One Of England's Most Dangerous Peaks Can Be Found At This National Park

The Lake District National Park serves as a beacon of England's stunning natural landscapes. Situated in the Northwest of England in Cumbria, this natural preserve covers an impressive 912 square miles, making it the largest of the English National Parks. The park's picturesque villages, ancient woodlands, and rugged fell mountains offer a spectacular look into the culture and heritage of England's countryside. In 2017, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in recognition of its breathtaking landscape and its contribution to the arts.


Renowned for its stunning array of lakes, forests, and mountains, including England's highest peak, Scafell Pike, this area is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts and adventurers. And while Lake District's variety of tall climbs can make it one of the best national parks for avid hikers, it's not always smooth sailing for everyone. One of the most dangerous peaks to hike to in all of England is the summit of Helvellyn in the Lake District.

What makes Striding Edge on Helvellyn so dangerous?

The Striding Edge trail takes brave hikers to the summit of Helvellyn, the third-highest peak in the Lake District National Park. This long and winding journey is one of the most exhilarating and challenging to hike in England. What makes Striding Edge so treacherous is its narrow, rocky path, which requires a significant amount of scrambling over rough terrain. The ridge itself forms a sharp crest with steep drops on either side, offering little room for error.


During good weather, this trek can be thrilling yet manageable for experienced hikers with a stomach for towering heights. However, conditions can change rapidly, making the path extremely precarious. Mist or cloud cover can reduce visibility drastically, and high winds can make balancing on the narrow ridge even more challenging. For those who are afraid of heights, this route is not recommended.

In winter, the danger escalates as ice and snow transform the ridge into a much more perilous climb, demanding proper winter gear and mountaineering experience. Over the years, Striding Edge has been the site of numerous accidents, some of them fatal, underscoring the importance of preparation and respect for the mountain's conditions. Taking on the challenge of Striders Edge can easily make for the best England trip. But if you're at all afraid of heights or happen to lose your footing, it can very easily turn into your worst.


Safer hiking alternatives in the Lake District National Park

While the infamous Striding Edge offers a walk on the wild side, the Lake District has some less intimidating trails that are just as captivating. For instance, Cat Bells offers unbelievable views overlooking Keswick. Although you'll get a jaw-dropping panorama, you won't have to worry about any hair-raising heights. Perfect for families, this mountain peak is often referred to by locals as a "proper little mountain" or "mountain in miniature." While the hike includes some steep sections that get the blood pumping, it is generally considered moderate in difficulty and is achievable for people of various ages and fitness levels.


If you'd prefer something even more gentle, take the beginner-friendly trail from Ambleside to Stockghyll Force. This simple-serene route meanders through the Lake District's beautiful woodland scenery and brings hikers to a breathtaking waterfall known as Stockghyll Force. At 1.4-miles round trip, this hike packs plenty of natural beauty while keeping your excursion brief and manageable.