Wrynose Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 393m (1,281ft) above the sea level, located in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. You need to be a confident driver to attempt this, with gradients up to 1 in 4.
The pass is located between the Duddon Valley and Little Langdale. It’s one of the most spectacular climbs in England. The pass itself has a series of hairpin bends that can be unnerving for drivers of cars and minibuses (heavier vehicles are advised not to use the pass), especially as the tarmac has become quite smooth in places. The road is single-track and narrow in places with unforgiving dry stone walls. Rising steadily to start with, after a section with a good view ahead the first, more serious inclines appear. The unusual name, Wrynose, comes from ‘pass of the stallion’ and referred to the fact that the steep gradients needed a well-muscled horse to attain the top. During winter months, the pass is often closed and impassable for vehicles due to snow.
Much of the Wrynose Pass route follows the Roman road. The road becomes especially dangerous for the brakes on a couple of particularly steep turns and it’s one of the most challenging sections of road in England. The road then runs parallel with the River Duddon from Wrynose Bottom as far as Hardknott Pass. It’s a really fun drive with fantastic views but not for a faint hearted driver especially if the weather is bad. A serious drive which can get quite hairy at times when negotiating with cars coming the other way. With 30% slopes, up and down. Drivers are expected to give way to oncoming traffic that is ascending the pass. At the top of the pass is the Three Shire Stone, marking the meeting point of the historic counties of Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland. The best time to ride the Wrynose Pass is between April and October when the days are longer and the weather is at its best. Ride early in the day to fully enjoy the area.
How long is Wrynose Pass?
The road over the pass is 7.88km (4,9 miles) long, running west-east from Cockley Beck towards Little Langdale. There are 3 routes to reach the summit. Starting from Fell Foot, the ascent is 3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 281 meters. The average percentage is 9.4 %. Starting from Cockley Beck, the ascent is 3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 172 meters. The average percentage is 5.7 %. And starting from Langdale, the ascent is 2.89 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 272 meters. The average percentage is 9.4 %.