Points of Interest

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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.

White Lion at Patterdale

Patterdale is a village in the Ullswater valley in the Lake District. It is situated on the A592 just south of Glenridding at the southern tip of Ullswater.

The White Lion Inn and The Patterdale Hotel both offer great food and post-ride beers, the latter has a beer garden perfect for those hot summer days, and also offers accomodation.

As a base for mountain biking, Patterdale can offer a variety of routes. The Helvellyn range to the west is very popular, with a huge choice of routes on offer. Similarly the High Street range to the east offers endless possibilities. Any route that starts in Glenridding can also be started in Patterdale just as easily.

Back on the Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a long distance footpath in the Lake District that stretches right the way from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north. A lot of it is footpath only but there are some fantastic parts of bridleway too, such the section from Great Langdale right the way to Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, via the famous Stake Pass. And also of note the route on and around Skiddaw, particularly the Lonscale Crags area.

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 path to Nethermost Pike

Nethermost Pike is 891m (2,923ft) fell in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District National Park. Its summit is just off the main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge, north takes you to Helvellyn itself and beyond. South takes you to Dollywaggon Pike before dropping into Grisedale and eventually ending up at Patterdale.

Thirlmere

Thirlmere is a reservoir in the central Lake District national park and it sits nestled between the high mountains of the Helvellyn range to its east, and High Seat and the Wythburn Fells to its west. Wyth Burn feeds the reservoir at its southern end, and Thirlmere empties into St John's Beck to the north.

Mountain biking in the area is perhaps not as extensive as other parts of the Lakes but there are routes and bridleways dotted about, although they may involve some tough hike-a-bike climbs or slow, picky descents. At Dob Gill, to the southern end, a bridleway climbs steeply past Harrop Tarn and then Blea Tarn to cross Watendlath Fell, before descending very steeply to Watendlath Tarn. This takes you over to the west, on the east side at about the same point a steep, stepped bridleway climbs right onto the Helvellyn ridge. This is completely unrideable either up (and most likely down), but is probably the quickest way onto the ridge if you don't mind shouldering the bike and carrying for an hour or so.

Thirlspot, also on the east bank, offers a much more rideable bridleway (in both directions) which also gets you onto the ridge between White Side and Lower Man. Finally there's Sticks Pass which crosses the Helvellyn range from Legburthwaite at the northern end of Thirlmere, passes between Stybarrow Dodd and Raise and eventually descends to Glenridding. This is mostly rideable in both directions, with just a few push/carry sections along the way.

Boredale Hause looking towards St Sunday Crag

Boredale Hause is a mountain pass close to Patterdale at the southern tip of Ullswater in the Lake District. It passes between Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes and rises to 399m at the top.

In typical lakeland pass style, the descent at both sides of the Hause are rocky but fast paths. On the west side there are two bridleways, one heading down to Patterdale and the other to Hartsop with the east side offering a descent into Boredale or a track that takes you onto and over Beda Fell before a singletrack descent into Bannerdale.

Both directions are great fun with the best probably being west to east which takes in the long descent that flanks Place Fell and drops into the Boredale valley.

Sheep on Castleton Rigg

Castleton Rigg is a rigg in the North York Moors between the dales of Westerdale and Danby Dale. Its highest point is at 326m above sea level. The road that runs its length (north to south) leads to Castleton in the north and Blakey Ridge in the south.

Bridleways lead off the rigg in both easterly and westerly directions, opening up a fair bit of terrain for mountain biking. There are also bridleways that break up the road sections if you're cycling its length.

The Knott Summit

The Knott is a fell in the High Street range in the Lake District. It stands at a respectable 739m (2,418ft) and although there isn’t a bridleway route to the summit, the actual bridleway passes within a 20m or so, so if you’re a peak bagger then it's worth shouldering the bike and clambering up to tick it off the list.

The bridleway that we’re talking about is the one leading west to east up Hayeswater Gill from Hartsop and on to High Street summit or High Raise. The route down to Hayeswater isn’t exactly clear but as long as it’s not too wet you won’t go far wrong by just pointing yourself downhill and going for it.

Levisham Moor near Sheephouse Rigg

Levisham Moor is in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is situated between the impressive Hole of Horcum and Cropton Forest. The one track crossing the moor runs from Saltergate Bank in the north almost to Levisham, which lies just to the south.

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.

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.

The centre of Elterwater

Elterwater is a picturesque village in the Lake District valley of Great Langdale, and close to the lake of Elter Water from which it get its name.

There are plenty of mountain bike opportunities in the nearby Great Langdale valley, and of course Loughrigg Terrace with its stunning views over Grasmere and Rydal Water.

Watendlath Fell

Watendlath Fell is 515m fell in the English Lake District that sits between Borrowdale in the west, and the Thirlmere valley in the east.

There is one bridleway that crosses the fell and it is best ridden in the SSE direction. This is accessed from the road to the north with climbs from Derwent Water in the Borrowdale valley to Watendlath Tarn, via the well-known and oft-visited Ashness Bridge and its stunning viewpoint.

From the tarn, the road turns to bridleway. You can cross the stream to the right, just before the tarn. This would take you away from Watendlath Fell, climbing Bowdergate Gill before dropping off for the well-known technical descent of Birkett's Leap.

Instead of crossing the stream, turn left and climb the steep track to the left of the buildings. After about 200m of climbing, pass through a gate and turn right. Now, heading in a SSE direction, the trail flanks Middle Crag with Watendlath Fell across Bleatarn Gill to your right. The track gradually steepens before topping out at about 500m before the descent starts. From here the track first drops to the banks of Blea Tarn (popular for fishing), then continues its descent in a easterly direction towards Harrop Tarn and Dob Gill, for an excellent woodland section that eventually will regurgitate you out onto the banks of Thirlmere and the minor road hugging its western bank.

In the summer there's a small cafe at Watendlath Farm, a lovely place to stop for refreshments.

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.

Chapel Stile, Great Langdale

Chapel Stile is a lovely village at the head of Great Langdale in the central Lake District. The road through the village leads west toward the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in one of the lake district's lakeless dales, Great Langdale, and east to Elterwater and beyond, eventually leading to Ambleside.

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.

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.

Hartsop

Hartsop is a small hamlet close to Brothers Water in the north-eastern part of the Lake District. It lies just off the A592 between Ullswater and the Kirkstone Pass, and is surrounded the high peaks of Hartsopp Dodd and Brock Crags.

Its name in Norman means 'valley of the dear', and there are some fine examples of Norman era buildings including the remains of a drying kiln and a water mill. Since then the village has been a lead mining community and is now more of a tourist attraction.

The surrounding landscape is mountainous and provides plenty of opportunity for getting out in the hills on your bike. Hartsop sits right on the bridleway that leads to Hayeswater and onto the High Street range beyond. It also has a trail running north and climbing Boredale Hause, with the Boredale and Beda Fell descents beyond.

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.

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.

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