Where to find it?
The start of the climb is at the small village of Buttermere coming from Crummock Water take the left fork in the road (the main road takes you to Honister) where it goes, inevitably, up!
Perhaps the least known of the big Lakeland Passes, but is has a great character all of its own and a fine descent down the stunning Newlands Valley to follow. Probably best done as part of a circular route following an ascent of Honister from Borrowdale.
The climb starts tough straight away, probably 15% or so, and stays steep for about half a mile. Then you enjoy a flatter section, with a very short section of downhill before the real challenge starts. Take in the great views of the valley on your left and try to get some recovery while you can. The top half mile of this climb is really tough with no real let up getting ever steeper with a savage 20-25% section right at the summit as the road twists to the right, a head wind at this point will have you on your limit.
Like all the Lakeland passes there are two ways up, but of all the passes the disparity between the two ways up Newlands in terms of severity is perhaps the most. That said the ascent up the Newlands Valley is a bit of a slog with some steep little sections at various points but only kicks up seriously for the last few hundred metres.
8/9 on a normal day, the wind can funnel down this valley though and the road is very exposed so be warned!
The ascent up from the Newlands Valley side probably merits a 5 or so.