|A drive that includes the most challenging mountain pass roads in the Lake District along with some remote and beautiful scenery. The drive also visits a number of historic attractions and allows a glimpse of bygone industry in the area.|
|South Lakes & Cumbria Drives||Home|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Coniston Village||N 54.36892, W 3.07347|
|0.8 miles||Coniston Water||N 54.36460, W 3.06779|
|10.5 miles||Broughton in Furness||N 54.27781, W 3.21128|
|11.8 miles||Duddon Iron Furnace||N 54.28424, W 3.23474|
|14.5 miles||Duddon Valley access area||N 54.31561, W 3.23108|
|21.7 miles||Forge Bridge access area||N 54.38395, W 3.31215|
|23.7 miles||Stanley Force waterfall||N 54.39141, W 3.27796|
|24.1 miles||Eskdale Railway & Boot||N 54.39505, W 3.27460|
|27.5 miles||Hardknott Roman Fort||N 54.40241, W 3.20163|
|28.2 miles||Hardknott Pass||N 54.40290, W 3.18488|
|31.6 miles||Wrynose Pass||N 54.41495, W 3.11520|
|39.4 miles||Tilberthwaite access area||N 54.39972, W 3.07000|
|42.0 miles||Coniston Village||N 54.36892, W 3.07347|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Coniston Village car park Coordinates: N 54.36892, W 3.07347
Travelling:From the village car park, turn left and continue on the B5285 which shortly meets the A593 in the village centre. Turn left, over the river and past the garage, then immediately take Lake Road on the left which leads approx 0.5 miles down to the lake. The car park is just before the lake on the left.
Distance: 0.8 miles Location: Lake Road car park, Coniston Water Coordinates: N 54.36460, W 3.06779
|Coniston lakeside area|
Travelling:Return back up Lake Road and at the top turn left on the main A593. The route now follows the A593 to Broughton In Furness. You soon leave the main village of Coniston and the road starts to climb with some views across Coniston Water. Shortly you pass through a small settlement where the Ship Inn is on the right. The pleasing road runs parallel with the lake but views are limited by trees. You soon enter the village of Torver which doesn’t have much to offer visitors apart from the Church House Inn on the left and the Wilsons Arms & Torver Deli on the right. Continue on the A593 beyond Torver and the road soon becomes quite narrow and winding. After a small climb the road continues down the valley with good views of the surrounding hills and ahead towards the Duddon Estuary. Just over 6 miles from Torver, enter the town of Broughton In Furness and soon meet a T junction at the main Square where there are a number of parking spaces.
Distance: 10.5 miles Location: Broughton In Furness Coordinates: N 54.27781, W 3.21128
|Broughton in Furness Square|
Travelling:Leave the Square by the road adjacent to the Manor Arms, then take the immediate right turn (Brade Street). Turn right again at the end of this road and continue for a short distance passing the Black Cock Inn on the right. Turn left at the junction immediately after the pub. The road passes the Old Kings Head on the left and continues up the hill, out of the town and soon meets the main A595 at a T junction. Turn right on the main road towards Ulpha. The road drops down a steep hill and shortly approaches some traffic lights at a narrow bridge over the River Duddon. The drive takes the right turn to Ulpha just before the lights but if you want to see Duddon Iron Furnace, continue over the bridge and take the first right turn alongside the river. Approx 100m along this road is the entrance to Duddon Iron Furnace car park through a gate on the left.
Distance: 11.8 miles Location: Duddon Iron Furnace Coordinates: N 54.28424, W 3.23474
|Duddon Iron Furnace|
** Access temporarily closed due to building movements. It can only be seen from a distance. **
Travelling:Turn around to retrace your steps back over the narrow bridge at the traffic lights. Immediately after the bridge take the left hand turn to Ulpha. This is now the Duddon Valley road which is quite narrow and winding but provides some fabulous views up the valley. After approx 2 miles, the road opens up and drops down towards the river. There are a number of layby parking areas where access to the river can be gained.
Distance: 14.5 miles Location: Duddon Valley access area Coordinates: N 54.31561, W 3.23108
|Duddon Valley access area|
|View from Birker Fell road|
Travelling:Continue along the minor road up the Duddon Valley. In a short distance you enter the small settlement of Ulpha where the road crosses the river. There’s not much in Ulpha but soon after the bridge on the right is St John the Baptist church which is in a lovely position next to the river and is open to visitors. Soon after this on the left is the small village shop and post office.
Shortly after the shop, take the left turn to Eskdale up the Birker Fell road. The sudden steepness of this narrow road is quite a shock after the gentle valley floor and the first section is as steep as any road in the area. The gradient soon eases and you travel across Birker Fell with its wide open spaces and views of distant hills. As the road reaches its summit, the views ahead towards Scafell and surrounding peaks are wonderful and well worth a quick stop to fully appreciate. From here the road descends quickly to Eskdale valley. Soon pass a minor road junction on the left and just less than half a mile beyond this is Forge Bridge access area on the left, just before the bridge itself.
Distance: 21.7 miles Location: Forge Bridge access area Coordinates: N 54.38395, W 3.31215
|Forge Bridge access area|
Travelling:Continue over Forge Bridge and shortly you see the King George IV Inn on the left which provides refreshments in a lovely setting. Take the right turn opposite the pub towards Boot. Follow the picturesque valley floor road which soon follows the River Esk on the right and the miniature Eskdale Railway on the left. If you are lucky you may see one of the small trains rattling along. Approx 1.5 miles from the pub, pass the small Beckfoot station on the left and approx 0.2 miles further on, opposite some buildings, take a minor right turn. Continue 0.2 miles over Trough House Bridge and the car park is on the left.
Distance: 23.7 miles Location: Trough House Bridge car park Coordinates: N 54.39141, W 3.27796
|Stanley Force waterfall|
Travelling:Travel back to the main valley road and turn right towards Boot. In 0.2 miles is Dalegarth Station on the left and the car park turn is immediately before the station.
Distance: 24.1 miles Location: Dalegarth Station car park Coordinates: N 54.39505, W 3.27460
|Dalegarth Station, Eskdale Railway|
Dalegarth Station car park is also the best place to park for a visit to Boot which is approx 0.3 miles walk along the road. It is a pretty little village in a picturesque setting with a shop and a small gallery. The village also has a couple of pubs providing refreshment in idyllic surroundings at the Boot Inn and the Brook House Inn. At the far end of the village, over the ancient packhorse bridge, is the fascinating Eskdale Mill which still maintains its historic working machinery and is one of the oldest water powered corn mills in the country.
Travelling:From Dalegarth Station, continue up the Eskdale valley beyond Boot. The scenic road soon takes you past the Woolpack Inn pub and cafe on the left, then a small free car park on the left and then across the River Esk before arriving at the foot of Hardknott Pass which is marked by various warning signs and a telephone box. This is the start of a notorious section of road which certainly provides a challenging experience. Some approach it with excitement, some with trepidation but providing your vehicle is in good working order and you think ahead it should be relatively straightforward. The narrow road with passing places immediately starts to ascend very steeply for half a mile before the gradient eases and you reach the parking area for Hardknott Roman Fort on the left.
Distance: 27.5 miles Location: Hardknott Roman Fort Coordinates: N 54.40241, W 3.20163
|Hardknott Roman Fort and Eskdale|
Travelling:Continue up Hardknott Pass on the road which again becomes very steep with some hair raising hairpin bends. Some care is needed on this section but you soon reach the summit. Just over the summit hump there is a small rough parking area on the left.
Distance: 28.2 miles Location: Hardknott Pass Coordinates: N 54.40290, W 3.18488
|Hardknott Pass from Wrynose Bottom|
Travelling:Once over Hardknott Pass summit, the road quickly starts to descend and again becomes very steep with plenty of tight corners where you need to be careful of oncoming traffic. Providing your brakes are up to it, the gradient eventually eases and you descend more gradually to Cockley Beck Bridge which crosses the upper River Duddon. Just over the bridge, turn left towards Wrynose Pass along the Wrynose Bottom road. The scenic valley floor has some larger laybys to stop where you can admire the surrounding peaks and the river, but be careful not to obstruct passing places. Approx 1.5 miles from Cockley Beck Bridge, the road begins to ascend Wrynose Pass. Although steep, narrow and winding again, it is not as severe as Hardknott Pass and in a further half a mile you reach the summit.
Distance: 31.6 miles Location: Wrynose Pass Coordinates: N 54.41495, W 3.11520
|Three Shire Stone, Wrynose Pass|
|Little Langdale from Wrynose Pass|
Travelling:Continue past the Three Shire Stone and start to descend, steeply at first, towards Little Langdale. Again not as difficult as Hardknott Pass, it is still a tricky descent that needs some caution. The road eventually levels out and goes past Fell Foot Farm which is an attractive historic building owned by the National Trust. Shortly after this, the minor road from Great Langdale joins on the left. Continue straight on, over the cattle grid and along the narrow walled lanes. Little Langdale Tarn can be seen on the right and before long you drop down to the hamlet of Little Langdale with the traditional looking Three Shires Inn on the left.
Beyond Little Langdale, the road generally continues to descend for approx 1 mile until a T junction is reached. Turn right here towards Coniston. Almost immediately cross Colwith Bridge and just beyond this you can park by the road on the left to access the impressive Colwith Force waterfall. A short but quite rough footpath leads to the waterfall, back towards the bridge and over the stile on the left.
Continue driving up a small but steep ascent to a T junction where you turn right on the main A593. It makes a refreshing change driving on a road with a central white line, so continue up and over a small summit then descend to pass Yew Tree Tarn on the right which is man made in a lovely setting. Approx 0.3 miles further on is Yew Tree Farm on the right which is a picture book farm once owned by Beatrix Potter. The farmhouse was used as the double for her actual home, Hill Top, in the 2006 film ‘Miss Potter’. It is now a guest house. Approx 0.5 miles beyond Yew Tree Farm there is a minor road on the right signposted to Hodge Close. Continue beyond this for another 0.1 miles to a second right turn signposted to Tilberthwaite. Take this right turn, although the road doubles sharply back so you will need to take a wide swing. Another narrow road with passing places continues up the picturesque valley alongside Yewdale Beck for approx 1 mile until you reach a large open parking area on the left, just before the road crosses the beck.
Distance: 39.4 miles Location: Tilberthwaite access area Coordinates: N 54.39972, W 3.07000
|Tilberthwaite access area|
Travelling:Retrace your steps back to the A593 and turn right towards Coniston. The road continues for approx 1.5 miles to enter Coniston village. Proceed to the centre of the village and turn left immediately after Yewdale Hotel. After 0.1 miles, take the first right turn and the main car park is immediately on the right.
Distance: 42.0 miles Location: Coniston Village car park Coordinates: N 54.36892, W 3.07347
|Coniston lakeside area|