My next port of call was the fort of Mediobogdum at the summit of Hardknott Pass. I'd never driven over Wrynose or Hardknott before, so was in for a pleasant, although rather hairy surprise.

The drive is spectacular. There's only one problem though. Trying to keep your eye on the scenery, and prevent a rather embarrassing, if not painful, off the road jaunt, is paramount. The roads are narrow, windy, bumpy, a little icy and snowy in places, and it defies explanation how the tarmac stays on the roads, so steep are some of the hills!!

The drive probably takes over an hour anyway, but when your camera trigger finger is itching all the time, there are numerous stops to set the tripod up, and snap away merrily. The mountain sides were crisp with snow, Sca Fell especially spectacular to the North, and to the South, Harter Fell looming out of the clear blue sky. The air was clear up here, and the ravens noisily complained of my presence.

I don't know how many photos I took, but I had to bear in mind that my target, the Roman fort, lay just beyond the summit of Hardknott Pass, and I had limited space on my camera's memory card!

Wrynose Pass took me down into the valley, following the route of the old Roman road. From Wrynose bottom, I began the short but tight climb towards Hardknott Pass. The road here snakes up the mountainside, looking as if it really doesn't belong there, a black strip clinging to the bracken covered slopes. There was the occasional icy patch, but nothing to dampen my spirits.

I reached the summit, and pitched straight over into the valley below.

All of a sudden, as I was navigating another hairpin bend, I spotted the fort laid out on a flat escarpment below me. I was surprised at its size. It was completely encircled by a wall, with gateways in the centre of each wall. I couldn't wait to get down there. There are a few parking spaces for those who want to stop and explore the fort, and luckily for me, there were only two or three people there at the time.

With the car parked, camera around my neck and tripod under my arm, I set off on the short 200 yard walk from the road to the fort. The first piece of archaeology was the bath house with a small tower. The remains are remarkably intact..but you have to wonder how much has been reconstructed from the available rubble!?!

The fort was built by the Romans around AD120 and occupied until about AD135. It is walled on all sides, with breaks in the walls where gates would have been. As with Ambleside fort, the foundations of the corner towers, the granaries and the commandants house have all been exposed, so that the layout can be clearly seen. Both of these forts would have housed around 500 troops.

Hardknott feels much bigger when you're walking around the remains, possibly due to the fact that more seems to have been exposed to view than at Ambleside.

To the North West of the fort, some way up the steep mountainside, is an artificially levelled area historians have identified as a parade ground. Unfortunately, due to a lack of research when I planned the trip, I missed out on this snippet of information and didn't get to see or photograph the parade ground. I'll maybe have to take another trip up there sometime!!

I was especially impressed with the solid wall running around the fort. It reminded me of a smaller version of Hadrian's Wall, such was its sturdiness.

As with Ambleside, the fort at Hardknott is well labelled by those kind people from the National Heritage, and the information is scattered all over the site, helping you to gain a better understanding of what you're looking at.

My favourite fort-of-the-day' had to be Hardknott. It's in a fantastic location, well laid out and presented (excavated and re-built) and the weather meant that I was able to snap away until I was out of space on my memory card. The drive was near perfect, and probably because I'd chosen a week day to venture out to these two sites, there were barely any other cars or people around. I would recommend a visit to either of the forts, but especially to Hardknott.

The fantastic scenery and the difficulty of the drive make the final destination of the fort well worth the work, and remember to take your camera, the views on a clear day are spectacular. The one shot I really wish I'd taken however, would be a shot of the fort from the top of Hardknott Pass looking down into the valley. That would have been my crowing glory. Never mind.

I'll just have to drag my wife out for a day next summer.