Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Cumbria  /  Lake District  /  Eskdale  /  Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass, Eskdale

#3 of 9 in Things to do in Eskdale
Hardknott Pass is a hill pass that carries a minor road between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England. The tarmacked highway, which is the most direct route from the central Lake District to West Cumbria, shares the title of steepest road in England (the other is Rosedale Chimney Bank in North Yorkshire). It has a maximum gradient of 1 in 3 (about 33%).EtymologyThe pass takes its name from Hard Knott which is derived from the Old Norse harthr (hard) and knutr (craggy hill).GeographyA single track road highway runs between Eskdale in the west to the edge of the neighbouring Wrynose Pass in the east. On the western side is Harter Fell and the remains of Hardknott Roman Fort (200m above sea level).The Hardknott Pass stands at a maximum elevation of 393m. The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea can be seen on clear days. The road descends steeply at a gradient of 30% (1 in 3) into the Duddon Valley. At the eastern end of the pass is Cockley Beck farmhouse, it was built in the 1860s and currently owned by the National Trust. The route from Hardknott leads eastward towards the Wrynose Pass and Ambleside.
Put Hardknott Pass into our Eskdale day trip planning tool to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Eskdale.
Create an itinerary including Hardknott Pass
Hardknott Pass Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
123 reviews
  • A great route, well worth the experience but beware it is very steep and lots of sharp bends. The biggest problem is people coming the other way and trying to pass. Very tense at times. Brakes and tyr...  more »
  • Simply one of the most amazing road I've driven, the scenery was spectacular. It's not for the faint hearted drivers though. It is England's steepest road once your get over to Hardknott Pass.  more »
  • Travelled over Wrynose and Hardknott passes in the lake district, reportedly England's steepest road. Certainly not for the faint hearted as the approach roads are very narrow making passing oncoming ...  more »

Plan your trip to Eskdale

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Eskdale

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Eskdale by other users

View more plans