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The Struggle

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The Struggle
Location Map ( geo)
The Struggle, Cumbria.jpg
The Struggle
Cameraicon.png View gallery (3)
From:  Kirkstone Inn (NY400080)
To:  Ambleside (NY375047)
Highway Authority

The Struggle is in many ways a single sided hill pass as it connects to the A592 Kirkstone Pass at the Kirkstone Inn. This means that when heading from the north you have a choice between continuing on the main road south into Windermere or forking right, down The Struggle, to Ambleside.


We therefore start our descent at the Kirkstone Inn, high in the hills between Windermere and Ullswater and rapidly lose 100m of altitude. This is done on a very steep piece of road which only provides bends to lessen the gradient as we approach the Stock Ghyll at the bottom of its little valley. Once across the stream however, the road climbs a little once more, leaving the stream to drop sharply away from us.

On our right, an even steeper track leads up to a quarry, but the road remains fairly level for a while, and is almost wide enough for two cars to pass without slowing. Almost! The road is penned in for most of its length by steeply curved grassy banks and high stone walls, which don't offer much room for manouvere as we continue down the now steepening hill. Windermere is now visible ahead of us, and the road feels narrower although for the moment it is still relatively easy to pass the oncoming traffic. However, the lower we drop, the tighter the little bends and indeed the narrower the road.

With the rooftops of Ambleside now in view, the road squeezes down its narrow channel on the hillside, forcing cars to stop and wait in gateways or slight bulges between the walls. Sometimes a little reversing is called for, but most local traffic is used to this so its only if you meet a rather useless tourist normally acustomed to motorway or modern suburban driving that there is a real problem.

A kink to the right brings us into the top of the town, but the descent is not yet done. After a slight easing of the gradient, a warning sign tells us that it gets steeper once more, and with the buildings now forming the road edges it can seem narrower than ever. However, at the greatly reduced speed that the townscape demands, it is possible for most traffic to pass as we weave between the grey buildings. Another sharper right takes us past the junction with North Road, which can be a bottleneck, and then suddenly we find ourselves at the end. The A591 is ahead, left for the town and Coniston, right takes us back to the north past Grasmere and Thirlmere to Keswick.

The Struggle
Related Pictures
View gallery (3)
Struggle1.jpgThe Struggle, Cumbria.jpgThe Struggle Kirkstone Pass - Geograph - 1051.jpg
Other nearby roads
A591 • A592 • A593 • A5074 • B5285
Hill and Mountain Passes
IrelandBallybane Pass • Barnesmore Gap • Black Valley Pass • Borlin Valley Pass • Caha Pass • Conor Pass • Cousane Gap • Doo Lough Pass • Gap of Dunloe • Glenshane Pass • Healy Pass • Keimaneigh Pass • Moll's Gap • Priest's Leap • Sally Gap • Vee Gap • Wicklow Gap • Windy Gap
ScotlandBealach na Ba • (Cairnwell Pass) • Carter Bar • Corrieyairack Pass • Devils Staircase • Gaick Pass • (The Lecht) • Mam Ratagan Pass • Pass of Drumochter • Rannoch Moor • Rest and Be Thankful • (The Slochd)
Wales & MarchesAnchor Pass • The Burway • Bwlch Penbarras • Bwlch y Groes • Bwlch y Cloddiau • Crimea Pass • Gospel Pass • Horseshoe Pass • Llywel Mountain Road • Nant-y-Garth Pass • Pass of Aberglaslyn • Pass of Llanberis • Sychnant Pass • The Wyche
TranspennineBuckstones Pass • Buttertubs Pass • Cat and Fiddle • Harthope Moss • Hartside Top • Mam Tor • Nenthead Pass • Snake Pass • Standedge Pass • Trough of Bowland • Tynehead Pass • Winnats Pass • Windy Hill • Woodhead Pass
LakelandBirker Fell • Blea Tarn Pass • Hardknott Pass • Honister Pass • Kirkstone Pass • Newlands Pass • Old Coach Road • Strawberry Bank • The Struggle • Whinlatter Pass • Wrynose Pass

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