Kirkstone Pass, which is a mountain pass in the Lake District, has an altitude of approximately 454 metres. This pass, which is the highest pass in the Lake District, joins Ambleside in the Rothay Valley to Patterdale in the Ullswater Valley on the A592 road. In some places the gradient is 1 in 4 (25%).
Horse drawn carriages, which travelled on the unpaved road from Penrith, found it a struggle for the horses to make the climb from Brothers Water to the summit of the pass and passengers were required to walk to the top. This part of the road became known as The Struggle. However, once they reached the summit the narrow steep and winding road down into Windermere was quick and dangerous, which gave the passengers little time to enjoy the breathtaking views over Troutbeck Valley.
The Kirkstone Pass Inn, which is on the summit of Kirkstone Pass, sits at the junction of two roads – one to Windermere and the other to Ambleside. This 17th century Travellers’ Inn, which provided comfort and shelter, became derelict and was rebuilt and renamed in 1847 to The Kirkstone Pass Inn. Both William Wordsworth and Thomas De Quincey wrote about this notorious pass.