Climb Scafell Pike and Hike the Catbells - 978m

Head to the Lake District to climb England's highest peak and traverse the postcard-perfect Catbells. 0 days off work.

Trade the confines of the city for the fresh air and incredible vistas of the Lake District. The logistics are taken care of—all you have to do is show up and enjoy a weekend of hiking. Climb Scafell Pike from the more scenic and less crowded north side, then spend a day hiking the breathtaking ridge of Catbells. Your self-guided adventure includes:

  • 2 days of supported, self-guided hiking on Scafell Pike and Catbells
  • 2 nights of accommodation in a Keswick guesthouse
  • Breakfasts and packed lunches
  • Hiking transfers
  • Detailed information packet with route descriptions, trail maps and more

Perfect for:
This is the ideal getaway for adventurous hikers who want to tackle England’s highest peak without having to plan any of the logistics.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from Penrith Station
  • Dinners
  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Boat ticket (GBP 2.55)

However many people you can drag out with you! This trip will run for a minimum of 2 people and you’ll be free to go at your own pace.

Not this time, sorry! For safety reasons we’d like you to be with at least one other person. Check out our other Epic Weekends for amazing solo opportunities.

Self-guided trips are perfect for couples and small groups who want the rewards of an independent adventure without the hassle of planning it all. Everything is organized for you, but you still have the flexibility to make it your weekend. Challenge yourself or take it easy—it’s up to you.

The Scafell Pike hike starts in woodland and quickly climbs into alpine terrain with gorges, rock outcrops, cirques and cols. The trail is well-maintained, but there are sections with loose footing. It takes about 4 hours to ascend Scafell Pike, and another 4 hours to descend.

Catbells is short and steep with spectacular views from the summit. The trail is mostly smooth and easy to follow, but there are a couple of sections with easy scrambling. The hike takes about 4 – 5 hours return.

A reasonable level of fitness is needed for the Scafell Pike hike. You’ll be hiking for about 8 hours on uneven terrain with steep ascents. The Catbells hike is a bit easier—a welcome break after the challenges of Scafell.

A full Cumbrian or continental breakfast is served daily at your hotel.

For each hike you’ll have a packed lunch with a sandwich, crisps or cereal bar, piece of fruit and juice.

You’re on your own for dinners in Keswick. There are a range of restaurants for every taste and budget, from fish and chips to fine dining.

Absolutely, just make a request when booking.

The best season for hiking Scafell Pike is April to September. The temperature averages 10 – 14 °C in spring and autumn, and 15 – 17 °C in summer. Roughly half the days each month are bright and sunny, and with the mild temperatures it’s always perfect hiking conditions.

Your hosts will provide you with a very detailed hiking information packet about 4 weeks in advance of your trip so you have time to review it and ask any questions you might have.

The packet includes route descriptions and an OS Exlorer map, a streetmap of Keswick, and local information about where to eat and what to see in Keswick.

Your host recommends you pack the following:

  • Light-weight, breathable hiking shirts and trousers
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm jacket (fleece, wool or down/synthetic)
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • Sturdy, broken in hiking shoes or boots
  • Small backpack for carrying all your personal gear
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Your information packet
  • Water bottle and thermos
  • Compass

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.


View map

The Lake District is a beautiful landscape of green hills, blue lakes and rugged mountains. At its heart lies Keswick, a charming town (pop. 5,000) considered the adventure and conservation capital of England. The town is located in a pastoral valley on the shores of Derwentwater, a 3-mile long lake that reflects the mountains around it.

Scafell Pike (978m) is the highest of the many fells that form a horseshoe around Keswick. With craggy valleys, deep gorges and alpine tarns, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re still in England. Most hikers climb Scafell from the Wasdale Head side, but your route keeps you on the other, less crowded and more scenic side of the mountain.

Catbells is a smaller mountain (451m) across the lake from Scafell and Keswick. The beautiful view of Catbells from Derwentwater inspires many hikers to make the trek to the top. Happily, the views from the summit are even more remarkable.

Start point?
You’ll arrive in Keswick on Friday evening. You can take the train to Penrith Station where your host will meet you, or you can drive yourself to Keswick. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your trip ends on Sunday afternoon in Keswick if you drove, or at Penrith Station if you’re taking the train. Please schedule your train to depart no earlier than 16:30. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Keswick is accessible by car (approximately 5 hours from London) or train (3 hours from Euston station).

You can arrive on any train, but the best one leaves Euston Station at 18:30 and arrives in Penrith at 21:34 with no changes. On Sunday you can take any train after 16:30.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival

Leave the city far behind you and head north to the Lake District. You can drive yourself, or take a train and get picked up at the station.

Settle into your guesthouse in Keswith, then explore the town for dinner and drinks.

Don’t forget to look up—there’s practically no light pollution here so the stars are amazing.

Saturday: Hike Scafell Pike

Wake up early and dig into a full Cumbrian breakfast. You’ll need the fuel—today is a big day.

A quick drive and you’re at the Seathwaite trailhead (20 minutes). Most hikers climb Scafell from the other side, so you’ll avoid the crowds and find some incredible scenery on this route.

Your hosts will leave you with highly detailed maps and route descriptions, everything you need to make it to the top.

Hike on good trails along a mountain stream, past spectacular gorges, and up to a high plateau with endless views.

Since there’s no guide calling the shots, so you can hike at your own pace. Challenge yourself with a sprint to the summit, or slow down and enjoy the views. It’s up to you.

Cross several crags to a rugged col, then make the final push to the highest point in England (978m).

Relax and enjoy lunch on the summit while taking in the incredible views, then take a group selfie to immortalise your accomplishment.

When you’re ready, begin your descent on a different route.

Hike past a jewel-like alpine lake, then follow a stream to the base of the peak. A pleasant pastoral walk brings you to Rosthwaite.

Celebrate with a beer at the riverside bar, then drive back to Keswick for a well-earned dinner.

4 hours and 900m ascent, 4 hours and 900m descent

Sunday: Catbells traverse and departure

Enjoy a delicious breakfast then head out on your next adventure.

Take a ferry across Derwentwater to Hawes Landing (5 minutes). The Catbells massif looms over the lake making for some excellent photo ops.

The hike climbs along a winding ridge. It’s short and steep, with some fun sections of scrambling.

At the summit (451m) you’re rewarded with incomparable views over Derwentwater, Keswick and the surrounding fells. You can even see Scafell Pike. It’s hard to believe you were standing there this time yesterday.

Hike down via a different route to Derwentwater, then follow the shoreline back to Keswick.

Grab some drinks at the pub, then get ready for the trip home.

Highest summit in England? Check. Definitely a weekend well spent.

4 – 5 hours of hiking, 450m ascent and descent

Note: The actual itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.


You’ll stay at a local, traditional hotel or guesthouse in Keswick. Rooms are ensuite and a full breakfast is included.

Loading Reviews...