Climbing Scafell Pike

Post written by Laura

Date of visit: June 2014

Located in the Lake District, at 978 meters Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain. Back in 2014 Chris and I spent a long weekend conquering Scafell Pike together with Annabelle (Chris’s eldest daughter) and her friend Kat. We were also part of a larger group of about 9, organised by one of Chris’s former work colleagues.

This was our first (and so far only) experience of staying in a pod which was located at the Wasdale National Trust Campsite. Arriving at the campsite was a mission… having left after work on the Friday evening we drove for 4 hours or so and got to the edge of the Lake District at midnight.

It then took another 4 hours… yes, 4 hours to actually find the place… we had no signal on the sat nav and driving around in the dark across the remote Hardknott Pass with just sheep for company trying to find the campsite was a mission and felt somewhat surreal… the sheep looked like aliens as their eyes shone in the headlights.

Eventually and with some relief we located Wasdale and found the campsite just as it was getting light. Helpfully the campsite manager had left the pod keys in a little box just outside the closed reception. But the campsite map was difficult to follow… finally we located our respective pods (Chris and I in one pod and Annabelle and Kat in a different part of the campsite in their pod).

Our pod, hidden away

The pods were like wooden tents but with the added luxury of power sockets and a small heater. There was no bed or bathroom but the shower and toilet block was a short walk away.

Inside the pod

We laid out our camping mattresses and sleeping bags as if we were in a tent and made ourselves cosy.

View of the campsite from our pod

As well as the static pods dotted around the campsite was also open to anyone who wished to bring their own tent which is a cheaper option.

Ritsons Bar at the Wasdale Head Inn

Unfortunately we woke up to the sound of rain and spent a rather soggy Saturday traipsing around with short local walks in the rain and lunch in the nearby pub. We did also note the mobile van nearby which sold breakfast butties every day.

Mezzanine floor in the Ritsons Bar
Local Wasdale walk
Chris and Annabelle

The rain had stopped by the evening where our group of 9 enjoyed a lovely meal in the Strands Inn, another pub in Wasdale. The trip also happened to coincide with Chris’s birthday so he had a surprise cake in the pub!

Scafell Pike climb

Thankfully we awoke to a sunny day which was perfect for our ascent! Following a short detour for the butties we made our way to the start of the walk at the back of the campsite.

Wast Water Lake

At the time we were novice mountain hikers however we didn’t really need a guide as we followed everyone else who was making their way up the mountain.

Boulder Field near the top

As we climbed higher the surrounding views became more and more spectacular.

View from the summit of Scafell Pike

We reached the summit after about 3 -4 hours or so.

Making our way down

As we made our way down the initial steep section I fell over on the scree and twisted my wrist as I put my arm out with my pole. I haven’t used poles since then…

Stopping for a break and a snack
Wast Water Lake

Ambleside

Bridge House, Ambleside

The following day we left the pods and drove to Ambleside where we enjoyed a look around. Ambleside is a pretty and popular Lake District town and was home to Beatrix Potter.

Daffodil Hotel

For a treat and after two nights in the pods, 5 of us had booked for the last night into the luxury Daffodil Hotel & Spa in nearby Grasmere.

Our room in the Daffodil Hotel

The hotel was a fabulous end to our weekend and we spent an enjoyable afternoon trying out the facilities of the spa which were all included in the cost. We rested our weary limbs being pummelled by jets in the thermal pool and relaxing in the sauna and steam room.

Grasmere Lake
Grasmere Lake
Grasmere Lake

Calm and tranquil Grasmere Lake is one of the smallest lakes and great for mirror images.

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