41 Day 251 – Dangerous Road Stunning Views

Travelling across the Cumbrian Mountain range through the beautiful Lake District National Park from East to West I was en route to Wast Water Lake (see post 41 Day 250), nestled below Scafell Pike. There are limited routes to access Wast Water and so I took the decision to travel one of the most testing roads the Lake District has to offer – with the exception of off-roading off course – the infamous HardKnott Pass. At first you would barely know that you were about to have your driving skills tested to the max, it lulls you into a false sense of security, an quiet country B road with its hedgerows pleasantly pass you by, turning right over an old pack horse bridge and a breathtaking view toward the Langdale valley, the thought runs through your head, well this is easy! How wrong, within seconds you are driving up a very steep incline, the road narrowing to nothing more than a farm track, the walls falling away either side and the breathtaking views now replaced by heart-stopping sheer drops to both sides. The engine strains and you automatically ease off the accelerator and hover over the brakes! The twists & turns come fast and sharp, loose shingle on the road where evasive action has lead to previous vehicles leaving the road and coming to a halt at the edge of a drop, skid marks warn of the prospect of vehicles appearing from beyond the ridge ahead middle of the road and with nowhere to go other than to reverse back to a pull-in, not a good idea when the road behind is like a snake, undulating and unforgiving. After many minutes (which feels like hours) you are focused yet exhausted, adrenalin has kicked in and your grip on the steering wheel has caused your hands to turn clammy! The decent is almost as terrifying as the accent, brakes glow hot but at least you have a clear view ahead and can plot your route. Just as the road levels out, still at altitude, you are blessed with a distraction, HardKnott Roman Fort, an amazing example of a Roman encampment high in the mountains, perfectly positioned from attack, perfectly positioned for power, yet inhospitable and testing conditions for anyone to survive in, Summer here is unrelenting and brings little relief from other seasons. After a break I am refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of the drive into the Eskdale Valley, a welcoming place of peace and tranquility after the drama of Hardknott Pass. (If you view the image full size, zoom in and follow the road from the bottom of the image right up until it ends at the top of the valley, you will see a vehicle making its decent from the ridge, this is only a small section of the pass & prior to this you have already tackled higher more frightening sections!)

Long and Winding Road

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10 thoughts on “41 Day 251 – Dangerous Road Stunning Views

    • Thanks Ruth! Not a drive for the faint hearted thats for sure! I was in need of a coffee when I reached the next village! But the stress was equalled by the sheer beauty of the place, I will be posting some views from the Fort later!

  1. Wow! What a terrific read Lucy and I did so enjoy looking at this wonderful landscape shot with the road winding its way throughout the valley as the focal point leading the viewer to the escarpment in the shadows. I hope you have a great week. Regards, James

    • Wow is exactly what I said when I reached the end of the pass!! Really was a place that took your breath away for more reasons than just the view! Hope your having a good week and getting lots of photography done!

      • It certainly looks like a photographers paradise, but you know me from my work ……I could only be out there in a storm..lol. I hope you have a great weekend Lucy and as to my photography well jumping back into coastal work with both feet so to speak….wet feet again on the cards I am sure..

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