Points of Interest

This page lists the points of interest found in all of our mountain bike routes here at Fat Tyres. These could be mountains, rivers, towns, castles, lakes, even ancient stone circles! If anything takes your fancy on these pages, simply click on the photograph for a list of routes featuring that particular item.

The Derwent is a river in the English Lake District, with its source at Styhead Tarn near Skafell Pike and its mouth at Workington on Cumbria's west coast.

The river meanders down the Borrowdale valley and flows into the southern end of Derwent Water. Exiting near Keswick it then heads west and flows into Bassenthwaite Lake and from there to Workington via the town of Cockermouth.

Mountain bike routes along the Derwent are mostly limited to near its source and the Borrowdale valley. Here is what we have.

Ashness Bridge

Ashness is one of the more famous landmarks of the Lake District. Set in a picture perfect setting, it is a much visited and much photographed area. The views span out across Derwent Water and beyond to Keswick and Skiddaw.

It is situated on a road climb from Derwent water and up into Ashness Fell, giving access to Watendlath Tarn, where there's a tearoom in the summer; Castle Crag Descent, which drops down into Rosthwaite; and a mountain pass which crosses over to Dob Gill on Thirlmere.

Boredale

Boredale is dale near Ullswater in the north-eastern Lake District, it runs from north to south between Place Fell, High Dodd and Beda Fell. The road from Howtown runs most of its length before turning into a bridleway at boredale head.

The afformentioned bridleway is the only one in the valley, but plays an important part in many routes as it lead up to (or down from) Boredale Hause where several routes meet. These allow access to Hartsop, Patterdale and Ullswater to the west, or up and over Beda Fell into Bannerdale to the east. It is rideable in both directions, save a short section of boulder-field you may have to carry for.

North leads, via road, to a fork where left gets you to Sandwick and the lakeside trail and right gets you to Howtown for either a pleasant quiet road saunter along the banks of Ullswater to Pooley Bridge, or to The Cockpit, by riding its descent to Howtown as a climb.

Borrowdale

This picturesque valley in the Lake District is probably the finest example of a steep sided glacial valley in England. The higher southern end, the 'jaws of Borrowdale' is overlooked by steep imposing cliffs on each side. The River Derwent runs its length and empties into Derwent Water at the lower and wider nothern end of Borrowdale. At the far northern end of the valley is tourist favourite Keswick with its pubs, cafes, bike shops and museums. To the south, the road begins to rise as it lifts you up over Honister Pass.

The valley is home to several settlements. The largest of these is Rosthwaite, which has a couple of pubs and a shop for refreshments. Also in the valley are Stonethwaite, Seatoller and Seathwaite.

Borrowdale, as you might expect, is riddled with mountain bike route options. Bridleways, in some cases clinging to the rocky precipices, run the length of the valley as well as descending off the surrounding fells. One of the more well known routes is the Borrowdale Bash but its worth exploring because some of the other trails offer fantastic mountain biking.

Castleton Moor Station

Castleton is a village in the North Yorkshire Moors. The River Esk runs through which makes it a tourist hot spot in the summer months. There are a couple of pubs and a shop for refreshments and the Esk Valley Railway also has a stop here.

Routes in and out are mainly roads and footpaths, of which there are many around here. But there is one bridelway which comes in from Commondale to the north-west and runs along the north bank of the River Esk and re-joins the road just before Danby to the east.

The Honister Pass

Honsiter Pass is a mountain pass in the Lake District. It carries a road from Borrowdale to Gatesgarthdale and passes between the fells of Dale Head and Grey Knotts. It is well known for its slate mine at the top, which has visitor centre as well as various fell-based activities such as rock climbing and a zip wire.

The pass is most often used by mountain bikers as a road climb giving access to the surrounding fells. A bridleway rises steeply on its south side and climbs Fleetwith Pike before descending just as steeply and eventually ending up at Buttermere. A second rather scenic route leaves the road about half way up the eastern side and follows the contours around Dale Head and High Scawdel before meeting with the Allerdale Ramble and dropping down into Borrowdale via a descent of Castle Crag.

Coming down Castle Crag

Castle Crag is a 290m (951ft) fell close to Derwent Water in Borrowdale in the Lake District National Park. It is impressively rugged in appearance, standing guard to the west side of Borrowdale (with Grange Fell opposite).

A bridleway that makes up part of the Allerdale Ramble crosses the fell from north to south, with the northerly direction descending the famous Castle Crag Descent.

Keswick

Keswick is a bustling community and self-proclaimed outdoor capital of England in the north of the Lake District. It is a highly popular spot for tourists, owing probably to its proximity to the A66 - one of the main routes into the Lakes.

There are a wealth of pubs, cafes, restaurants and museums to name just a few attractions. There's something for everyone. For the mountain biker, Keswick Bikes offer a very friendly service and stock pretty much anything you might need, they also provide hire bikes for those that don't fancy transporting their own rig halfway across the country.

As a base for mountain biking Keswick is perfect too, it is surrounded by a probably unparalleled amount of excellent mountain biking terrain. You have:

  • NorthSkiddaw, Skiddaw Forest and Lonscale Fell. Some amazing bridleways here, particularly the trail that skirts Lonscale Fell which has a truly alpine feel with a vertical drop off one side.
  • North-east – the mighty Blencathra. There's no legal bike route to the top (I don't think, correct me if I'm wrong) but you can do a circuit of the whole mountain for spectacular views and this route also takes in the Lonscale Fell trail.
  • EastMatterdale Common is packed full of riding opportunities and for those a little fitter, this direction takes you to the Helvellyn ridge (although usually you would begin a Helvellyn ride from a little closer).
  • SouthBorrowdale which again offers ample opportunity for exploring and is famous for the Borrowdale Bash route.
  • WestWhinlatter Forest where you can get your fix of man-made waymarked mountain bike trails.
River Rawthey and Path to Cautley Spout

The Rawthey is a river in Cumbria. Its source is on East Baugh Fell and it flows, at first north-west, around the north of the fell, before heading south. It flows through Cautley as it skirts the east of the Howgill Fells.

It picks up the Clough River (coming from Garsdale) and the River Dee (coming from Dentdale) before reaching Sedbergh, the start of many Howgill Fells routes.

Eventually the Rawthey joins the River Lune at Stangerthwaite.

A592 in Glenridding Village

Glenridding is small village at the southern tip of Ullswater, and the northern end of the Kirkstone Pass. Its position makes it the perfect base for attempting one of the many Helvellyn routes.

If you’re staying in the lakes then Gillside Campsite is ideally situated in the shadow of Helvellyn, and the Traveller’s Rest pub serves food and is within stumbling distance of the campsite.

In terms of mountain biking options you have Sticks Pass which climbs into the Helvellyn Range, with a fork left for a more direct route to White Side's summit. Continuing up and over Sticks Pass will drop you down to Legburthwaite in the Thirlmere valley. To the east there are a massive variety of options inlcuding the Ullswater Lakeside Bridleway, the High Street Range and the climb to Boredale Hause which gives access to the Boredale and Bannerdale descents.

Loadpot Hill, Trig Point

Loadpot Hill is a 671m (2,201ft) fell in the High Street range of mountains in the north-eastern Lake District. The bridleway runs close to the summit. In the north-eastern direction it descends in the form of some lovely singletrack across Barton Fell to The Cockpit stone circle where there's a choice of directions, all downhill, and include the awesome descent to Howtown

Another track takes you east to Keldhead and the main trail goes south following the former route of the High Street roman road the High Street summit and beyond.

Sedbergh, Market Town

Sedbergh is a town in the Yorkshire Dales and a great base for exploring the Howgill Fells. To the north there are two routes onto Winder, giving access to The Calf via the mountain ridge, and beyond to Bowderdale or one of the various other bridleway options once you're up there.

East gets you deeper into the Yorkshire Dales, via road. South-east leads to Dentdale, east goes to Garsdale and north-east follows the River Rawthey, leading to Ravenstonedale and eventually Kirkby Stephen.

Angle Tarn

There are two Angle Tarns in the Lake District, this one is situated in the fells to the west of Great Langdale and south of Borrowdale.

A bridleway running roughly east/west passes by the tarn, which provides a nice sheltered spot for a rest or lunch. The bridleway to the east climbs slightly before dropping nicely into Mickleden at the head of Great Langdale. To the west it first passes Sprinkling Tarn before meeting a junction with several tracks near Styhead Tarn, below the mighty slopes of Great Gable. From here bridleways descend the Sty Head pass to Wasdale Head and to Seathwaite via Styhead Gill.

The Allerdale Ramble through Setmurthy Plantation

The Allerdale Ramble is a long distance footpath in the Lake District. It runs from Seathwaite in Borrowdale the very heart of the Lakes to Grune Point on the Solway Firth. It takes in an amazing variety of scenery including Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake as well as the coastal scenery in the west.

Most of the trail is public footpath and therefore off-limits to mountain bikes but parts of it are bridleway and play an important part in a lot of routes. Most notable of this is the section around Cat Bells and Derwent Water.

View over S Buttermere from Sour Milk Gill

Buttermere is a lake in the north-west of the English Lake District. The minor road on its north-east bank leads onto Honister Pass and into Borrowdale beyond. A bridleway passes above the lake on its south-east bank, leading to Crummock Water and eventually Ennerdale Water if followed to the north-west, or up onto Scarth Gap Pass to the south-east, leading eventually to Black Sail Hut.

A third option is a steep and tough climb onto Red Pike via Bleaberry Tarn. Finally, best ridden as a descent to Buttermere, a bridleway drops steeply off Fleetwith Pike via Warnscale Bottom.

Reflections on the River Esk, Ruswarp

Esk Dale cuts right across the northern part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The River Esk flows its length. Its western end is near Castleton and the river flows roughly east, eventually reaching its mouth at the seaside town of Whitby. There are several towns and villages along its length including Danby, Lealholm, Glaisdale, Grosmont and Sleights. The popular Esk Valley Railway also runs along its entire length, meeting up with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in the east.

Danby Village

Danby is a village in Esk Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors. There's a tearoom serving refreshments at The Moors Centre. There is also a station here on the Esk Valley Railway. There are three bridleways that drop in off Danby Low Moor in the north, these are known as Siss Cross Road, Pannierman's Causeway and Lord's Turnpike.

Leaving the Cleveland Way at Bloworth Crossing

Bloworth Crossing is the site of a crossroads on the former Rosedale Ironstone Railway in the North York Moors. What were once rail lines are now public bridleways, so Bloworth Crossing forms a major junction for many mountain bike routes. It also sits on the Cleveland Way long distance footpath.

The northern track follows the Cleveland Way, staying close to the edge of the moors and overlooking the Tees Valley. After about three miles there's a junction for the Bank Foot descent.

The eastern trail follows an easy, meandering, dismantled railway route across the moor to the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, and gives access to the Rosedale routes.

South traverses Rudland Rigg, an easy climb and descent good for either beginners or for joining up other route sections.

The west path soon forks. The left fork follos the Cleveland Way across Urra Moor. The right leads to the Ingleby Incline, which although would make blisteringly fast descent, would be a bit of a waste of altitude and is best ridden as a (tough!) climb onto the moors and up to Bloworth Crossing.

Road Bridge at Skelwith Bridge

Skelwith Bridge is a Lake District hamlet between Ambleside and Great Langdale. There are no bridleways to speak of but the quiet road is used to connect up sections of various routes.

Ullswater

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District. It sits at approximately 9 miles long and is surrounded by a maze of bridleways, especially to the south, making it an ideal base for mountain biking. If you’re looking to go riding here then there are many hotels, B&Bs and campsites in the area and Patterdale, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, and Howtown make for the perfect base for exploring the lake and the surrounding mountains by bike.

Here you’ll find the Ullswater lakeside bridleway, the famous High Street roman road and plenty of routes for all abilities including some real Lake District classics. Try one of our routes in the area, or simply go exploring – there’s something for everyone!

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