Scafell from the South

  • The best ascent of Scafell
  • Rarely visited Burnmoor Tarn
  • Explore pretty Eskdale

I was surprised to find that for every person on the top of Scafell 15 people climbed the nearby Scafell Pike. Clearly Scafell Pike is higher but the main reason is surely down to the geographic location of  Scafell. The most popular way of climbing Scafell is via Scafell Pike from Borrowdale, a long drag with Scafell merely an inconvenience; alternatively there is an unremitting slog from Wasdale Head but by far the best is the long ridge over Slight Side from Eskdale.

Eskdale is a lovely valley, almost unspoilt and including some of the finest of Lakeland scenery. Scafell is gradually exposed on the gradual ascent with the final 1/2 mile above Foxes Tarn laying bare a grand panorama of high mountains within the central core which are rarely seen from this angle. Rather than returning via the same route I visited Burnmoor Tarn for the first time and ended by passing the beautifully situated Eel Tarn. I passed nobody once I left the summit.

I have also detailed a route via the glorious Upper Esk valley and a steep and unremitting climb up to Foxes Tarn and beyond. Better to explore the Upper Esk on its own.

Recommend: This is a walk for sturdy walking boots, I ended up with wet and sore feet from my lighter weight option!

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Scafell from Eskdale map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL6 The English Lakes South West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 201009. There is limited parking at the start of the climb which should be enough. Alternatively there is some parking in and around the Woolpack Inn.
Height to Climb: 848ms (2,781 feet)
Terrain: The climb is on a good but not eroded path, the descent to Burnmoor Tarn is steep bouldery whereas the path at the tarn is wet.
Eating & Drinking: The Woolpack Inn has an excellent choice of beer and a lovely beer garden but the food down the road at the Boot Inn has more variety.
Similar Walks Nearby: The Scafells from Wasdale
Craggy frolics over Eskdale
Muncaster Fell from Eskdale Green
Places to Stay: King George IV Inn, EskdaleThe Barn, Eskdale


Bridge End Farm CottagesKing George IV Apartments