‘This road is hell on earth – I thought we were all going to die’: Pass in the Lake District given one star on Tripadvisor… for being too steep

  • The road in question is Hardknott Pass, which has gradients of up to 30 per cent 
  • Tripadvisor user ‘Nicola H’ said driving up it gave her son a panic attack
  • READ MORE: Can you tell if these beaches are in Britain… or abroad? 

A road in the Lake District has been given a one-star Tripadvisor rating for being too steep – and labelled ‘hell on earth’.

The road in question is notorious Hardknott Pass, which with heartstopping gradients of up to 30 per cent is one of England’s steepest routes.

Tripadvisor user ‘Nicola H’ makes it very clear in her review of the pass, which lies near the village of Eskdale, that she did not enjoy her car journey up it one bit, though she admits the views are ‘gorgeous’.

She writes: ‘Holy cr*p. Hairpin turns so steep and tight I thought we were all going to die. My ten-year-old son to the rear right of me asking for his inhaler due to a full-blown panic attack. Eight-year-old daughter directly behind me pulling my hair yelling “yaaaaaaaaaaas” and “yeeeehaaaaawwwww” round every bend like she is riding a horse.

‘Twenty-six-week old foetus in my stomach punching the living daylights out of me from inside me due to severe dislike of G-Forces.

Hardknott Pass (above) has been given a one-star Tripadvisor rating for being too steep – and labelled ‘hell on earth’

‘Husband to my right with white knuckles on the steering wheel and a toothy, nervous grin that made him look like Wallace from Wallace and Gromit for a good 20 minutes.

‘Do yourself a favour and walk it instead.’

Nicola’s experience is far from unique.

Jacqueline H also took to Tripadvisor to describe her experience of a drive up Hardknott Pass.

Tripadvisor user ‘Nicola H’ said that driving up the pass (above), gave her son a panic attack

Nicola H’s review of Hardknott Pass in full. ‘Do yourself a favour and walk it,’ she concludes

She wrote: ‘It was some years ago and I’ve NEVER been back. My father in law loved to show off and thought he was Lewis Hamilton. He disobeyed the rule that those going down made way for those going up and he stopped, going up, for someone coming down, on the 1:3.

‘He couldn’t pull off and the drop to our left was sheer. As pa-in-law struggled, my husband and I got out of the rear and threw big stones behind the rear wheels to provide extra grip.

‘That is absolutely gospel truth and I am convinced that we nearly lost our lives that day.’

Hayley S, meanwhile, said: ‘I saw God five times [on] this drive and begged for death. Will never do again and would not recommend unless mental breakdowns are your cup of tea.’ And Denise S wrote on Tripadvisor: ‘My sat nav took me this route by error. I cried so much, screamed and whimpered all the way.’ 

Hardknott Pass is difficult in a car – but even harder on a bicycle, as riders who’ve completed the Fred Whitton Challenge will attest.

The pass comes at the 94-mile mark on the 113-mile race, with many cyclists forced to walk up the steepest sections.

For many, riding up the hill while remaining clipped in to the pedals on their bike is a lifetime goal.

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