Britain’s most scenic drives: The Snake Pass, Peak District

On a quest to discover the country's most glorious roads, Annunciata Elwes explores The Snake Pass in the Peak District.

Snake Pass slithers across the Pennines between the market town of Glossop and Ladybower Reservoir’s Y-shaped valley. This route, one of Britain’s most scenic drives, opened by George VI in 1945.

Snake Pass over the Pennines, Derbyshire, England, Europe

Whenever it snows, it is usually the first road to close, its elevation of 1,680ft above sea level making it prone to ice.

A sheepfold of drystone walls beside Snake Pass in Derbyshire with hillside of purple flowering heather.

With treacherous bends and blind summits, this patch of A57 — a Tour of Britain favourite — makes for a hair-raising wiggle, tempered only by the clearest of clear air and a glorious, undulating patchwork of moorland cooled by the gleam of the River Ashop, over which, when descending to Glossop on a fine day, you can see all the way to Manchester.

Waterfall at the Snake Pass in the Peak District in the UK