Skiddaw is the fourth highest mountain in England after Scafell Pike, Sca Fell and Helvellyn and stands at an impressive elevation of 931 m (3,054 ft). Its prominence is 709 m (2,326 ft) and it is listed as a Marilyn, a Hewitt and a Nuttall as well as being one of Wainwright’s peaks. It stands just to the north of the town of Keswick.
The summit takes the form of a ridge along which there are various tops. The highest is High Man, and this and the other three (North Top, Middle Top and South Top) all bear cairns. There are also several stone wind shelters. The view is impressive, as you would expect from a mountain of this height, with a panorama across the Lake District and a glimpse of Wales, the Isle of Man and even the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland on an exceptionally clear day.
Skiddaw’s size and prominence, as well as its accessibility to visitors, makes it a popular peak to ascend. It is also considered to be one of the easiest of the English 3,000 ft mountains to climb, with a wide track to the summit and none of the crags and gullies that make other, similar-sized mountains potentially dangerous. However, its summit is very exposed and can suffer high winds even in the height of summer, so the usual care should be taken.
Wainwright’s recommended route begins at Carl Side and ascends Long Side and Ullock Pike before a steep climb up Carlside Col to the summit of Skiddaw. A shorter, more direct route to Skiddaw’s top begins from the carpark at Latrigg in Keswick and follows the path over Skiddaw’s satellite, Little Man (elevation: 865 m / 2,838 ft) and on to the top.