Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Hard? Knott!

One way to get to us is to follow the road from Ambleside, up Little Landale and over Wrynose and Hardknott passes. It's a great drive and was rated in a poll by the RAC as 5th out of 7 British motoring attractions in the UK. We're about 2 miles west of the bottom of Hardknott.

Hardknott is one of the steepest and twistiest roads in the UK. 30% hairpin bends make it an interesting drive. Many passengers find it a little more than simply interesting. If you can trust the driver however, it gets you right up into the mountains where great views can be seen.

We frequently get people stopping by who have deliberately driven over the pass, in all sorts of vehicles. Many are making the journey because of the notoriety of the road. Many want to test their vehicle and their own skills.

Yesterday one such gentleman and friends popped in for a drink bringing in two others who had been following in a rather less glamorous, but none the less open top car. The two cars had been travelling in convoy, completely by chance, and the occupants had somehow struck up a friendship during the journey.

In keeping with travelers who know about the pass, they seemed in good spirits and enjoyed a convivial drink at the bar. Many who travel over the pass, often by accident, seem to be less enamoured with the whole experience. In these cases beer simply isn't strong enough and generous dispense from the optics is often requested. Then comes the question "Do we have to go back over that?" tempting as it it to say that there is no other way out, we like to assist in the wretched traveller in finding a more amenable route.

I don't think I've ever seen this make of car close up before. It struck me as to how massive the vehicle is. Apparently it weighs in at around 2.5tonnes. More than my 4x4. It must be a beast to control on those hairpins. Good effort AJ.


Christi said...

Not to mention the sheep that loom near those hairpin turns! What an awesome road though, they sure don't make 'em like that in the States!

ChrisM said...

Fantastic road - last time I drove over it in my 22 year old Austin Maestro it was spectacular, and the car was less tired than I was! Would've stopped off for a pint but I was on my way to La'al Ratty...

Washy said...

Never had a real problem with Hardknott. But what can cause problems are charabancs, people who have got scared and those who do not know about the giving way rules.

Unfortunatley I'm one of the latter. Am I suppose to give way to those driving uphill or downhill?

Woolpack Dave said...

Hi Washy, I agree, the others on the road are the problem. I can drive that pass no problem at all in the middle of winter, providing it's above zero that is.

I think the correct etiquette is to give way to those coming up hill. It used to be part of the highway code but it's dropped now. Boo.