8th April 2011

Hard Knott from Brotherilkeld


Walk Overview
Time 12.50 to 15.10
Duration 2 hr 20 min
Distance 5.8 mile
Ascent 1400 ft
Walking with On my own
Jubilee Bridge - Brotherilkeld - Lingcove Bridge - Lingcove Beck - Hardknott Tarn - Hard Knott - Hardknott Pass - Jubilee Bridge
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

I'm not sure what the official date is for the start of summer, but as far as the weather goes, I reckon it was today. The bottoms of the trousers were zipped off for the first time this year and I got back to the car looking much redder than I was when I started the walk. More time would have been nice, but I'm not complaining.

Heading down the track towards Britherilkeld farm. The pointed fell in the far distance is Bow Fell.

A bit further along now and there's nothing at all to block the view which is still dominated by Bow Fell.

The view backwards isn't quite as clear, but there you go anyway.

The valley narrows here as the River Esk twists its way around to (or rather from) Lingcove Bridge.
That's still Bow Fell in the distance.

This is one of the smaller waterfalls found along this stretch of the River Esk.

Lingcove Bridge.
My route took my up the right hand side of Lincove Beck (the one which flows under the bridge).

Looking back down to the bridge.

A skyline of bigger fells; Slight Side, Scafell and Scafell Pike.

Esk Pike and Bow Fell, taken somewhere around the point where I headed off the path and onto the ridge to Hard Knott.

The Scafell fells, seen from their best and also their quietest side.

A view back along the ridge shows a surprisingly dry looking Hard Knott Tarn.

Slight Side, Scafell and Scafell Pike behind one of the many small pools found dotted about Hard Knott.

Hard Knott summit in front of the Coniston fells.

and again, this time in front of Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Esk Pike and Bow Fell.

On the route down to Hard Knott Pass you get a broadside view of Grey Friar with Great Carrs behind on the left and Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag on the right.

A close up of Cockley Beck.

Looking around to the left, Wrynose Bottom runs away and up to Wrynose Pass. From here, it seems as though hardly any height is gained at all from the valley to the top of the pass.

Now for the walk down Hardknott Pass which looks much further than it actually is, and to state the obvious, it's all down hill.

Looking back up Hard Knott Pass.

Almost back at the car now and Eskdale begins to show itself a bit more clearly.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks