Travel and Adventure

Explore the UK with your SUV - Hardknott Pass, Cumbria

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Hardknott Pass in Cumbria is the second part of a climb out of Ambleside. The first and not quite so steep is Wrynose Pass and both provide a challenge to any driver.

Technically, the UK is home to roads even steeper than this one, which twists dizzyingly skywards from Eskdale to the Duddon Valley. But you’d never guess it from behind the wheel.

Attack Hardknott in the wrong car in bad weather and you will get stuck. Ideally you want to be driving something with a commanding driving position that makes the best of the road’s often limited visibility, and is backed up by the security of an always-on four-wheel drive system to ensure 100 per cent of the engine’s power is converted into forward momentum.

Take a break near the Eskdale end of the climb to admire the view from the remains of the Roman Hardknott Fort.