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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.
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|Buy your choice of routes or chapters to read online, on your mobile device or to download as a PDF to print or read.||Browse Routes|
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.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).
|Getting to the Lake District|
|When to ride|
|Rest and recovery|
|Rights of way|
|The dirty dozen|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Start/Finish||Elterwater NY 328 047|
|Distance||12km (7½ miles)|
|On Road||4km (2½ miles)|
|Off Road||8km (5 miles)|
|Percent Off Road||65%|
|Time||1hr 30mins – 2hrs|
|Pub||Britannia Inn, Elterwater|
|Parking||Car park by the bridge in Elterwater or car park on the edge of Elterwater (off the road to Chapel Stile)|
Lying north-east of Elterwater is pretty Loughrigg Fell, a circumnavigation of which provides a superb mountain bike journey with fine descents and stunning views over Grasmere and Rydal Water to the north and Windermere to the south. One of the long descents, Loughrigg Terrace, is also very popular with walkers and (especially on mid-summer bank holiday weekends) great care should be taken on it.
A tarmac climb out of Elterwater gets the legs warmed up before the fun of Loughrigg Terrace. This excellent descent clings to the fell-side and provides breathtaking views across two of Wordsworth's favourite lakes. A short dip in Rydal Water beckons before a return to tarmac. The next off-road section arrives soon after the stiff climb to Brow Head Farm. Views over Windermere can be had on clear days from the top of this trail before it shoots downwards again to give a superb descent to Tarn Foot. A careful road descent to Skelwith Bridge is followed by an easy and picturesque cruise along Elterwater's beck to return to the start point.
1 Starting in the centre of Elterwater take the lane NE passing between the Britannia pub and the village store. At the crossroads continue and turn at the next T-junction to climb out of Elterwater towards Red Bank.
2 After passing High Close youth hostel you arrive at a T-junction. Turn then immediately through a gate onto a bridleway to Loughrigg Terrace. Go at the next gate to emerge onto the Terrace. Don't miss the views over Grasmere as you plunge down this highly enjoyable singletrack descent.
3 At a crossroads of tracks continue ; to descend to the shore of Rydal Water; take care on the tricky first section by a stone wall. Continue along the edge of Rydal Water to meet a rocky escarpment. The bridleway now contours on a recently created track around the bottom of this escarpment, which previously required a brief carry across the rocks.
4 Continue on the track to meet a gate. Pass through and continue as the track turns to tarmac and descends quickly to meet a T-junction by a stone bridge, at which turn .
5 Follow this quiet lane for less than 2km to meet a tarmac lane on the right signed bridleway. Take this turning and climb the steep path to pass houses. Past the buildings the gradient eases and the tarmac track surface deteriorates. Continue to pass through a gate and emerge on the fell-side.
6 Keep to the obvious main track as it climbs initially before giving a fun, long descent around Ivy Crag to meet a gate. Continue as the track becomes looser and more technical before emerging at Tarn Foot cottages. Continue at the crossroads of tracks and arrive at a tarmac lane.
7 Turn then first Take care to keep speeds down as this lane becomes very steep, with sharp bends as it drops to Skelwith Bridge. Turn onto the A593, cross the bridge then turn immediately onto a bridleway. At the next fork turn and follow this easy track past Elter Water to return to the start point in Elterwater village.