have installed a 'pay and display' machine in the car park above Thirlmere, so, the only free option here is to park in the long lay-by a little further down the road. Late comers will find it full !!


Route Map

It was a gorgeous morning today and even at this early hour the sunshine was well down the east facing slopes of the fells. I however, had opted for a route up the west side of Helvellyn so the first half hour or so was done in the shade. And even though I knew it wouldn't take long to get into the sun, I couldn't help thinking for a short time that I was perhaps in the wrong place.

This is better. Reflections in Thirlmere and a clear view across to the northern fells.

Looking around towards, , , lots of fells.

Patches of snow are still lingering on the fells. I can't remember the last time that snow which fell before Christmas was still here in April.


Helvellyn's trig point.

9am at Helvellyn's summit cairn, and the place was all mine.

This is close enough to the edge I think. It's only a matter of time until bits start falling away and I didn't fancy falling down with them.

Leaving Helvellyn I retraced my route for a short distance before cutting off to Helvellyn Lower Man.

From Hellvellyn Lower Man looking across to White Side, Raise, the Dodds and Blencathra.

Looking ahead to White Side.

And now looking back to Helvellyn and Helvellyn Lower Man.

Raise seen from White Side summit.

Raise summit.

There was plenty of time for a wander about so I decided to head down to Brown Crag (centre).


A close up of the A591, taken from Brown Crag.

An unusual view up to Stybarrow Dodd and Watson's Dodd.

This was the second of two reasons for taking what could be described as an odd route today.

Time to start dropping off the fell now and the route took me down to the path which runs almost parallel to the road between Stanah and Swirls.


A view back along the track.

The back of the Kings Head. I know he's not easily recognisable from the back, but if you look at the front, the sign shows it to be Charles I.

Looking across to the two car parks at Swirls.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks