The road to Wrynose Pass in Cumbria is for confident drivers only

Wrynose Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 398m (1,305ft) above sea level, located in the Lake District National Park of Cumbria, England. You need to be a confident driver to attempt this, with gradients up to 1 in 4.

Wrynose Pass

Where is Wrynose Pass?

Situated between the Duddon Valley and Little Langdale, the top of the pass is marked by the Three Shire Stone, denoting the meeting point of the historic counties of Cumberland, Lancashire, and Westmorland.

Why is it called Wrynose Pass?

The name "Wrynose" stems from the phrase 'pass of the stallion,' alluding to the steep gradients that necessitated a robust horse to ascend to the summit.

How long is Wrynose Pass?

Much of the route follows an ancient Roman road. The rollercoaster road to the summit spans 6.27km (3.9 miles), extending west-east from Cockley Beck to Little Langdale, and continues over Hardknott Pass.

How challenging is Wrynose Pass?

It's a formidable drive, occasionally intense when maneuvering around oncoming cars. It is best tackled by confident drivers who remain composed at heights. The pass boasts a series of hairpin bends that can unsettle drivers of cars and minibuses (heavier vehicles are advised against using the pass), particularly since the tarmac has smoothed in places. The road is single-track and narrow in sections, flanked by unyielding dry stone walls. The road poses heightened danger for brakes on a couple of particularly steep turns, ranking as one of the most demanding stretches of road in England. With slopes reaching 30%, drivers are expected to yield to ascending traffic. Though narrow, the road features regular pull-in spots for oncoming vehicles.

Is Wrynose Pass open?

During winter months, the pass often closes due to snow, rendering it impassable for vehicles. It's a thrilling drive with breathtaking views but not for the faint-hearted, especially in adverse weather conditions. It's advisable to avoid winter excursions, as snow at higher elevations can compound the challenges of an already demanding drive.

How long does it take to drive Wrynose Pass?

Completing the drive without stopping typically takes between 15 and 25 minutes for most people. It's one of England's most spectacular climbs. The optimal time for traversing the pass is between April and October when days are longer, and weather conditions are favorable. Embark on the journey early in the day to fully appreciate the surroundings. The road was featured in "Quantum of Solace" (2008).