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Today is   Last update 07-11-2011
 



You want adventure? How about this, in 1889?

Extracts from the report

'Next morning [the second of a two-day excursion arranged in 1889] the members were seated in five char-a-bancs at eight o'clock, and a start was made from the Salutation Hotel [Ambleside] at a quarter past, by way of Skelwith to Little Langdale. The warmth of a perfect autumn day was enjoyed during the rest of the route. The solitary hill farm, Fell Foot, was reached shortly before ten o'clock, and here the first halt was made.....

From this point everybody had to walk up the sinuous road over Wrynose... The party, both ladies and gentlemen, began the long tussle with the difficulties of the 1250 feet climb to the top of Wrynose Pass with light hearts.....

How anyone can reasonably expect such steep mountain tracks to be safely traversed by heavy carriages passes belief. There are sharp drops of one in three, and breakneck turns in both passes which careful folk would only face on fell ponies, or better still, on their own legs. A couple of inches deep of loose samel and rough stones on the steepest bits didn't tend to make them any easier. However, good spirits and pluck on the part of the ladies carried them over the ground as cheerfully as any of the stronger sex.

The usual contortions needed to stoop in and touch the three counties of Westmorland, Cumberland, and Lancashire were made at the three shire stones

Three Shires Stone
Three Shires Stone


and the descent to Wrynose Bottom—the least interesting bit of the route—was begun. A halt to water the horses was made at Cockley Beck, and then Hardknott Pass was faced...........

.....the top of the pass -1290 feet above sea level—was reached. On descending hence the worst bits of road on the route were met with, and the drivers of the machines — empty, of course — must have had both coolness and capacity to reach the foot without a turn-over

Hardknott Pass from Fort
Hardknott Pass from Fort


The party left the road to inspect Hardknott Castle [the name given to the Roman fort]

Keep Store Hardknott and Eskdale
Hardknott and Eskdale


The scene here was most glorious. The rich and romantic valley of Eskdale stretched away towards Ravenglass and the sea.....

Eskdale from Hardknott
Eskdale from Hardknott


A steep scramble down from the camp landed the party at the foot of the pass where the carriages were again mounted, and a drive past lusciously scented hay-fields and corn hattocks soon landed the company at the Woolpack Inn, in Eskdale, where lunch awaited them.....




















































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