Beginner’s Guide to Scafell Pike

February 1, 2022

It would not seem usual for a beginner to attempt the highest mountain in their country, but it is possible in England.

Highest Mountain in England

Whilst Scafell Pike is quite a strenuous climb, it is also something a person of moderate fitness can do with a little preparation and the right approach. It’s a challenging climb, but daily you’ll find people heading up with dogs and children, proving that anyone with the right preparation can find themselves at the summit of England’s highest mountain. If you wish to set yourself the goal, then here’s our handy guide on a beginner climbing Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike

Firstly, where is Scafell Pike? It is in the Lake District, an area of England popular with tourists. Indeed, Gala Bingo suggests it is visited by more than 16 million every year, and many of those are taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge. Scafell Pike is the smallest mountain in the Three Peaks Challenge, but that doesn’t make it easy. The BBC explains how a failure to prepare can be problematic and, in some instances, fatal. Therefore new climbers should be aware of the dangers before setting out.


To climb Scafell Pike doesn’t involve any climbing in the strictest sense; you won’t need ropes or equipment to get to the top of the mountain. It is a climb in the looser sense, a relentlessly steep walk whichever way your approach. The most popular starting point is Wasdale, with a gentle route to the foot of the mountain before you head up into the clouds. That path is well-trodden, even a little eroded in places from the 100,000 people who ascend each year. Be aware that the pathway is likely to be busy, uneven, and require stability and dexterity from you.

There are a few items that will be essential for your climb. Knowing your way up and down is going to be important. On a typical day, many people will be heading up, and you follow each other like worker ants, so it isn’t difficult. If you’re walking early in the day or later in the evening, then it is easy to take the wrong path on the descent, so a map or phone app may be useful.

Essential Items

Make sure you have a moderate-sized backpack containing plenty of fluids. The climb is tough in places, and as a beginner, you’ll need some rest breaks to take on fluids. The summit is flat with plenty of space for you to sit and have a drink, and celebratory water with friends at the top is always nice!

In terms of clothing, good boots are essential. You’ll need a strong grip, which won’t be provided in a pair of trainers, so try to have walking boots or shoes. We’d also strongly urge you to have walking socks underneath as the gradient is such that you can find your feet blister rather easily. The weather can also turn up the mountain, so we’d recommend a waterproof, or some warm clothing at the bottom of your bag, even on the warmest of days.


Anyone with a moderate level of fitness can climb Scafell. This writer had never been fell walking before, but with the right equipment and preparation, the summit was reached. The key is to take your time, not be afraid to have breaks, and just make sure you’ve prepared properly. Oh, one other thing; there are plenty of public conveniences at Wasdale – make sure you use them before setting off!


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