A guidebook for 24 original and exciting graded mountain biking routes in the Lake District, offering some of the best MTB riding in the UK. Includes circular routes suitable for all abilities, from Kendal to Cleator Moor in the north-west and Keswick to Winster in the Lyth Valley, including a circumnavigation of Windermere.



Although it is recommended that a few of the routes should only be done during periods of good weather, most can be ridden all year round.


Threlkeld, Pooley Bridge, Cleator Moor, Muncaster, Torver, Grizedale, Hawkshead, Ambleside, Elterwater, Kendal, Staveley, High Newton, Spark Bridge, Winster


Routes are graded blue (medium), red (hard) and black (very hard). Novice MTBers with reasonable bike-handling skills should be able to complete the blue routes, while experts should be challenged by the red and, more so, the black routes.
Must See

Must See

The dramatic Garburn and Gatesgarth passes; views of Coniston Water, Esthwaite Water, Grasmere, Rydal Water, Elterwater, Ulswater, Derwent Water and Haweswater; circuit of Windermere
15 Feb 2011
13 Apr 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    The Lake District is widely considered to be the best destination for mountain biking in the UK and, with its plentiful and varied trails, it is easy to see why.

    For mountain biking in Britain, there really is no better area. This guidebook gives great insight into the best trails on offer in the lakes, with routes that will offer surprises to both newcomers to the area and seasoned visitors alike.

    • 24 routes divided into short, medium, long and full-day loops
    • graded rides to suit all levels of experience, from beginners through to experts
    • route information on distance, difficulty grade, ascent, time and how much of the route goes off road
  • Contents

    Getting to the Lake District
    Bike checks
    When to ride
    Rest and recovery
    Rights of way
    Trail centres
    The dirty dozen
    Pre-ride checklist
    Short Loops
    Route 1 Tour of Loughrigg Fell
    Route 2 Spark Bridge
    Route 3 Borrowdale and Whinfell
    Route 4 Kendal and Brigsteer
    Route 5 Hawkshead and Hodge Close
    Route 6 Howtown and Askham
    Route 7 Elterwater and the Langdales
    Medium Loops
    Route 8 Muncaster
    Route 9 Winster
    Route 10 High Newton and Cartmel
    Route 11 Tour of Claife Heights and High Wray
    Route 12 Kentmere Special
    Route 13 Cleator Moor
    Long Loops
    Route 14 Torver and Kirkby Moor
    Route 15 Grizedale Grunt
    Route 16 Loadpot Hill
    Route 17 Blencathra and the Old Coach Road
    Route 18 Garburn and Longsleddale
    Route 19 Haweswater and Gatesgarth
    Route 20 Dunnerdale Enduro
    Full Day Loops
    Route 21 Parkamoor, Satterthwaite and Hawkshead Monster
    Route 22 Tour de Windermere
    Route 23 Mealbank, Borrowdale and the Breasthigh Road
    Route 24 Longsleddale, Kentmere and Troutbeck

    Appendix Bike shops in the region

  • Maps

    This book includes extracts from 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey maps to help ease your navigation of the routes. The descriptions have sufficient detail to be used alone but the maps are to be used in conjunction with them to help you to stay on the right track. The following Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps are recommended for the routes in this guide:

    OL4 The English Lakes North-Western area

    OL5 The English Lakes North-Eastern area

    OL6 The English Lakes South-Western area

    OL7 The English Lakes South-Eastern area

  • Updates
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    Oct 2018

    Overview page 42+ page 45 section 4 - Please note name change of pub from The Punch Bowl to The Black Labrador.

  • Reviews

    Hidden wonders from one of Britain’s most mountainous regions are showcased in this easy-to-use trail book. Featuring arguably the best routes in terms of variation and picturesque views, the book contains not only directions but also very useful background information.

    It is all any rider needs for a day riding in the Lake District.

    Westmorland Gazette, March 2011

    Check out the review on the following website:


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Ian Boydon

Ian Boydon has mountain biked in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales for almost 20 years. A graduate of History and trained journalist, he can be found in the national parks most weekends, exploring his favourite trails and routes.

View Guidebooks by Ian Boydon