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.

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.
Striding Edge and Helvellyn

Helvellyn is the highest peak legally accessible by mountain bike in England. It stands majestically at 949m above sea level and forms part of the impressive Helvellyn ridge which runs for approximately 12km (7.5 miles) north to south, dividing the valleys of Thirlmere and Ullswater. Indeed some routes cover the full length of this ridge.

Routes on Helvellyn are however not limited to the ridge. There are a massive variety of bridleway options available including a descent off Great Dodd, Sticks Pass, Keppel Cove, Birk Side, and Grisedale to name but a few.

The bridleway to the north leads down Lower Man – a cracking descent – and then back up onto White Side. The bridleway to the south takes you to Nethermost Pike and then on to Dollywaggon Pike. All of these peaks offer a choice of some serious descents into the surrounding valleys, so just get on your bike and explore!

High Raise Summit

High Raise is a 802m (2,634ft) high fell in the north-eastern Lake District. There are actually two fells named High Raise, the other is in the Great Langdale area.

High Raise forms part of the High Street range of mountains and the epic roman road bridleway that runs it's length skirts the High Raise summit. It'd be rude not to hop up to the top to say you've done it!

Red Crag

Red Crag is a 711m fell in the High Street range of mountains of the English Lake District. The roman road singletrack passes within a stone's throw of the summit cairn, so it's worth a quick detour for those summit-bagging.

Track Through Heather on Blakey Ridge

Blakey Ridge is a rigg in the North York Moors between the dales of Rosedale and Farndale. The road that runs its length runs north to south between Castleton and Hutton-le-Hole.

The area offers a huge array of mountain biking route options with the main road, as mentioned, running north to south. Then there's the dismantled old mining railway, which meanders across High Blakey Moor to the west, to Bloworth Crossing and beyond. This was once off-limits to mountain bikes but has recently been upgraded to a bridleway. To the east, the same rail route skirts around the head of Rosedale leading past the old mine buildings to Hill Cottages.

Cropton Forest

Cropton Forest is a coniferous forest in the North Yorkshire Moors managed by the Forestry Commission, and home to the Newtondale Forest Drive. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs along Newton Dale in a north/south direction, forming the forest's eastern edge.

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.

Askham Village

Askham is a village in the north-eastern Lake District, close to Ullswater, in Cumbria.

The bridleway west from the village climbs onto Askham Fell where the trail splits in several directions, with bridleways to Pooley Bridge, High Street and Howtown.

The village shop sells delicious home made sandwiches and of course there's the country pub for post-ride refreshments!

Sandwick

Sandwick is a small hamlet on the south-eastern bank of Ullswater between Hallin Fell and Sleet Fell. Due to the healthy amount of bridleways in the area a lot of routes pass through here, including the Ullswater lakeside route and many others:

Styhead Tarn

Styhead Tarn sits close to the top of Sty Head, a mountain pass between the valleys of Wasdale and Borrowdale in the Lake District. The descents into either of these valleys are technical but rideable and fun. As ascents they're both tough, but surprisingly mostly rideable.

Another bridleway heading roughly east passes Sprinkling Tarn and then Angle Tarn before decending into Mickleden at the head of Great Langdale, where it meets the Cumbria Way.

North York Moors Railway near Thomason Foss

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a popular steam railway and tourist attraction. It runs from Whitby to Pickering with stops at Grosmont, Goathland, Newton Dale, and Levisham on the way. The whole route is contained within the North York Moors National Park.

Bilsdale

Bilsdale is a dale in the northern part of the North Yorkshire Moors. It runs north to south, from Clay Bank in the north to Newgate Bank in the south. The B1257 runs its length and there are several bridleways leading on and off the moors on the surrounding hills.

The main village is Chop Gate which has a lovely pub, The Buck Inn, which serves real ales and good food.

Commondale from the edge of Commondale Moor

Commondale is a hamlet in the North Yorkshire Moors. There's a small tearoom here serving refreshments and a station on the Esk Valley Railway.

There are two offroad routes out of the village. The first heads east from the village centre following the field boundary. The second starts a short distance south and also heads east through fields. Both meet to become a single trail that heads south east down Esk Dale, roughly following the rail line, to Castleton. After the brief interuption of a short road section this bridleway continues to Danby, or to join Pannierman's Causeway, opening up several options.

Lower Man

Lower Man is a 925m (3,035ft) mountain in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District. The main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge passes right over the Lower Man summit.

From here the bridleway heads north, descending technically at first then smoothing off later before climbing again onto the summit of White Side. There's also an alternative route of the ridge if you turn left in the dip between these two summits.

The the west there's a footpath leading off the ridge, but obviously off limits to bikes. To the south east is the mighty Helvellyn - meaning a further climb to the summit, but worth it for the amazing views and the descending return leg.

Bannerdale from Bannerdale Crags

Bannerdale is a valley in the north-eastern Lake District, near to Ullswater, and is part of the High Street range of mountains. Of interest here is the fun singletrack trail descending Beda Fell, from Boredale Hause to Bannerdale. It can be seen in the photo above going from left to right, and can be incorporated into many routes due to the amount of bridleways nearby.

The trails ends at Dale Head where a road continues to Howtown and Sandwick on the shores of Ullswater.

Hayeswater

Hayeswater is a small reservoir close to Ullswater in the north-eastern Lake District. Nestled between Gray Crag, The Knott and High Street, its single bridleway leads down a fast hard-packed double track descent of Hayeswater Gill to Hartsop (best ridden in the other direction to access the High Street range). And to the north east the bridleway leads up to The Knott and on to the High Street range, although the actual whereabouts of the bridleway on this section is not clear and you'll probably end up pushing the bike through the middle of the field until it joins the footpath near the top.

Paved route of Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is a long distance footpath which is named after the county of Cleveland, but in fact is mostly based the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

The route starts in Helmsley in the south-west of the national park and makes its way north along the western edge of the moors. From here it flanks the Cleveland escarpment - which makes up the northern edge of the moors, heading generally north-easterly towards the coast at Saltburn. From Saltburn, the route hugs England's north-east coast until its end and Filey Brigg, over 100 miles from the start.

Unfortunately for us mountain bikers, as is the case for most long distance trails, it is not possible to ride the whole length of the Way. A lot of it is footpath. Despite this, as a lot is also bridleway, many routes in the area are made up of, at least in part, the Cleveland Way.

Little Langdale Tarn

Great Langdale's smaller cousin, Little Langdale, lies in the heart of the English Lake District.

The disused quarry to the south creates the fun and can be linked up to several routes.

Low and High Sprintgill, with Wandale Hill behind

Wandale Hill is a 497m (1,631ft) fell in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, it sits just outside of the Yorkshire Dales park boundary. A track follows the contours around the hill on both east and west sides from the farm at Adamthwaite to the north. The eastern side follows the field boundaries and is the most direct route to Narthwaite to the south. The western path takes a longer route that follows Adamthwaite Sike, curves around the fell and also meets at Narthwaite.

Mountain Biker on Glaisdale Moor

Glaisdale Moor sits pretty much centrally in the North York Moors. It consists of the High Moor in the south and the Low Moor in the north, with Glaisdale Rigg bridging the gap in between. The valleys either side are Great Fryupdale and Glaisdale.

A road crosses both moors, traversing the ridge between them. Bridleways also cross the ridge at several points, as well as criss-crossing the Low Moor. All make for good route options, while the High Moor boasts two bridleways, one of which leads to the famous descent into Great Fryupdale.

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