Skiddaw looks its most monumental from the Keswick side, but this aspect is much nicer viewed from a distance than actually walked up. In the flesh it's a dull and seemingly endless grind. Well, someone had to say it. Easy access makes this flank of the hill the most popular by far too, and crowds don't really add much to the experience. But enough of the negativity. For a completely different day out head round to the hill's wilder northeastern side, where the wide open spaces of the Skiddaw Forest have plenty to offer lovers of remote country. OK, the hill itself is a shapeless lump from this angle, but it's blissfully uncrowded too. You can even make a weekend of it with a night in the rustic Skiddaw House YHA. One of the few hostels anywhere in the UK with no road access, it's well worth the trip in its own right.
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