Honister Pass and Slate Mine

Honister is the name of a busy road pass and a slate mine. Honister Pass links Borrowdale to Buttermere, with the steeper part of the pass on the Borrowdale side, but the most dramatic scenary on the Buttermere side, where the road runs up a straight steep sided valley, overlooked by the crags of Fleetwith Pike. Honister Pass is a great starting point for walks, with routes including an easy ascent of Dale Head and a great walk across to Haystacks.

At the top of the pass is Honister Hause. Unusually for a Lakeland pass there are actually buildings at the top (the Kirkstone Inn at the top of Kirkstone Pass is the only other case). This has been the site of slate mining for many years, and the mines are currently open and thriving, combining an active slate works with a tourist attraction, complete with tours of the mine and one of the best located cafes in the area. There is also a Youth Hostel and a National Trust car park, giving the top of Honister Pass a very different feel to Wrynose or Hardknott.