Kirkstone Pass - Hartsop (#83) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

3.2 mi
985 ft
5.7 %



Kirkstone Pass from Hartsop is one of three approaches to Kirkstone Pass and the chosen route for 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Britain. This climb is within the Lake District National Park (236,200 hectare/583,663 acres; established in 1951).

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
Information Not Available

If you have any information regarding this climb, we'd like to hear from you. Click the CONTRIBUTE button to share your thoughts with us.

Information Not Available

If you have any information regarding this climb, we'd like to hear from you. Click the CONTRIBUTE button to share your thoughts with us.

Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Information Not Available

If you have any information regarding this climb, we'd like to hear from you. Click the CONTRIBUTE button to share your thoughts with us.



Not Yet Rated



Check out PJAMM Adventure's prepackaged (self-guided) cycling trips. They will help you plan, document and conquer your next adventure.
Browse all of our prepackaged trips and find your next adventure!


No Climbs Found


Let us know what you thought of this climb. Signup for our FREE membership to write a review or post a comment.
Already have an account?
Route Data
S.G. (%)
Segment Data

Climb Profile Not Found

Cycling Kirkstone Pass #83 Simon Warren 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs  - aerial drone photo, roadway, hillside, pass, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs logo 

Climbing Kirkstone Pass from from Hartsop (north)

Ride 3.2 miles gaining 985’ at 5.7% average grade (7% climb only).

The Hartsop side of Kirkstone pass begins at picturesque lake Brothers Water and there is very little development in the surrounding area. The road and our route to the top is visible from the very bottom section, as the road twists and turns up the canyon to the saddle of the pass. Toward the top you’ll enter a rocky boulder field and contend with some very steep gradients up to the summit point. There is a cafe at the top and this is a start point for many hikers. Paid parking is available at a dirt lot at the summit.

photo collage shows sign at Kirkstone Pass Inn, English country roads lined with stone retaining walls; road sign warning of 20% grades

One of the many extraordinary passes in the Lake District.

The climb up and over Kirkstone Pass from Troutbeck is included in the Fred Whitton Challenge.


photo collage shows beautiful lake, Brothers Water

Climb begins at the northeastern part of Brothers Water.

photo collage shows quintessential English countryside views along the first third of the climb, including low stone retaining walls, green pasturelands

Views along the first third of the climb.

Simon Warren writes of Kirkstone Pass:

The best way to tackle A592 Kirkstone Pass is to attack from the north . . . to Hartsop.  A major route, though not too busy, its lower slopes are gentle as you follow the meandering path of Kirkstone Beck.  Rounding a bend around two-thirds distance, the tarmac winds up steeply ahead of you, cutting its way between two rocky peaks.  An excellent surface all the way up, the road is generally clean and smooth apart from a few repaired patches and grilles.  The road never wavers far from the direct route to the top and once inside the final kilometer that’s when things start to get serious.  Reaching this short 20% section, the roadside is littered with giant cube-like boulders.  Push on through here as it’s only a brief struggle after which things get gradually easier as you approach the Kirkstone Passage Inn,” (Simon Warren, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, A Road Cyclists Guide to Britain’s Hills, p. 141).

photo collage shows views of green pastureland, road snaking through hillsides, Brothers Water in distance

Views back toward Brothers Water.

photos point out Kirkstone Pass along climb; English countryside road passing through green pastureland

The pass is visible most of the climb.

road signs read 13% grade

RoadCyclingUK has a nice article on the 10 best cycling climbs in the Lake District; a mountainous area in northwest England with roughly 10 very sizeable lakes in close proximity:

“Kirkstone Pass had to be part of the list simply because it’s the Lake District’s highest pass open to traffic, and here we’re focussing on the A592 road starting from Lake Windermere. The segment is 8.5km long, with a rolling first couple of kilometres to get you warmed up before the long rolling drag up.

At around 2.5km the road pitches up once more, just registering over ten per cent, but the difference this time is that there’s no roll down the other side. Instead, the road flattens off before climbing again, this time with a 14 per cent peak slope,” (
Read more).  

photo collage shows views of English countryside, stone retaining walls, rock faces in hillsides

This is another of the great climbs in Lake District National Park, 236,200 hectare (583,663 acres) established in 1951:

“The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells) and its associations with the early 19th century writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets, Beatrix Potter, and John Ruskin. A National Park was established in 1951 and, following a minor extension in 2016, now covers an area of approximately 2,362 square kilometres. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.

It is located entirely within the county of Cumbria, and all the land in England higher than 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest bodies of water in England, respectively Wast Water and Windermere,” (
Wikipedia - Lake District National Park).

aerial drone view has important points noted: route from Ambleside: The Struggle, Climb finish, and Route from Penrith

photo collage shows road sign reading 20% grade, Ambleside via "The Struggle," and the front of Kirkstone Inn

It’s three miles down the south side fo Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside.

The Kirkstone Pass Inn is both an Inn and Pub with food and drink available.  The inn has a 4.5 Google Review Rating out of 1,747 reviews as of November 2022.  

That’s a wrap.