Places I love: Striding Edge

The aptly named Striding Edge, Lake District National Park
The aptly named Striding Edge, Lake District National Park

I love walking. And there are few places better to walk in the world than in England. Where else can you scramble along rocky ridges, ascend beautiful mountains, and descend at the end of the day to a welcoming public house for a pint and a packet of crisps?

And there are few places finer to walk than the Lake District, and few finer walks that climbing Helvellyn by Striding Edge on a warm sunny day.  It’s the third highest peak in England and marks the ancient boundary between Cumberland and Westmorland — counties that have long since disappeared but stay alive in the minds of many. Helvellyn is believed to be named in the ancient Cumbric language for the yellow (velyn) moor (hal) that coats its broad top.

Striding Edge is the classic way to attain the summit. It is also famous in my family lore. My great uncle Herbert slid off down the scree slopes to the edge to the distant tarn below while walking with friends. He lived to walk another day.  Others have been less lucky.  As you can see, I had a perfect spring day to scramble along the edge and reveled in the panoramic views of the Lake District all around. Can’t wait to go back.

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