Helm Crag is a well-known peak just northwest of Grasmere. It’s the fells distinctive rocky profile that lends itself its alternative name ‘The Lion and the Lamb’. The mountains true summit is a cannon shaped barrel of rock known as The Howitzer and stands just over 25ft high. The most common route of ascent is from the incredibly popular Lakeland village of Grasmere and only takes roughly an hour two. The fell is the last peak in a long ridge coming down from the central fells, starting in Calf Crag and over Gibson Knott to Helm Crag. The walk over the other two summits to the west and then returning through Far Easedale is a lovely longer walk of about 4 hours.
Grasmere is a very popular village located along the A591 about 4 miles northwest of Ambleside and about 10 miles south of Keswick. There are three large pay and display car parks in the village which are all signposted.
To get to The Lake District itself, from the north follow the M6 south past Carlisle and to Penrith. Take the A66 West and you will arrive in Keswick in the North Lakes after about 18 Miles. From the East the best road to take is the A66 across the Pennines to Penrith and then continue to Keswick. From the South you can either take the M6 north to Kendal and then the A591 to Windermere and Ambleside, or continue to get the A66 and then west to Keswick. Of coming from the south east then the A1(m) North is the best route to Scotch Corner and then follow the A66 west to Penrith and then to Keswick.
Route 1 - Blue Route
This is the most simple and the best route up Helm Crag. Starting off in the village centre of Grasmere, the route follows the Easedale Road up past the well known house called Lancrigg. The route this far is all signposted to Helm Crag. After passing Lancrigg the route ascends the southern side of the fell which zigzags its way past White Crag and then up past the summit rocks that make up 'The Lion and the Lamb'. The desolate and rocky summit is easily traversed to reach the mountains true summit - The Howitzer. The final rocky scramble is exciting and can be completed with relative ease.
Route 2 - Red Route
This is another short ascent that starts by following a country lane north from Easedale Road. When you arrive at Helmside the route follows the path up to Bracken Hause and then up to Helm Crag. The views from this route do not match up to the Blue Route so if you have a choice I would recommend Route 1.
Route 3 - Green Route - 8 Miles - 650m Ascent - 4 Hours
This is a longer ascent or an alternative descent. The route follows the valley floor of Far Easedale and up to Calg Crag (which is just off the map to the west). The route then follows the top of an obvious ridge to Gibson Knott and then onto Helm Crag.
Red TapeNo Red Tape
When to ClimbThe mountain can be climbed all year round.
There are no campsites in the immediate area, the nearest being in the next valley in Great Langdale. However there is a bunkhouse, a couple of youth hostels and many inn and hotels within a couple of miles of the fell.