Explore the Via Ferrata in England's Lake District

Adventure into Victorian England with rickety bridges and vertical climbs across a 19th-century mine. Photo Crecit: Honister Slate Mine

By: Lucy Sherriff

Photo By: Ben Barden

England's Lake District - Via Ferrata

In the mountainous Lake District, a series of wrought iron spokes and rickety ladders driven into vertical cliff faces - known as “via ferrata” - have become a daredevil’s dream.

Photo Credit: Honister Slate Mine

England's Lake District - Burma Bridge

The walk, which is England’s highest – and only – via ferrata. is a combination of swinging rope bridges, vertical and horizontal climbs through narrow gorges, and along precipitous ledges. There’s no footpath, not even a trail. The trek culminates in an ascension higher than western Europe’s tallest skyscraper, the Shard.

Photo Credit: Honister Slate Mine

Honister Slate Mine

The experience begins by watching a process that has changed little over the past 300 years before delving deep into the mine, which is still excavating slate formed some 400 million years ago. Once you’ve had enough of being underground, then it’s time to ascend to the skies.

Photo Credit: Honister Slate Mine

England's Lake District - Via Ferrata

The via ferrata, which means iron way, is a climbing system that uses a permanently fixed cable up the menacing rock face of the old miners’ pass. Climbers are attached to the system by a harness and then the adventure up the pass, which is where one of the highest and steepest in the region begins.

Photo Credit: Honister Slate Mine

England's Lake District - Burma Bridge

The Burma bridge crossing is not for the faint-hearted. A 100 meter-long contraption strung between two mountains and teetering over deep valley, it’s a test of anyone’s courage. Exposure to strong winds make the bridge sway precariously, and it’s a challenge in itself to stay upright and keep moving forward as you’re rocked from side to side. And, if you’re in any way scared of heights, if definitely best to not look down.

Photo Credit: Honister Slate Mine

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