ONE Wainwright walk: Hard Knott
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Parking: free roadside parking on the road leading from Cockley Beck to Hardknott Pass
|Hard Knott and the Roman fort from the 'Terrace Route' to Scafell
Hard Knott is better known for the spectacular Hardknott pass, and the Roman fort that used to guard it, rather than for the fell itself. However, it's well worth walking up to its summit from the road below for the arguably unrivalled close-up view of the Scafell summit ridge.
Another advantage that Hard Knott has in its favour is that, thanks to the road over the pass, you can let your car do most of the hard work. If you park at the highest part of the road, there is little more than 500 feet of ascent left to climb to the summit. However, the route I have described starts to the east, before the steepest part of the pass, leaving further to walk but saving you from the petrol consumption of a low-gear drive up 30% inclines!
|Strava estimates a walking distance of 3-4 km
1. If you drive towards Hard Knott from either the Wrynose Pass to the east, or up the Duddon valley from the south, you will first reach the bridge at Cockley Beck. From here, the Hardknott pass road climbs to the west. The ascent is fairly gentle at first, but the road signs warning you of 30% inclines ahead are a warning to unsuspecting drivers of what lies around the corner!
|Cockley Bridge with Hard Knott on the horizon
|Make your way back down the road to your starting point
|The rebuilt walls of the fort can be seen on the terrace in the centre of this picture, with the road climbing to the pass behind it.