7th June 2013

Hard Knott from Brotherilkeld


Walk Overview
Time 1.15 to 3.55pm
Duration 2 hr 40 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

A very dry looking Hardknott Gill seen here below Scafell. The spell of good weather continues and not wanting to miss out, I grab the opportunity to walk over Hard Knott after work this afternoon. Even though it had been red hot with blue sky and sunshine all morning, I spent the middle section of the walk in the shade. Not to worry I thought, it was still an enjoyable outing and by the look of things everywhere seems to have clouded over.

A very dark looking Bow Fell seen behind Brotherilkeld Farm.


Further through the valley and Bow Fell is still in view.


Passing by one of the many small waterfalls found along this section of the River Esk.

Lingcove Bridge.

Just above the bridge is this much larger waterfall. It's not exactly hidden, but it's one of those places that are easy to walk quite close to without actually noticing it's there.

Looking down to the River Esk and the path I'd been following.

A remarkably clear looking Crinkle Crags, but not for long.

That doesn't look too promising.

A hazy view across to the Scafells, Esk Pike and Bow Fell.

Hardknott Tarn. Actually, it's more of a big muddy pool and even more so after a few weeks without much rain.

Hard Knott summit, , , , surprise of the day, , , , it started to rain. It didn't last any longer than 5 minutes, and although it was actually quite nice and cooling; I could have happily done without it.

Hard Knott has more than its fair share of undulations, lumps, bumps and crags. Despite this and the seemingly confusing nature of the place there's quite an easy to follow path right across the fell.

Not too far from the summit you end up at Hardknott Pass.

For obvious reasons, this is the top of the pass.

A close up of Wrynose Bottom and Wrynose Pass.

Heading down to Eskdale.
(the following pictures are out of sequence, but it made sense to show them this way)

Looks like someone has ground to a halt on the worst possible place. Terrible for them but at least other cars could still get past, as the silver merc demonstrates.
Never mind, help is at hand as the guy in the black 4x4 tries to give the silver 4x4 a tow up the road.   Once the tow rope had snapped and gave an almighty twanging noise as it catapulted against the back of his car, they decided is would be better to reverse back down the road. In the meantime, the lady on the right hand side thought it a good idea to disrupt this section of the road by telling other drivers the route was blocked; which of course it wasn't. Other cars were also waiting further down the road.

The cloud has passed over and the blue skies have returned. Unfortunately I'm almost back at the car.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks