Complete list: Lake District Mountains

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The Lake District is a rugged landscape made up of mountains and lakes located in Cumbria in the North of England. The national park is where you can find all peaks higher than 3,000ft in England making it popular with fell runners and mountaineers alike. 

The four highest fells make up the Lakeland Round, or Lakeland 3000’s as they are often known. Scafell Pike is the highest point in England, towering at 978 metres above sea level. The climb is arduous, although there is a marked path which takes you most of the way to the top. The full round is made up of Scafell Pike, Scafell, Skiddaw and Helvellyn. It is no minor undertaking with the round totalling 45 miles and a staggering 10990.81ft of elevation. A number of route guides are available online and those unfamiliar with the Lake District should recce their route before setting out on their journey.

There are a total of 16 lakes in the Lake District with the largest and most famous of them all being Windermere, the deepest in the UK at Wast Water. The lakes are popular for lovers of water sports, swimmers and boaters alike and whilst there is a speed limit in place to protect swimmers, caution is advised if you take to the water in a swimsuit as these speed limits are often ignored.

The Difference between Mountains and Fells

The meaning of the word ‘fell’ can be traced back to Old Norse ‘fiall’ which roughly translates as ‘mountain’. The term is now used to describe the highest mountains in England including England’s highest summit Scafell Pike, Bowfell and Longridge Fell. Many hikers and fell runners refer to being out ‘on the fells’ when talking about their adventures on the country’s mountain tops and some even have epic tales of how spectacularly they fell whilst up there.

To be classed as a mountain, the summit must be above 2,000ft (610m), below this height you can expect to find hills, crags and fells which are commonly used terms for summits below this altitude.

The Lake District is also home to the Bob Graham round. The Bob Graham consists of 42 peaks, 27,000ft of elevation gain and 66 miles in length. Many athletes have attempted the round, which was first created by hotelier Bob Graham in 1932. The Bob Graham has since been altered a number of times and the most commonly used route is now that of Alan Heaton. Some of the world’s best runners including John Kelly and Damien Hall have documented their attempts at the round, Jack Kuenzle currently holds the record for the quickest round in 12 hours and 23 minutes whilst Beth Pascall holds the female record at 14 hours and 34 minutes!

The Toughest Climb in the Lake District

There are many different aspects that make a climb tough, challenging or downright daunting. The terrain, weather conditions and elevation profile can all play a part. For that reason, it’s hard to be definitive when talking about the most difficult climb.

Scafell Pike has the obvious claim to being the highest mountain in England with the approach to the summit being particularly tough as it is made up of loose rock. More experienced, adventurous climbers have the chance to experience Lords Rake, a scramble through a gully to reach the plateau beneath the summit of the Pike. To take it on you need to have a head for heights, the final third of the Rake is exposed and by this point, you are already at a significant altitude. If you are even a little queasy, don’t even think about looking down.

Aside from Lord’s Rake, Scafell Pike has a number of routes to the top, each with their own appeal. None of them constitutes an easy option. Scafell Pike is, after all, England’s highest mountain. Those with a fear of heights should also be cautious of looking to their right during the approach to the summit as it can be particularly daunting.

Some people find walking poles a huge help on the loose sections of rock and scree that you encounter towards the summit of Scafell Pike. As with all kit recommendations, it is worth getting used to your kit at a lower altitude on a small-scale adventure before taking it to England’s highest summit!

Another contender for the toughest climb in the Lake District is the climb up Blencathra from Sharp Edge. As the name suggests, the climb traverses a narrow ridge line making it one of the more hazardous in the region. The mountain is in the Eastern Lakes and those who make the summit can on a clear day can expect impressive panoramic views of the surrounding mountain range.

We have previously covered 10 of the best hikes in the Lake District. If you are new to the area or need some inspiration, why not take one of our route ideas and start plotting your own adventure?

Can you do a three peaks challenge in the Lake District?

Whilst the Lakeland 3000 and Bob Graham round may be more well known, a Lake District three peak challenge is possible. Taking on the three highest mountains in the region is no easy feat.

In addition to the ascent of Scafell Pike, which we’ve covered in the section above, Helvellyn provides climbers with some challenging ascents of its own. The ascent via Striding and Swirral Edge is perhaps the most spectacular but is potentially hazardous and with little margin for error. Those who are of poor balance or with a fear of falling should take care and perhaps ascend via the bypass paths that are available and provide some cover from the most exposed aspects of the climb.

Skiddaw is an altogether different mountain. Unlike the ascent of Helvellyn, with its exposed ascent routes, or Scafell Pike which is located in a busy mountain cluster, Skiddaw towers alone above Keswick and offers stunning and unrestricted views from the summit.

  • Scafell Pike at 978 metres (3210 feet)
  • Helvellyn at 950 metres (3114 feet)
  • Skiddaw at 931 metres (3053 feet)

The great thing about the Lake District is its sheer size and the variety of adventures on offer. There are mountains, fells, crags and pikes to suit every kind of adventurer, whether you want to plan a hill walking day out or a more technical adventure. Oh, and did we mention the difference in elevation, from some of England’s highest mountains to the more manageable climbs offered by Castle Cragg and Loughrigg Fell? 

Your Definitive Lake District Mountain List

In total, there are 214 peaks in the Lake District. Here are 32 to whet your appetite;

1. Scafell Pike – 978 metres (3210 feet)

2. Scafell – 963 metres (3162 feet)

3. Helvellyn – 950 metres (3117 feet)

4. Skiddaw – 931 metres (3053 feet)

5. Great End – 910 metres (2986 feet)

6. Bowfell – 902 (2960 feet)

7. Great Gable – 899 metres (2960 feet)

8. Pillar – 892 metres (2926 feet)

9. Fairfield – 872 metres (2863 feet)

10. Blencathra – 867 metres (2847 feet)

11. Crinkle Crags – 858 metres (2816 feet)

12. High Street – 828 metres (2718 feet)

13. Steeple – 818 metres (2687 feet)

14. High Stile – 806 metres (2644 feet)

15. Coniston Old Man – 803 metres (2635 feet)

16. Grisedale Pike – 790 metres (2593 feet)

17. Glaramara – 780 metres (2560 feet)

18. Dow Crag – 778 metres (2553 feet)

19. Red Screes – 776 metres (2547 feet)

20. Wetherlam – 762 metres (2502 feet)

21. Red Pike – 755 metres (2479 feet)

22. Robinson – 736 metres (2417 feet)

23. Harrison Stickle – 732 metres (2403 feet)

24. Harter Fell – 649 metres (2129 feet)

25. Causey Pike – 620 metres (2035 feet)

26. Haystacks – 597 metres (1959 feet)

27. Lingmoor – 466 metres (1530 feet)

28. Catbells – 451 metres (1481 feet)

29. Helm Crag – 396 metres (1299 feet)

30. Walla Crag – 376 metres (1234 feet)

31. Loughrigg Fell – 336 metres (1101 feet)

32. Castle Crag – 299 metres (980 feet)

If you are serious about a walking holiday in the Lake District or are a keen adventurer, having the right kit whilst out in the mountains is essential. Our hiking essentials guide covers all you need to take with you to make sure that you are as safe and comfortable as possible whilst exploring.

Whichever mountain you choose to scale, please ensure that you take your time to plan properly and pack all the necessary kit to make your trip a safe and enjoyable one!

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