I recently had the pleasure of driving through the Hardknott Pass in the Lake District, something I’ve always wanted to do. My journey started at the Troutbeck Inn near Penrith and my journey took me south through Grasmere and then through the Wrynose Pass and then the Hardknott Pass before finishing in Eskdale. The gradients are 30% and many signs warn you not to take this route in the bad weather. My only challenge was avoiding sheep and letting oncoming cars pass because the weather was perfect. It was the coolest and most beautiful drive that I’ve ever taken. This video covers the whole journey, which took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Come along for the ride. I’ll write about the journey in more detail and share pictures of it in the Anglotopia Magazine. And yes, I was driving an automatic transmission, which I know is cheating. Also, I didn’t do the reverse journey, I drove on through the Esk valley and came back a different way (another adventure to tell on another day).
Key moments in video:
- 26 Minutes: Grasmere
- 43 Minutes: Wrynose Pass (not being familiar with the area, I thought this was the Hardknott pass, listen for my surprise when I learn it was just the taster).
- 1 Hour, 8 Minutes: Hardknott Pass
The radio station playing is ClassicFM, my favorite if you’re curious (and YouTube doesn’t block it out). Recorded on a GoPro in 1080p.
Back in 2009, a former Anglotopia columnist – Lisa Coulson – accidentally drove through the Hardknott Pass and lived to tell the tale. Read about it here.
Friend from Benenden says
I loved your trip through HardKnott Pass. I did it twenty years ago in a 1 lire car which struggled with the gradient. The weather was foul with water cascading down the road, it was like driving up a river bed. The sheep were huddled against the side of the road. Amazing memories. You appear to have raced up. Did you stop at the Roman Fort at the top?