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5 Best Scrambles in the UK

11 April 2024
5 Best Scrambles in the UK

Our staff have picked their five best scrambles in the UK. These epic scrambling routes are their personal favourites, each one conquered and loved.

These scrambles range from grade 1 to 3. The grades correspond to their difficulty level, determined by the route's gradient and terrain. The higher the number, the harder the route.

1. The North Ridge of Tryfan

Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)

Andy Barlass: Customer Services

Difficulty: Grade 1 (Easy/Intermediate)

Exposure: Low

Tryfan’s North Ridge offers one of the best days out in the UK. The scrambling begins almost as soon as you leave the road. Working your way up any one of several routes towards the summit. With incredible rock formations such as the Cannon and Adam and Eve. Tryfanhas something for everyone. With nice dry rock, you can combine it with Bristly Ridge on Glyder Fach for an even bigger challenge.

2. Liathach Traverse

Torridon, Scotland

Ry Phillips: Aviemore

Difficulty: Grade 2 (Intermediate/Advanced due to length)

Exposure: High

This spectacular hill offers breathtaking views of Loch Torridon and the mountains of the Northwest Highlands. The 8km ridge connects two Munros – Spidean a’ Choire Leith (1,055m) and Mullach an Rathain (1,023m). It weaves around the famous pinnacles of Am Fasarinen. While the harder scrambling on rounded sandstone is optional, the sense of precarious height isn’t. At 6-8 hours long and with few feasible lines of escape, it’s a committing route. Be sure to stop by the Torridon Inn for a victory pint.

3. Tower Ridge

Ben Nevis, Scotland

Eleanor Harper How: Fort William

Difficulty: Grade 3 (Advanced – more of a climb)

Exposure: High

This scramble-come-climb takes possibly the most dramatic route up Ben Nevis. At around 600m of ascent, it’s a brilliant and adventurous way to spend a day. I love the exposure and pure scale of the ridge, which cuts a straight line up the North Face of the Ben. You can’t beat the feeling of popping up from this isolated climb onto the busy summit plateau. It’s quite a contrast and makes you feel a little smug that you’ve avoided the crowds. For the descent, you can finish where you started or – my personal favourite – head to the Ben Nevis Inn in Glen Nevis.

4. Y Garn via Sheep Path

Ogwen Valley, Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)

Louis Hunt: Fort William

Difficulty: Grade 1 (Easy)

Exposure: Medium

Ogwen Valley is home to a vast network of paths and mountainous terrain. One of my personal favourites is the hike up to the shore of Llyn Idwal, and the subsequent easy scramble towards Y Garn via the ‘sheep path’. Along the way, you can take in some of the most dramatic views of Cwm Idwal imaginable. Even on an overcast day, it looks spectacular. For those wanting to test themselves the Grade 3 Devil’s Kitchen Scramble is also accessed along Llyn Idwal. But, be warned this leads into a graded rock climb so is for experienced climbers only.

5. Càrn Mòr Dearg Arête

Ben Nevis, Scotland

Clarice Shuhang Cao: Covent Garden

Difficulty: Grade 1 (Easy to intermediate according to the season)

Exposure: Medium

This is a fantastic all-season ascent to the summit of Ben Nevis. As you walk along the ridge, you’re treated to a stunning panoramic view of the famous North Face and the mountains of the Mamores and Glencoe. With the right gear, it’s suitable for winter climbing, and you can scramble here all year round. Trail running is another good option. Fort William is within walking distance near the bottom of the Munro (at the end of the West Highland Way hiking route). So you can toast your mountain adventure with a beer at one of the many local bars.

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