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.

Great Langdale

Great Langdale is a valley in the centre of the Lake District. It is one the areas lakeless valleys but offers ample mountain biking and breathtaking scenery.

Baysbrown Farm in the valley is a fantastic camp site with beautiful views and makes a perfect base for exploring. You can ride up through the site into the woods and access several routes from there. There are also a number of great pubs in the area such as the Sticklebarn (now National Trust owned) and New Dungeon Ghyll.

For mountain biking, if you head west into the valley you can pick up the Cumbria Way and climb to the head of Mickleden before the path forks. Left leads to Sty Head pass, passing Sprinkling Tarn enroute. Right continues the Cumbria Way and climbs Stake Pass before descending into Langstrath, then Borrowdale beyond.

Head east and you can access Loughrigg Terrace via Elterwater. Or, eventually, Ambleside via Loughrigg Fell.

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.

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.

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.

Grasmere

Grasmere is a stunning lake in the middle of the English Lake District. The famous Loughrigg Terrace trail overlooks from the south, showing off the area's incredible scenery.

There are bridleway routes in each direction. Rydal is to the east. To the north another climbs up to Grisedale hause and the Helvellyn Range beyond, with it's wealth of epic options. North west will, after a long climb onto Greenup Edge, drop you down into the next valley, Borrowdale, at Rosthwaite 7.5 miles away.

Track junction near Low Arnside

Park Fell is a 284m hill overlooking Windermere and Little Langdale in the Lake District. One bridleway contours its western flank, in a north/south direction and serves as a link to the area's routes.

Cleveland Hills

The Cleveland Hills are a bit of a Mecca for mountain bikers in the area. They mark the northern and western edges of the North Yorkshire Moors and are literally littered with awesome trails.

There's Guisborough Woods in the east which is full of forest tracks and tons of hidden singletrack short-cuts through the woods. Then there's Clay Bank of course, with its popular car park making it a great base for a great selection of rides. And of course you've got Carlton Bank where there's a downhill course, and that's just a small taste of what's available round here.

Trig point on the Calf

The Calf is the highest peak in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, it rises to 676m (2,218ft) above sea level and sits exactly on the national park boundary of the Yorkshire Dales. There are bridleways in all directions here. North-east follows the ridge for a little longer before dropping into Bowderdale on the amazing Bowderdale Singletrack. West descends White Fell before crossing Chapel Beck and ending at the road at Four Lane Ends. South leads to Bram Rigg Top where you can descend Bram Rigg, eventually coming out at Birkhaw. Or, stay on the ridge from here and continue to Little Dummacks and beyond, eventually dropping down into Sedbergh.

Askham Fell

Askham Fell is a small (323m) hill near Pooley Bridge and Ullswater. It is criss-crossed with good bridleways leading to Pooley Bridge, Celleron roman fort, Askham, Loadpot Hill, and down one of the country's best descents to Howtown. All of these trails meet at a stone circle forming the central junction, known as The Cockpit.

Newtondale Forest Drive

Newtondale Forest Drive runs along the eastern edge of Cropton Forest, along Newton Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors. It starts at Levisham Station in the south and snakes through the woods until it meets the minor road that runs right through the centre of the forest.

Cairn, White Side

White Side is a fell in the Lake District which is part of the Helvellyn mountain range, situated between the Thirlmere and Glenridding valleys. Standing at 863m (2,831ft) above sea level, White Side sits between Raise and Lower Man and forms part of most Helvellyn routes.

Bridleways stretch out in four directions, with the main rocky trail that follows the ridge leading to Raise to the north and Lower Man and Helvellyn itself to the south. The westerly bridleway descends steeply via Brown Crag to the Thirlspot car park on Thirlmere. The eastern trail is also a steep descent dropping into Keppel Cove and leading past the youth hostel and eventually delivering you into Glenridding.

Both north and south directions make fast descents followed by a climb, and in the other direction make for perfectly rideable ascents. The easterly bridleway drops down very steeply for some very technical riding, and as an ascent requires shouldering the bike. The westerly bridleway is fast and steep but should be rideable at a push as a climb too.

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.

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!

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.

Rydal Water

Rydal Water is a small lake situated in the heart of the English Lake District. It is located to the north-west of the popular tourist destination of Ambleside, and east of Grasmere. A bridleway flanks its southern shore leading to the main road to the east and along Loughrigg Terrace to the west.

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.

The viewing area at Clay Bank carpark

Clay Bank is one of the main road routes onto the northern edge of the North York Moors. The road that runs up it is the B1257, which leads through Bilsdale and eventually to Helmsley in the south of the national park.

Close to the top is Clay Bank carpark, ideally situated to start a ride from. At the top of the pass there's a gate on either side of the road where the Cleveland Way long distance footpath crosses the road. It leads up towards the Wain Stones to the west, no bikes allowed up here (and you wouldn't want to if you'd seen the steep steps to the top) but there's a wonderfully serene forest track that runs below it, passing below the Wainstones that's available for use.

On the other side of the road (the east), it is a bridleway. This climbs steeply onto Carr Ridge and Urra Moor. From the top the trail forks off with the Cleveland Way (still in bridleway form) leading off to the east across the Urra Moor, eventually meeting the dismantled railway at Bloworth Crossing and the Ingleby Incline. The other fork leads south across the edge of the moor, high above Bilsdale, with various crossings onto and off the moor.

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.

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.

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:

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