Pike o' Blisco overlooks the Langdale Valley in the South Lakes and is part of the popular Scafell Range. The surrounding scenery will give you a clue to the landscape on the hike up, which is rugged and rocky underfoot. However, the walk is still relatively easy (for a mountain), and the rewards come in spades when you see the view from the top!
Although it’s a nice, shortish, easyish route, this is a bit of a wild and woolly fell, so you will definitely need a map and a pack full of proper kit: waterproofs, warm clothes, food, hot drinks, proper boots, etc. You will also need you camera as the views are particularly stunning.
This route is a real chance to explore an ‘out in the wilds’ fell. There's no huge car park, gift shop or cafe at either the start or the end of the route, so make sure you pack plenty of your own refreshments to keep your energy up. The walk itself isn't too challenging, although it’s still 705 metres high and a bit rocky, so don’t drag your gran along, telling her it’s a walk in the park! The drive there is pretty hairy too, so you'll want a confident driver at the wheel.
Otherwise, so long as you’re reasonably fit with a sensible head on your shoulders, you’ll be absolutely fine. And those magnificent views are well worth the extra effort.
Head off up Wrynose Pass and aim for Three Shires Stone (it shows up as a ‘Point of Interest’ on most SatNavs). There you will find limited parking in small laybys dotted around. There’s also ample off-road parking for folks with large 4x4s, but please don’t block the road or people will toot you all the way to the summit and back!
For those peering at their OS Maps and pointing out that there’s a more direct route up from Wrynose Beck, you’re right. But the route from Three Shires Stone is easier and very well trodden, so you’ve far less chance of getting lost. On a clear day you will be able to see the path leading all the way from the car park up to the summit. If you can’t see it that means either a) it’s misty, so you won’t see anything from the top anyway, may as well go to the pub instead or b) you’re facing the wrong way – turn around.
Keep heading up until you pass Red Tarn: you can’t miss it as it’s rather large and very pretty. In fact, it’s the perfect place to pause for a sarnie and a slurp of tea before the final push to the summit. Just after the tarn, turn right to follow the track all the way up to the top. Brace yourself for the views: they really are quite superb!
While you’re sat at the top, catching you breath and admiring the Langdale Pikes on the opposite side of the valley, you can join in the debate about the name. OS Maps have it labelled as Pike of Blisco, but Wainwright, and most locals, call it Pike o’ Blisco (Wainwright said that adding ‘of’ gave it its “Sunday name”).
As you whoosh back down again you can ponder Three Shires Stone, which marks the old boundary between Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland. Lancashire used to stretch all the way from The Wirral to this spot, high in the fells. Technically it still does, but it’s a very long historical story involving ancient kings and grumpy governments. Lancashire Day is on the 27th of November each year and folks right across the south of Cumbria still celebrate it, so bring a party hat and a cracker!
After your walk, if you fancy a cuppa or a meal, hop in the car and drive along to Elterwater and The Britannia Inn. They serve delicious meals with many locally-sourced ingredients.