Porlock Hill is the steepest A road in England

Located in Somerset county, in South West England, Porlock Hill is said to be the steepest A road in the country.

Porlock Hill

Where is Porlock Hill?

Situated to the west of the village of Porlock in Somerset, the road through Porlock Hill is fully paved and features narrow parts and two 180-degree hairpin turns. Part of the scenic A39 road, it connects Porlock to Lynmouth and is approximately 2 miles long. Porlock Hill is not recommended for caravans or HGVs, which are strongly advised to seek another route. Cyclists are advised to dismount.

What is Porlock Hill famous for?

At 25%, Porlock Hill is reputedly the steepest A road in England. It climbs approximately 1,300 ft (400 m) in less than 2 miles (3.2 km) up onto Exmoor. This part of the road is a very steep hill with gradients of up to 1 in 4 and hairpin bends. The climb is challenging, acting as a real leg breaker, with the finishing 2kms at 8%, featuring pitches above 25%. In Porlock itself, the burning brakes of vehicles that have just descended the hill can often be smelled. The road has two escape lanes along its descent to handle runaway vehicles, and owing to its gradient, numerous accidents have occurred on Porlock Hill.

When did Porlock Hill open?

The road opened in 1843. The alternative to this leg breaker is to take a toll road. Caravans are advised to use the toll road, and small vehicles and cyclists can take an alternative route.