10 Mountain Passes to explore in United Kingdom
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is the sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Bealach na Bà is a winding single track road through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula, in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands. The historic mountain pass was built in 1822 and is engineered similarly to roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps, with very tight hairpin bends that switch back and forth up the hillside and gradients that approach 20%. The name is Scottish Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle, as it was historically used as a drovers' road.
Cairn O' Mount is a high mountain pass in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It has served as an ancient military route at least from Roman times through the 13th century AD. The alignment of the Cairnamounth, Elsick Mounth and Causey Mounth ancient trackways had a strong influence on the medieval siting of many fortifications and other settlements in the area comprised by present-day Aberdeenshire on both sides of the River Dee.
Cairnwell Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 670m above the sea level, located in the Scottish Highlands. It's one of the highest roads of the country, and at the summit is the Glenshee Ski Centre, Scotland's largest and oldest ski centre. Historically, the pass was a drover's route from the Lowlands to the Highlands. The road is often blocked by snow in the winter.
Hardknott Pass is known as one of Britain's most challenging roads. This single-track road right through the middle of the Lake District National Park, in the region of Cumbria, England, it’s a heart-stopping series of sharp and narrow hairpin bends. It’s said to be the steepest road in England with a gradient of 1 in 3. The pass is often closed in winter due to ice that makes the route impassable for vehicles.
A beautiful mountain pass which starts at Gatesgarth Farm, at the southern end of Buttermere. It connects the Buttermere valley with the eastern end of Borrowdale valley. It is one of Cumbria’s highest passes, with a gradient of 1 in 4. Flowing through the pass from the summit to Buttermere is Gatesgarthdale Beck. Honister Pass holds the UK 24-hour rainfall record; in the 24 hours to 6 pm on 5 December 2015, 341.4 mm of rain fell there.
Kennedy's Pass lies on the course of the A77 Trunk Road, 4 miles southwest of Girvan on the South Ayrshire coast. It used to represent a narrowing in the road, which follows the raised beach along the coast. As the road rounds a little headland here, it is constricted between cliffs and a distinctive rock pinnacle. Widening the road to create the modern A77 created a challenge.
Kirkstone Pass is a beautiful and the Lake District’s highest pass that is open to motor traffic. The road is very steep and narrow, with a gradient of 1 in 4. This steep twisty road connects Ambleside in the Rothay Valley to Patterdale in the Ullswater Valley. Winter conditions can be hazardous. It was once a vital coaching inn, it now caters primarily for tourists. It is the third-highest public house in England.
The Lairig Ghru is the best known hill-pass in Scotland. Nestled in the middle of Cairngorms National Park, it was once one of the main routes used for driving cattle and transporting goods through the Cairngorm mountains. Its 500-metre deep trench cuts between the second and third highest mountains in the United Kingdom, creating a trail that is wild and remote.
Snake Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 510m above sea level, located between Manchester and Sheffield in Northern England. The pass is traversed by the A57 road. Snake Pass has a poor accident record compared with roads in the UK generally, although more favorable compared with other roads in the area. It is regularly closed in winter because of snow and has seen several longer-term closures owing to subsidence following heavy rain.
Winnats Pass is a tough climb in the Peak District from the village of Castleton heading West through a steep limestone cleft. The valley was created by melting glaciers wearing away the rock – the limestone gradually dissolved and streams flowed through and under cracks and fissures in the rock. The road winds through a cleft, surrounded by high limestone ridges. At the foot of the pass is the entrance to Speedwell Cavern, a karst cave accessed through a flooded lead mine, and which is a popu