The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike

I have climbed Scafell Pike (highest mountain in England) many times as I posted before. I hadn’t been up for a while, the sun appeared so thought it was time I returned for a casual wander up. I took all day about it rather than challenge style. Why? Because much more beauty is found on the way up or off track than just at the summit.

photo1small The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike

My favourite route up is from Seathwaite, nestled in the gorgeous Borrowdale south of Keswick and Derwent Water. It offers me my variety, views and wanderings that the straight up steep climb from Wastwater can’t give me as much. From Seathwaite you casually climb for about an hour and when it suddenly flattens out from the gorge take a small detour off the Summit track… The beautiful Sprinkling Tarn (above/below) hides, peacefully, perfect. Sit and reflect.

IMG_4656 The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike

If you like to stop and look around then keep looking back down… The view over Borrowdale and over to Derwent Water, Keswick and Skiddaw etc gets grander and grander each step. I have found even in dull days the feeling of awe never recedes.

photo41 The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike

photo5 The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike

From Sty Head at the top of this valley there are options galore. Smaller peaks left and right, big wide valley views over each brow. Looking out South all the way over to Windermere and even Morecambe Bay, North to Scotland over the Solway Firth and East to see the Pennines rise in between the Helvellyn Range. Carry on to the summit of Scafell Pike or wander and wander, this peace is yours to marvel.

photo3small The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike

Summits themselves give goals, a different perspective each time. The Lake District weather helps in that even in a 5 minute period at the top you can go from no visibility at all to suddenly clear with the likes of wastwater and a lot of the North West of England before you. Bye bye Scafell Pike.. for now.. see you soon… I have many more miles to tread around here again and I can’t wait to step in wonder.

photo21 The Beauty of Wandering Off Track – Scafell Pike


Written by Paul Steele

Founder of and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele


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  1. Paul great update on Scarfel this was my first adventure after a serious operation. Your post brought back the great feeling of being there. I look forward to going back up again soon. All the best Glen

  2. Hi Paul,

    You are a genius both with your camera and pen! Wonderful!
    We climbed Scafell Pike a few years ago when staying in The Screes and had rain, storm, hail, thunder and … sun! Loved it.

  3. May I post some of your photos (they are gorgeous!) on our Facebook page with a credit to you? Our Facebook page is for HouseSit Match. Please check us out between hikes! Thanks, Lamia

  4. Scafell Pike is fantastic – and it looks like you had the best season’s weather that day. I remember having all four seasons on the way up, and then again on the descent. Fabulous!!

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