The Lake District's Hardknott Pass has gained a notorious reputation over the years and now tourists have been advised to avoid it altogether.

Despite being a must-see for those looking for a demanding and thrilling road journey, the 33% incline can be incredibly dangerous.

The pass is recognised as one of the most difficult roads to climb in England due to its steep inclines and tight hairpin curves.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) told road users: "It has steep gradients and is a single-track road, so depending on the rider or driver's experience it could be one to avoid. We don't recommend putting yourself in danger."

Recently Hardknott and Kirkstone Pass were both named among the most dangerous roads in the UK.

IAM spokeswoman Heather Butcher said: "You can read reviews online from various sources confirming it's a challenging road, a thrill etc but we would advise all riders and drivers to approach roads like this with caution."

And Neil Graham, a communications officer for the Cumbria Police added, "People shouldn't seek out the road to challenge themselves." 

"We put guests off from coming over Hardknott Pass," says local multiple holiday home-owner Greg Poole.

"We put guests off from coming over Hardknott Pass"

Even Gill Haigh, MD of Cumbria Tourism, warns: "We'd advise anyone to check the weather before setting off, as well as taking into account the time of year, as the high points can get treacherous."

A family even reported on Tripadvisor that they were "thinking we were all going to die," whilst making the climb. 

However, to many, this notorious route is a landmark to be celebrated and attempted, rewarding you with stunning views in the process.

You can do the climb from both sides. On one side, if you start from Beckfoot you will have 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) climb and an elevation gain of 300 meters (985 feet).

On the other side, you can start from Cockley Beck where the climb will be similar, but the elevation gain is lower, about 175 meters (574 feet).

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The highest point is 393 meters (1,289 feet) above sea level. On a clear day, you can see the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

Hardknott is a short stretch in very mountainous terrain just behind England's highest peak, Scafell Pike, and our deepest lake, Wastwater.

Colourful owner of nearby Muncaster Castle, Peter Frost-Pennington, drives via Hardknott regularly and calls it 'one of the most exciting and incredible roads to drive, cycle or walk in the whole world', adding: 'It should be on everyone's bucket list.'

And Lakes holiday home-owner Greg Poole may warn his visiting guests to take a different route – but chooses to take Hardknott himself. 'I love the drive,' he says. 'It's exciting, challenging, beautiful, sometimes scary but never boring - you won't fall asleep at the wheel for sure.'