Hardknott Pass
Hardknott Pass
4.5
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  • King Curry
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must drive road
    Along with Wrynose Pass, it's a brilliant road, possibly only rivalled by the Bealach Na Ba in Scotland. Narrow, steep inclines and tight bends, it's a real test of your driving skills. I did it the first time on a dry sunny morning and it was easy, though you have to be aware of oncoming traffic. The views are magnificent, but best admired from the passenger seat. The return journey was at night, in pouring rain and, let me say, it was a challenge. I got stuck a few times on hairpins, unable to get a grip due to torrents of water and my (pregnant) wife bailed out and walked some of the way. Later this year, I hope to take my TVR over there!
    Visited September 2022
    Written 10 August 2023
  • catbail13
    Farnham, United Kingdom10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exciting experience with outstanding scenery.
    I first did this drive many years ago in a Fiat Panda with a friend and our kids. It was misty (!) which meant we couldn't see much. We decided to do it again in better weather, and were amazed how blase we'd been! Having said that, it was a great drive, and we certainly never felt close to death! You have to be careful but it's well worth doing. (I have put that I went in Oct 22, simply because it's a required field, but it was far longer ago than that!)
    Visited October 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 September 2023
  • Alexander B
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not as difficult as made out
    We drove both this and Wrynose. Yes it's a bit steep and bendy, but we had absolutely no issues at all. It was pouring with rain, but a good test for our 4.6 Range Rover. The car is 25 years old so not one of the new ones. Car was fully laden with luggage and dogs. But we had no issues, no loss of traction, no sliding etc. The road does have a few steep bends, but if you have some driving skill then you'll be fine. Scenery is fabulous. So good that we drove back across it again.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 October 2023
  • Andrew T
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pleasure to drive
    I’m sorry but to all those people leaving less than 4 stars for this road obviously have no idea how to drive a car and need to re take there test. The road is a pleasure to drive on and offers breathtaking views of the beautiful Lake District and one of the best roads in the country. The only reason i would have for avoiding this road is the weather conditions but thats just common sense…
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 2 December 2023
  • Nick N
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing
    Why would you drive anywhere with a dodgy clutch? I cycled up The Struggle,then Blea Tarn Pass,Wrynose,Hardknott and back the same way. No issues at all, even in the wet! I am not a pro cyclist but an average 60 year old riding a Hybrid Bike! Top Tip,I ride with a 32/48 chainset and 11/34 cassette.I do all the climbs in the lowest gear from the very start! Sure there are rough patches,like there are on many country roads but no big deal.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 28 December 2023
  • Alex H
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning and thrilling
    This drive is incredible. But you need to be prepared. If you don't understand what '30% gradient' means, from the well signposted road, then you probably shouldn't be driving on this road. It is beautiful, and a thrill, and I thoroughly recommend it to confident drivers who are experienced beyond town and basic country roads.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 February 2024
  • michelle c
    Buxworth, United Kingdom178 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Stunning Drive over Hardknott and Wrynose Pass
    Drive this yesterday following a stay in Windermere - I have driven this route 4 times over the years and had forgotten how scary some parts are ! Luckily we barely met any traffic - Thankfully the huge mobile home in front decided he wouldn’t carry on and reversed out of the road at the start point ! Lucky for him as if he had carried on he would not have got through the part where there is a house and a wall and a very narrow gap to get through before the ascent of the pass We had great weather and fantastic scenery.. Drive it in the new new Defender that dealt with the inclines well .. It also has the incline view on the dash and yep it most certainly is 30% in parts .. The view was worth every hairy moment
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 April 2024
  • Nick H
    34 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not for the faint hearted.
    Went over the Hardknott pass on my HD Pan America. It’s not for the faint hearted. Stay in first gear and stay focussed and it’s worth the effort but if you are not an experienced rider then avoid it, and I would personally not do it in a car. You have been warned. 😅
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 4 May 2024
  • Nick R
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom158 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hairy Hair Pins
    We were going to skip Hardknott pass after watching a few Youtube videos and people advising to only attempt with powerful cars. We rented a small Fiat 500 for our Lake District trip and thought maybe this is not worth the hassle but as it turns out we did have a go and our little car worked the 25% gradient hair pin turns like a dream. I agree with other drivers that confident drivers only should tackle the pass, especially if you are on your way up and meet another car on a hair pin turn. Lots of concentrating , forward planning and heavy breaking are essential.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 19 June 2024
  • Rossco B
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best road in the country.
    I can't believe some of the reviews on here, especially the ones from bikers. My friends and I travelled from London to ride this road. It's the best ride ever. We loved it so much that we went back over again. Am up here for another few days and will definitely be riding it again as it was raining when we rode it.
    Visited July 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles332 reviews
Excellent
259
Very good
32
Average
14
Poor
6
Terrible
21

Millie L
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
Im quite shocked by some of the comments of "hell on earth" and "avoid like the plague" there were plenty of signs and turning points saying not suitable for large vehicles and the gradient. The biggest hint maybe you can see the road from miles away going up the hill.

Its a road I have always wanted to do. And finally got to do this on my motorbike! Incredible! Yes challenging, but only difficult if you dont know how to control a vehicle on a hill.
First gear, wait for vehicles to pass so you can use the whole road and concentrate. I wouldn't recommend trying this road if you have too much confidence or not enough as youll make mistakes.

Brilliant views! Would 100% recommend if wanting to challenge yourself.

Also... unless you have done it, once completed no one will believe you how steep it is... so try and get some pics to show family and friends of the achievement 🙂
Written 2 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rossco B
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Friends
I can't believe some of the reviews on here, especially the ones from bikers. My friends and I travelled from London to ride this road. It's the best ride ever. We loved it so much that we went back over again. Am up here for another few days and will definitely be riding it again as it was raining when we rode it.
Written 1 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul C
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
After recently driving over the Kirkstone and Honister passes first, I then drove over Hardknott pass as part of our lake District road trip. I travelled from West to East in an 18 year old, 1.4 Renault Clio with my 95 year old dad and young cousin.

Firstly it is a challenging drive, and you could run into problems of your own making depending on your driving ability, problems, beyond your control, or most likely problems caused by other idiots, so therefore I wouldn't recommend it for inexperienced drivers, attempt it during busy weekends etc or recommend driving it in winter conditions.

That said, it isn't K2 and don't be put off by all the negative reviews and Youtube videos. Although the later is good for familiarizing yourself with the road.

Problematic things to watch out for from a motorists perspective are sheep in the road (we had one but not where it could cause a major problem), drivers not giving way to vehicles coming uphill (we had one of those too but it wasn't in a place to cause us serious grief) and cyclists.

However cyclists have as much right to use the pass as everyone else and bearing in mind that their main goal is to summit without stopping my advice is, if you see any ahead of you pull up in a place that you are comfortable with doing a hill start and let them finish their climb. It you get right behind them on a very steep incline and have to stop you could give yourself a world of grief.

Speaking of the summit, for a split second I did loose sight of the road as other reviews mention, but it isn't like dropping over the grand canyon, wasn't dangerous and was no big deal from my point of view.

Going down was problem free and Wrynose was straightforward. Biggest problem was getting out the other end into civilization with idiots flying around blind bends on narrow roads assuming they were the only vehicles using them.

My advice on Hardknott pass is, if its a nice day with good visibility go for it, its a fantastic drive and the scenery is spectacular. I would have no concerns driving over it again from either direction.
Written 21 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nick R
Bournemouth, UK158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
We were going to skip Hardknott pass after watching a few Youtube videos and people advising to only attempt with powerful cars. We rented a small Fiat 500 for our Lake District trip and thought maybe this is not worth the hassle but as it turns out we did have a go and our little car worked the 25% gradient hair pin turns like a dream. I agree with other drivers that confident drivers only should tackle the pass, especially if you are on your way up and meet another car on a hair pin turn. Lots of concentrating , forward planning and heavy breaking are essential.
Written 19 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Clairebear
Essex, UK158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
We went St Bees to Robin Hood Bay Coast 2 Coast in the car while my partner Cycled.
Was worried when reading and watching Youtube videos of Men driving Hardnott and Wynose Pass saying its hell on earth and don't even bother trying to drive it lol. Nothing to worry about really, i drive an Audi A3 1.4 and i just had do go up in 1st gear.
We were on it when it was dry about 9am on a Thursday so it was quiet. There were 2 cars waiting at the top for me to come up which was good that they waited as i was worried someone would drive down while i was going up. Remember drivers coming up have right of way and others should wait coming down.
All in all it was great fun and don't worry it's not as bad as you think. Don't read or watch videos as they are most likely not great drivers or just nervous.
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris R
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
This road is awesome to drive on, but certainly not for the faint hearted. We went over the pass in our motorhome and had only 1 sketchy moment where it lost traction on a hair-pin bend. Nothing some calm and calculated manoeuvring couldn't sort out though 👍
The views all over the pass are excellent, and we were treated to the jets flying a mach-loop too.
The locals who clapped as we reached the bottom on the far-side made it even more worth-the-while 🤣
Written 1 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James K
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Absolutely the best day out we have had in the lakes, yes it was hair raising but I would do this again rather then go on a motorway. It is not for the faint hearted but it is worth it just for the views and a lovely pub/cafe woolpack inn at the end of it !
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nick H
Canmore34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Went over the Hardknott pass on my HD Pan America. It’s not for the faint hearted. Stay in first gear and stay focussed and it’s worth the effort but if you are not an experienced rider then avoid it, and I would personally not do it in a car. You have been warned. 😅
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy L
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Great road and scenery, recommended for brave drivers, not for the faint hearted steep hair pin bends, Wrynose Pass is also worth the danger
Written 3 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DanniA88
Market Weighton, UK54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Fun drive good view point at the top and an roman fort ruin to look at. Maybe not the the faint heated or big vehicles. Great views even in poor weather
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Hardknott Pass - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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