Cumbria Way Mountain Bike Routes

About Cumbria Way

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.

Map of Cumbria Way Routes

All Routes for Cumbria Way

On The Edge
Distance: 32mi / 51km
Ascent: 1,567m / 5,141ft
Offroad: 73%
Difficulty: 97%

Not for the faint-hearted, this route combines two of our most popular Lake District routes - Glendaterra & Lonscale Crags and Back o' Skiddaw - and mashes them together into a killer loop. This route is for those looking for a full day out, if your fitness is up to it!

We begin innocently enough with a gentle spin along the old railway route from Keswick to Threlkeld. We then climb onto the flanks of Blease Fell, ascending to Skiddaw House. This sets up nicely for the long descent, following the Cumbria Way to Mosedale.

A road section gets us to the next climb, to the old mine workings north of Skiddaw where we're treated a lovely descent to Branthwaite, followed by an undulating trail taking you to Peter Head Farm, which marks the start of the stunning Whitewater Dash waterfall climb.

Once the tough climb to the waterfall is dispensed with, it's time for the epic descent of exposed Lonscale Crags trail, followed by the ever-popular descent of Latrigg.

Overlooking Derwent Water from the Borrowdale Bash route
Distance: 17mi / 27km
Ascent: 774m / 2,539ft
Offroad: 38%
Difficulty: 67%

This classic Lake District mountain bike route starts and ends in Keswick and performs a full loop around the picturesque Derwent Water and Borrowdale valley. Despite being reasonably easy effort wise, the Borrowdale Bash includes several miles of wonderful technical singletrack and beautiful views across Keswick, Derwent Water, Skiddaw and the fells beyond.

As mentioned the route starts in Keswick (making it easy to access directly from the A66). The first leg takes the road south along the east bank of Derwent Water before climbing into the fells past Ashness Bridge and towards Watendlath Tarn. Birkett's Leap then drops you back into the Borrowdale valley and climbs the other side where it descends once again, flanking High Scawdel and returning north to Keswick via the Allerdale Ramble high above the west bank of Derwent Water.

Back o'Skiddaw
Distance: 21mi / 34km
Ascent: 893m / 2,929ft
Offroad: 59%
Difficulty: 76%

This classic northern Lake District mountain bike route takes you around the north edge of the Skiddaw range of mountains, starting from Mosedale.

The route set off with a decent climb to the old mine workings north of Skiddaw where it delivers a nice descent to Branthwaite, followed by an undulating trail taking you to Peter Head Farm, which marks the start of the stunning Whitewater Dash waterfall climb.

Once the tough climb to the waterfall is dispensed with, it's all downhill for a glorious 7 miles (11km) of fun, all the way back to the start at Mosedale, punctuated only with one short climb up to Skiddaw House.

Stake Pass
Distance: 18mi / 29km
Ascent: 1,236m / 4,055ft
Offroad: 82%
Difficulty: 82%

This difficult route, crossing two mountain passes in the central Lake District, starts in the stunning Great Langdale valley. It climbs out of the head of the valley over tough, rocky terrain to Angle Tarn, after which it levels out and passes Sprinkling Tarn and Styhead Tarn. From here it enjoys the northern descent of Sty Head to Seathwaite in the Borrowdale valley.

The return leg sees you following the scenic track along the banks of Langstrath Beck before the terrain jerks skyward as it follows the Cumbria Way for a killer climb of Stake Pass. This soon pays for itself however with the technical, but wholly rideable and enjoyable descent back into Great Langdale.