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Car on the Hardknott and Wrynose Pass



A Car ride over the Hardknott and Wrynose Pass

This is a journey for a true lunatictraveler across the steepest road in England and not a bus in site. I doubt there is any bus ever been built capable of completing this journey

This road is a short cut through the mountains of the Lake District linking the Cumbrian Coast at Seascale to Lake Windermere avoiding a big diversion via Egremont, Cockermouth and Keswick to the north or the coast road to the south.
If you decide to use this short cut make sure your car is in good working order
To get to the pass leave the coast road at Gosforth and head into the village and then follow the signs to the pass this will take you up the beautiful Eskdale. If you have come from Seascale the road from there will bring you onto the coast road at Gosforth
You will keep catching glimpses of the Ravenglass and Eskdale narrowgauge railway as you proceed.

To see some pictures of Seascale see my
train journey from Lancaster to Carlisle via Grange over Sands Barrow in Furness Millom Whitehaven and Workington along the Cumbrian Coast.

My pictorial part of this journey start as we approach the Hardknott pass


Eskdale approaching the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Heading up Eskdale towards the Hardknott Pass


Mountains near the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The mountains start to surround us as we approach the pass


Looking up at the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We then get a good view of the road snakeing its way up the hillside


Starting to climb up the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We start to climb up the pass you really sink back into your seat on some of these inclines


Climbing the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Climbing the Hardknott Pass


Keep a close eye ahead for cars coming the other way on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The road ahead as we head up the Hardknott pass keep a eye open for cars coming in the opposite direction.


Looking back to Eskdale from the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

A quick breather looking back into Eskdale


Steep windy roads on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Snakeing our way up the pass these pictures dont do justice to how steep this road really is


Looking towards the Summit of the Hardknott Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The summit of the Hardknott pass comes into view in the distance


In a car on Britain's steepest road on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Making our way towards the summit


A flatter bit of the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Just for a short time the road becomes flater as we head towards the summit


Starting the final climb to the summit of the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We then start our final climb to the summit of the Hardknott pass


Ascending to the summit of the Hardknott pass from the west on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Making our ascent to the summit of the Hardknott pass


Approaching the summit of the Hardknott pass cumbria on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The summit getting ever closer


Almost at the summit of the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Approaching the summit of the Hardknott pass.


Crossing the Summit of the Hardknott pass Cumbria the lake district on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

On the summit of the Hardknott Pass


Starting the descent from the summit of the Hardknott pass in an easterly direction on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We then start our descent. The road appears to fall off the edge of the hillside at this point


View of the Wrynose pass from the Hardknott pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The Wrynose pass comes into view as we start our descent


Dropping down the eastern side of the Hardknott Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Dropping down the Hardknott pass. The road down from the Hardknott pass in most places is very steep and windy but sadly when I was collecting material much of this was missed


Approaching the foot of the Hardknott Pass at Cockley Beck on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We then approach the foot of the Hardknott Pass as we come to Cockley Beck


We then start our ascent of the Wrynose pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We then turn left to start our ascent of the Wrynose pass


The pleasant flatlands between the Hardknott and Wrynose pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We make our way through the gentle end of the Wrynose pass


The Wrynose pass Cumbria English Lake District on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

A view of the road ahead


Looking back at the Eastern side of the Hardknott pass from the lower reaches of the Wrynose pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

A quick breather and a look back at the eastern side of the Hardknott Pass. The windy steep bits of the road we can see are the bits I failed to catch on camera but this picture should give you some idea of the gradients and uniqueness of the road we have just negotiated


A look up the Wrynose pass while on foot on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

A look ahead Front outside the car the feel of this place is amazing


A look at the surrounding mountains from the Wrynose pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The beauty and tranquility of this place makes me personally feel I should not be here in a car at all. However for anyone who has restricted mobility this is the perfect place to enjoy the feel of the mountains that elsewhere would be completely inaccessible


Back on the Road heading easterly along the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Back on the road heading along the pass


Raging Mountain Stream Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We cross a stream coming down off the mountains usually this would be a babbling beck but due to the extremely wet conditions at the time this journey was made is a raging torrent


The Wrynose Pass beauty of on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Continuing along the Wrynose Pass


AA.van on the Wrynose on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

As we make our way slowly up the Wrynose Pass we can see an AA van heading in the opposite direction could it be for a motorist in distress as in these parts it would not surprise me or could it be they were just making an advert as this would be the perfect place to do it guess we will never know


Starting to climb the Wrynose Pass Lake District on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

After a relatively level drive from Cockley Beck we start to climb the Wrynose pass


Climbing the western side of the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Climbing this side of the Wrynose is nothing compared to what we have just done coming up the Hardknott Pass


Road through the Lake District mountains on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Making our way gradually upwards


Getting closer to the summit of the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The summit gets ever closer


A Mountain road on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Progressing ever upwards


A view of the Summit of the Wrynose Pass from the west on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The summit then comes into view


On the summit of the Wrynose pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We cross the summit and are about to start our descent


Heading down the eastern side of the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Starting our descent of the Wrynose Pass. The gradients on these roads is definatly put into perspective in this picture by the minibus below us


A piece of Flat Road on the Wrynose pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

A brief respite on a piece of flat road as we make our way down the Wrynose Pass


The Wrynose Pass Cumbria Lake District England on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Then back to reality


Dropping down into a big gorge on the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The road shows its true nature again


Descent of the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We head ever downwards


Cars coming up the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

As well as the gradients you should always be aware of traffic coming in the opposite direction as in this shot this can lead to some tricky situations at times


The steep Wrynose Pass Lakes England on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

The way on ever downwards


view of Langdale Dropping down the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

And the we get a glimpse of Little Langdale as we head down the Wrynose Pass


Snakeing down the Wrynose Pass English Lakeland on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Snakeing our way down the pass


A mountain stream turned into a torrent on the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

We cross a mountain stream turned into a raging torrent. The weather in the Lake District is almost beyond belief at times and given the rainfall we had experienced at nearby Wasdale Head the previous evening the state of these mountain streams comes as no suprise
However part of what makes the Lake District so special is not just the beautiful scenery but the incredible weather patterns that have to be seen to be believed
This journey was made in August 2014 at the height of a British summer but in these parts it felt like anything but summer so be warned if you like dry predictable warm weather with no exciting twists stay away from the Lake District it is not for you


Dropping down into Little Langdale on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Making our way towards Little Langdale


Lowering ourselves down the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

As we get further down the pass the gradients seem to lose their ferocity but it can still be seen how high we are by looking at the river on the right hand side in the valley below


Getting nearer to the foot of the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Things gradually start to level out as we get nearer to the foot of the pass


This bit of road can be compared to roads in the Derbyshire Peak District on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

As the road start to level out it becomes comparable to anything the Derbyshire Peak District can throw at you. The steepest roads I can think of there are the Winnats Pass and the road from Mam Nic to Edale both of which are centred on Mam Tor between Castleton and Edale and the quickest route by car between the two places, but neither of these can remotly match the roads we have just been on
For a bit of an insight into the area around Mam Tor see my
walk from Hope to Edale via Castleton


Little Langdale on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

A view to the side of us we are on a small ridge at this point


Approaching the foot of the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

As we approach the foot of the Wrynose pass it really does feel like the end of an incredible unique journey. To some it might just be a massive relief


Almost back to normal driving on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Almost back to normal driving as the end of the pass appears


Fell Foot Farm from the Wrynose Pass on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

Then Fell Foot Farm appears the bottom of the pass. The one thing for sure the road we have just come over will test any drivers skills to the maximum a world away from city traffic or boy racers if you can drive this road without so much as an additional beat of the heart then you really are a class A1 driver because this really is mountaineering by car


Passing Fell Foot Farm on a car ride over the Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass Cumbria

As we pass Fell Foot Farm we can clearly see this is a Bed and Breakfast
For more information on Fell Foot Farm visit their
website


Planning on using buses and boats in Cumbria download the pdf version of the Go Cumbria bus timetable guide showing times of many bus services in Cumbria and all ferry services on Lake Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater and Derwent Water, along with prices of various day tickets and loads of other useful information

Go, Cumbria, bus, ferry, guide, times, timetable, travel.

Click here to go to the download page


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