Camping on Scafell Pike or Great Gable

Q. Hi

I and a friend are going to climb Scafell Pike then cross Great End and on to Great Gable for charity. We need to know if you can camp on the peak of Scafell Pike and Great Gable?

Richard Ellis, Norwich


A. The two hills you mention have extremely rocky summits and are very exposed to bad weather and wouldn't provide very good camping spots at all unless you're very experienced at high level camping and have the appropriate specialist tents. You might get away with it, but it's a high risk, I would have thought. If you intend to camp overnight, you'd be better off at or near Styhead Tarn which is more sheltered and not very far off your route. If you're just having checkpoints, you could consider using group shelters which are cheaper than tents, would be warm enough and wouldn't suffer damage

Mike Knipe, Crook


A. North East of Great End lie sheer precipitous cliffs and there is no safe route direct from Great End to Great Gable. You must either descend WSW down difficult ground and pick up the Corridor Route and go NE along it to reach Sty Head Tarn (from where you can climb Great Gable) - or go SE down a much easier path to Esk Hause before heading NE past the shelter and then NW below the Great End cliffs to reach Sty Head Tarn.

See Walk Routes up Scafell Pike and Walk Routes up Great Gable for the most up-to-date walk route details.

Hope this helps you plan your walk with a bit more care

Mike (Editor)


A. Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales.

Tents cannot be pitched just anywhere because every piece of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation and according to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained prior to pitching tent and camping.

In practice however, this is often impractical and wild camping is usually tolerated in the more remote areas - typically, more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation providing you:

In Scotland, the current access legislation (which came into effect in early 2005) is explicit about your right to wild camp on hill land. However, there are exceptions. Since March 2011 you are not permitted to wild camp between Dryman and Rowardennan on the shore of Loch Lomond. See Loch Lomond Wild Camping Ban for more information.

There appears to be an exception to this with respect to camping in Dartmoor National Park where the right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985 - see Wild Camping in the UK for more details.

For the definitive answer with respect to wild camping in Scotland see the answer supplied by the Scottish Natural Heritage

For a few (tongue in cheek) tips on wild camping see Some Wild Camping Tips.

NB. go4awalk.com cannot offer any advice on suitable locations for wild camping - but click here for walks from exisiting campsites.

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)


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