Skip to main content

Guided walk Striding Edge

By 2nd September 2020June 5th, 2021Summer, Walking


Are you ready to take on one of the most famous mountain ridges in the UK – a guided walk on Striding Edge on Helvellyn in the Lake District? Many people scramble this ridge every year and it is on many ‘tick lists’. However, it can be dangerous and care is required. A guide who knows the route can help keep you safe as well as sharing a host of useful tips with you.

Booking and Prices

If you want to book a guided walk up Striding Edge in the Lake District then see the main page for more details and prices or see what our clients say about us. You can also have a look at the Calendar for forthcoming “Open” events.

When you are ready, then get in touch to make an enquiry or a booking.

We also guide walks in other parts of the Lake District, such as the Langdale Pikes, as well as in Snowdonia and the Scottish highlands.

Guided Walk Striding Edge

A single walker silhouetted in the early morning light on Striding Edge on Helvellyn during a guided walk in the Lake District

A single walker silhouetted on Striding Edge on Helvellyn

Striding Edge on Helvellyn seen in the morning light

The southern slopes of Striding Edge above Nethermost Cove

Striding Edge is one of the two famous narrow scrambling ridges on Helvellyn, the other being Swirral Edge. Our most popular guided walk up Helvellyn is to go up Striding Edge and then descend Swirral Edge. Swirral Edge mirrors Striding Edge, on the opposite side of Red Tarn. This makes a wonderful horseshoe shaped route which fills the day.

The headwall of Helvellyn looms up at the end of Striding Edge during a guided walk in the Lake District

Striding Edge

Striding Edge is a glacial feature called an arête, a thin ridge which has been left by a retreating glacier on either side. This means that as you walk along the crest of the ridge, there are steep drops below you on either side (see below). You need a good head for heights and sound footwork and balance, but it’s within the ability of very many people.

As the narrow ridge comes to an end, there is a tricky section of down-climbing which most people find the hardest part of the ridge. A wider patch of ground below makes a good place to stop and have a drink before the final challenge. This is the steep headwall of Helvellyn (below) which looms up in front of you. However, it’s neither as tricky as Striding Edge nor as huge as it first looks. It’s soon over and you reach the summit to enjoy the views.

Descent via Swirral Edge

Having done Striding Edge, the circuit continues with a descent of Swirral Edge – Stridging Edge’s little brother. It’s a steeper descent, with some tricky steps, but it doesn’t last long. Then, a wide and more gentle path sweeps away to the shores of Red Tarn below.

For those who don’t fancy scrambling the narrow edges, you can choose a different guided walk up Helvellyn from a variety of start points. These are usually quite long and strenuous, but not technically difficult in summer conditions. The views from the long mountain chain of which Helvellyn is a part are really quite stunning. You can see all over the Lake District fells in every direction.