Helvellyn from Swirls is a 6.3 mile loop trail located near Keswick, Cumbria, England that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options.

Length6.3 miElevation gain2,847 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingHikingNature tripsWalkingRunningLakeViewsWildlifeNo shade
Description
Waypoints (0)

Swirls is a convent starting point for Helvellyn until you see the car parking charges made by the 'United Utilities' water authority. The lay-by on the Thirlmere side of the A591 used to be free - not anymore it isn't. Use the lay-by further down towards Thirlspot instead. To make 'a round' the return route is via Helvellyn Lower Man, White Side, Brown Crag, Fisherplace Gill and Thirlspot. The route to Browncove Crag summit is paved most of the way on account of its popularity. It is steep most of the way, but also offers good views to the west and north. The real views of course open-up to the east once Helvellyn's trig point is reached. The return down from Helvellyn Lower Man although steep and loose in places is preferable to the paved paths of the ascent. All is then grass to White Side and beyond. The next good viewpoint is from Brown Crag , a little visited spot - more's the pity. The real gem on the return are the numerous waterfalls, cascades and plunge pools in Fisherplace Gill. Be sure to visit them up-close for a treat. A Lakeland hidden dream of a place. Finish with a congratulatory drink at the Kings Head, Thirlspot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (32)
Photos (466)
Recordings (24)
Completed (46)
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anthony gaffney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 9, 2021
Hiking

Parked at swirls so Easy to follow up, coming down more challenging as path not well marked but there’s definitely one there so download map and follow gps! Can follow path all the was back to swirls

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audrius jj
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2021
Hiking
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Nathan Benson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 30, 2020
Hiking
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stephen menery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 29, 2020
Hiking

brilliant walk with my partner considering the weather and the snow

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Ellie K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!MuddyRocky

Really enjoyed this trail. We found the path easy to follow and extended the loop to bag Nethermost Pike & High Crag which clocked us a few extra miles. This also gave us a good view of striding edge.

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Ayden R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 4, 2020
HikingFloodedMuddyOff trailRocky

We parked at Swirls Car Park, which was good. From here the route up to Helvellyn is great - a steep climb but a nice clear path. It’s a bit easier to go off trail on the way back down, but you can find your way if you keep looking out for the trail and cairns. Also a bit boggy in places. Nearer the bottom, rather than going all the way down to the road there’s a signposted route back to the car park.

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Ellie K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 4, 2020
HikingRockySnow

Really enjoyed this trail. We found the path easy to follow and extended the loop to bag Nethermost Pike & High Crag which clocked us a few extra miles. This also gave us a good view of striding edge.

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Trisha Ferguson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
HikingGreat!

Up super steep but you reach the summit quite quickly. Stoned path so super clear. From the top we took the path where it forked and took the right hand path. This leads you back down and then across so it’s sort of a loop. However it did feel like forever on the way back. Toes definitely pushing out of boots on this one! Worth it as views at the top were stunning. Hat and sun cream if weather is set to be good. Thanks Wainwright!

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Sally H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeOff trailOver grown

The route up was really easy to follow, steep but straightforward. Views from the top were fantastic. Coming down proved to be more of a challenge as there wasn’t really a path to follow. I’d downloaded the map so was able to follow the tracker on that, even so I went off the path a number of times. As I was making my way towards the river, the route became completely overgrown with bracken and I ended up following a different path. It was a fairly exhausting walk, not helped by the heat (it was a particularly hot day) nor the fact I kept losing the path. Worth it for the views though.

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Nerea Rial
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2020

We took this circular route anticlockwise and the way down from Hellvellyn's summit was a nightmere. From the summit you're supposed to go left, but there was no path. We continued walking folowing this route, but still no sign of a footpath. We ended up coming doinh through floadded fields and very steep and rocky areas. Instead of arrivign to Swirls car park, we arrived at a farm half a mile from our final destination.

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Will Nicks
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
HikingBugsOff trail

Caution on using this route - think some of the reviews below meant to leave them for the Swirls “there and back” route, as not all of this is well-trodden or even trodden at all. We followed this route 2 weeks ago and once you descend from Helvellyn you are supposed to start to walk left, but there is no path. We started to wall it anyway and constantly got swarmed by loads of bugs. After 5 mins of the bugs it we’d had enough and had to ascend back to Helvellyn and then back down to the car park - overall much more elevation than planned but we had enough juice in us to do it. We hiked during the warm period where it was around 27 degrees, perhaps this is why the land was infested with bugs but also because it was not a trodden path.

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Ulai Mawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!MuddyNo shadeOff trail
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Corey Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Well stoned ascent but the descent on this path had no trail. The descent was just grasslands and sheep followed by an annoying path through ferns full of just mud and rocks. I do not recommend the descent at all.

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Iza Szabuniewicz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingRocky

I did it with my boys 4 & 6 year old. Quite steep, it took us 3 h up and 2 down but we loved every minute of it

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Simon Hodgson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 3, 2020
Hiking

We went on a anti clockwise route for this hike taking the steepest ascent first. It's well paved and was easy to follow, even when we reached the snow line we could follow with ease. It was hard as we closed in on the first summit but after careful negotiation we made it up, then it was a reasonable flat walk to the trig point. After that we walked the ridges following the route show on the app. It was challenging but worth the views when the clouds broke and revealed the beauty of the surrounding peaks and valleys below. Well worth the efforts, easy paths to follow.

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Sean Sparky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 23, 2020
IcyRockySnow
First to Review

Favourite hike in the Lake District so far. A clear morning with breathtaking views!

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