10th October 2007

A sunny afternoon at Upper Eskdale and Hard Knott


Walk Overview
Time 12.50 to 16.55
Duration 4 hr 5 min
Distance 6 mile
Ascent 1670 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Brotherilkeld - Lingcove Bridge - Hardknott Tarn - Hard Knott - Hardknott Pass - Brotherilkeld
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Jubilee Bridge, Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass has got to be one of the steepest and most difficult roads in the country. In fact, many people make the effort to drive all the way around to this part of the Lake District just to face the challenge. I should point out that this road can be extremely dangerous during the winter months and is best avoided altogether if the weather is at all frosty. I was caught out myself on one occasion when using the route as a shortcut over to Cockley Beck. Just above the steepest of the bends the road turned into an ice rink and I had no alternative than to reverse back down until I reached a convenient turning place; not an experience I'm keen to repeat.

The car park has room for about ten cars, but should you find it full, there is usually room a little further along the road into Eskdale.

Route Map

Brotherilkeld farm with Bow Fell looming large behind and also looking much closer then it actually is.

Walking next to the River Esk in warm sunshine.

One of the many waterfalls & deep pools found along this stretch of the river.


Jennifer waiting patiently while I take photos of Lingcove Bridge and and the sheepfold.
From here we followed the narrow path going out of the picture on the left (on Jennifer's side of the beck).

Crystal clear waters of Lingcove Beck running under the bridge, taken from the point at which the beck joins forces with the River Esk.


Seen here just after leaving to path to Moasdale to start our walk across Hard Knott, Bow Fell featured in almost every long distance picture I'd took along the route so far and why not. A fine mountain indeed, both at close quarters or as was the case today, from a distance. Ask any child to draw you a picture of a mountain and the chances are that, albeit unwittingly, they'll give you a picture of Bow Fell.

A collection of "big ones" seen from their best side. The highest point in the middle of the skyline of Scafell Pike. I'm not a gambling man, but I'll bet next months wages that it was busier up there than it was where we were walking.

Undoubtedly looking more than a little overgrown, but there is actually a tarn in among the grasses to the left of the rocky outcrop. The area was much dryer than I'd expected so there was no need to take a detour to avoid the wet & boggy bit today. It was a simple case of following the path alongside the electric fence, which incidentally is still live, much to Jennifers surprise or should that be shock (pun intended).
Needless to say I didn't take her up on her "you touch it and see" suggestion.

Hard Knott summit. The fells behind are, Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag (above the cairn), Great End and Esk Pike.

The view down to Wrynose Bottom and Cockley Beck.

A close up of Cockley Beck.

Passing one of the many small pools / tarns on route to the top of Hardknott Pass.


Another picture of Wrynose Bottom (and pass), seen here from the sheepfold near the top of Hardknott Pass.

Looking back up the steeper section on Hardknott Pass.

Brotherilkeld seen from the bridge over Hardknott Gill.

One final picture, taken at the end of the walk and showing Border End.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks