Climbing Blencathra

  • A distinct and noteworthy climb
  • Far reaching views in all directions
  • A fine scramble to the summit

I find Blencathra (or Saddleback) the most enjoyable mountain to climb and explore in the Lake District. Partly this is due to its isolation; Blencathra stands apart from the other Lakeland hills looking south and west offers a vast panorama covering the vast majority of fells in the are but it is also partly due to the contrasting nature of the mountain. To the south a vast claw appears to have ripped the mountain apart leaving deep gullies and sharp ridges whilst to the north slopes fall gently in to an empty wilderness where it is possible to escape the crowds even on a popular summer’s day. Finally though I rate Blencathra because I know it so well – all my holidays from 7 upwards were taken in the attractive village of Threlkeld which lies at its foot and I have explored the slopes ever since.

I have selected what I consider to be the finest walk on the fell and it may well surprise to find that it does not include Sharp Edge! I prefer the ridge up Hall’s Fell as the classic route up Blencathra; it is a great little edge without real danger or too much exposure and it arrows directly to the true summit but it certainly provides an exciting scramble for all ages and should not be undertaken by novices. Take your time on the ridge and pick the route that suits you. From the summit there is a lovely mile stroll west from the summit on short grass where the views are simply unbeatable in England. The descent is less steep over on Blease Fell which is as it should be. A true classic.

READ a separate account of one of my best day’s on Blencathra here 

Recommend: There is no better place to watch the sun rise from the summit plateau of Blencathra

Download GPX file

Blencathra map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1/25,000. Lake District North East. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 322252. There is a small car park up Blease Road but best park near one of the pubs in Threlkeld and enjoy the village.
Height to Climb: 703ms (2,306 feet)
Terrain: 2847', 2,400 from the village. Good clear paths throughout except when it becomes intermittent on Narrow Ridge. Steep climb from the foot of Hall's Fell
Eating & Drinking: The two pubs in Threlkeld are excellent. Sitting in the beer garden of the Horse & Farrier after this walk just feels right. The village hall often serves tea and cake in the summer months
Similar Walks Nearby: Derwentwater via Walla Crag
Blencathra via Sharp Edge from Scales
The Remote North
Places to Stay: Blease Garth, ThrelkeldCroft House Cottages, nr Keswick


The Grange B & B, KeswickTroutbeck Camping & Caravanning