Hardknott Roman Fort

Season:Any
Duration:Full Day
Activity:History

Why not come along and enjoy, as I do, this wonderful, elevated Roman Fort called Mediobogdum (catchy name isn’t it). It was built in the time of Hadrian around 117AD by the ‘Fourth Cohort of Dalmatians’ (modern Croatia) with an infantry unit of around 500 men. It sits on the Roman road connecting the coast at Ravenglass to the Fort at Ambleside, via the passes of Hardnott & Wrynose. Great if you’re into history, but not bad if you are into views either – a camera is a must! From here you are probably in the best position in the valley to see most of the way to the coast in the West and into the mountainous upper Eskdale (source of the river Esk) to the East – probably why the Romans chose this site – they knew what they were doing! It is a great, if slightly windswept, place for a family picnic.

Further Information

Planning your visit: Although there are no built facilities (toilets, refreshments etc.) at the fort, they are readily available in the valley in the villages of Boot & Eskdale Green. There is a miniature railway (Ravenglass & Eskdale -’Ratty’) line that connects the coast (Ravenglass) with Eskdale (Boot village), providing a scheduled service. Closest petrol station is at Holmrook on the A595.

Start point:

OS Explorer map OL6 (The English Lakes Southwestern area). Grid reference of fort: NY 21847 01475.

How to get here:

Please note that there is no public transport directly to the fort. Train available from Ravenglass to Boot village on miniature railway (walk to fort by road 5km/3 miles). By car from Boot village follow the road to the end of the valley passing a red phone box & cattle grid with the road steadily rising in gradient for approx. 1km/0.6 miles with small informal car parking areas just before & after the fort. By car from Ambleside take the A593 turn right after 5.1km/3.2 miles (follow signs for Little Langdale), turn left after 0.6km/0.4 miles continuing straight ahead for 12.5km/7.7 miles going over both Wrysnose & Hardknott passes (magnificent mountain views).

Car users please note:

Route not for drivers of a nervous disposition or to be done in winter conditions.

By Clive Stretton

Lead Ranger - West Lakes (Duddon & Eskdale valleys)

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How to get here

Hardknott Pass Car Park, Eskdale

Hardknott Pass
Boot CA19 1

Ordnance Survey OL6
The English Lakes
South Western area

NY 209 011

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