Britain’s Snake Pass takes you though some of England’s most scenic topography, curving in and out of the Derbyshire region of the Peak District. The weather there isn’t always favorable – it’s frequently closed due to snow or flooding – but when it’s open, and you have the right car, it’s a driver’s dream.
The road has a rich history. It was opened as a toll road in the early 1800s and remained as such until the 1870s. It was the primary route between Sheffield and Manchester until the 1980s.
Porsche recently traced the route using its free-to-download Roads by Porsche app, which gives drivers the means of finding the best roads to travel. The route was recently voted onto the app by fans of the roadway.
Porsche recently test drove the road, which was added to its Roads app by fans.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG
The preferred route starts east of Glossop, a town just outside of Manchester. All 11 miles of the path are in a national park. Fro Glossop, the roadway climbs into the Pennine Hills reaching 1,680 feet above sea level at the point the route passes Pennine Way. A public house, the Snake Pass Inn, sits nearby. The road passes just north of Kinder Scout, the highest point in England, and through the towns of Knowsley, St. Helens, and Warrington.
The winding scenic roads naturally draws comparisons to Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, which runs along the Oregon and Idaho boarder. The U.S. route offers some of the most breathtaking views roadway views you can get in the country, and provides plenty of technical driving opportunities.
Traversing Snake Pass is technically tough. There are plenty of hazardous bends and blind summits. Fog rolls in quickly at times. Cyclists, professional and far from it, compete for roadway.
On the flip side, the road offers perhaps the best views of the Manchester area you’ll ever see. The scenery goes from moorland to forest to flatland as well.
But, you won’t be able to look long because of the road’s perils.
Once through the forest, the road opens up again as you near Sheffield. Drystone walls feature while sheep politely munch their lunch nearby. The route draws to a close at Ladybower Reservoir at Ashopton but there’s the option to continue. The A57 carries drivers on to Sheffield, dispersing them to the cities near and far via any number of more major motorways.
Or, you could turn around and traverse it once again. It’s only 11 miles, after all.