Cycling in the Lake District
Week-long tours and day rides
Guidebook to a 5-day cycle tour of the Lake District, with 2 options each day up to a total of 186 miles and almost 5000m of ascent, and 15 tough day rides from Keswick, Ambleside, Penrith and bases to the southwest and southeast of the National Park. With outlines of other tours and the Fred Whitton Challenge ride (112 miles over 7 iconic passes).
SeasonsThe best time to go touring in the Lake District is between April and October, when the days are longer and the weather is at its best. But even then, you will undoubtedly get wet and experience blustery days. So be prepared for them. As a general rule always plan your route so that you are riding south to north with the prevailing south westerly winds.
CentresAmbleside Grasmere Troutbeck Shap Penrith Stainton Keswick Cockermouth Eskdale Green Ravenglass Broughton in Furness Grizedale Cartmel Grange-over-Sands Bassenthwaite Buttermere
DifficultyEach tour stage and day ride and is graded on two criteria: distance with rides categorised as short, medium or long, and total ascent with rides categorised as easy, moderate, hard or challenging. Easy - smooth pedalling with gentle inclines Moderate - undulating with an occasional steady climb, but nothing to get you out of the saddle Hard - involves some hard climbs with gradients up to 10 per cent Challenging - long steep ascents or multiple short sharp gradients that will most definitely hurt. Inevitably, the majority of rides fall into the latter categories.
Must SeeIncredible scenery and rare wildlife - the Lake District is England's largest national park; local craft breweries; local foods; Kirkstone Pass; Hardknott Pass; the impressive panorama of Yewbarrow, Kirkfell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head
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Richard Barrett spent his working life as a professional marketer, but still found time for climbing, winter mountaineering and sea kayaking. He first visited the Harris hills as a teenager and became a regular visitor. He lived in North Harris for a number of years, where he and his wife ran a guest house and, although now a city-dweller, he still makes frequent forays to the Hebrides, reconnecting with the wilderness and catching up with old friends.View author profile
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