Helvellyn Mountain Bike Routes

About Helvellyn

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!

Map of Helvellyn Routes

All Routes for Helvellyn

Distance: 17mi / 27km
Ascent: 1,338m / 4,389ft
Offroad: 80%
Difficulty: 82%

Our second Helvellyn route (the first is here) takes a slightly different approach. We tried to consider which of the many bridleways on the ridge are actually the most ridable, and this is what we came up with.

This route starts one the Thirlmere side of the Helvellyn range, from the car park at Thirlspot. We climb from here on an old pony track onto the ridge, a lot of which is surprisingly rideable. After a quick there-and-back of the summit (ok then, maybe not quick!), the route follows the whole ridge from south to north before descending from Great Dodd on grassy singletrack. Finally, a blast along the Old Coach Road and a short road section gets you back to the car.

Distance: 12mi / 19km
Ascent: 936m / 3,070ft
Offroad: 83%
Difficulty: 75%

This is a technical and strenuous route taking you to the summit and back of England’s highest peak legally accessible by mountain bike, Helvellyn.

Although this shouldn't be attempted by the faint-hearted, the promise of 954m of descending offers enough motivation to make all the climbing worth it. This combined with the breathtaking views across the Lake District and as far as Scotland on a clear day should be enough to put Helvellyn firmly on any serious mountain biker's to-do list. So what are you waiting for?