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.

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.

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.
Painter - River Brathay

The River Brathay's source is Widdy Gill, which is near Wrynose Pass in the Lake District. It flows east to Little Langdale Tarn, before continuing its journey via Elterwater and its tarn and Skelwith Bridge, eventually replenishing the mighty Windermere.

Bike routes are limited for most of the river with most tracks being footpaths, save for one notable section only recently upgraded to bridleway between Elter Water and Skelwith Bridge. This section follows the river's banks and avoids having to use the narrow with blind corners.

Cat Bells

Cat Bells is a 451m (1,480ft) fell on the west bank of Derwent Water in the Lake District. Its distinctive shape when viewed from the opposite bank of the lake makes it popular amongst walkers.

As per usual for the Lake District, the route to the summit is footpath only and therefore off-limits to mountain bikers. There is a bridleway that runs east to west, crossing over Hause Gate, which is the pass between Cat Bells and Maiden Moor to its south. Part of the Allerdale Ramble flanks the the lower slopes, running north to south on the Derwent Water (east) side, running just above the minor road that also passes here.

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.

Swaledale sheep and the Howgill Fells

The Howgill Fells are in the often overlooked area of Cumbria between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. And they benefit from it too in that riding around here gets you the best of both worlds - a strange mix of the rocky peaks of the Lakes and rolling grassing hills of the Dales.

The fact that there's a bridleway running right down the ridge, crossing the highest point at the summit of The Calf just serves to enhance the Howgill Fells as a mountain biking destination even more. The descent beyond the calf is stunning wilderness singletrack for miles.

If you're heading this way then head for Sedbergh, which is the best base to start from for any Howgill rides.

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.

View over S Buttermere from Sour Milk Gill

Buttermere is a lake in the north-west of the English Lake District. The minor road on its north-east bank leads onto Honister Pass and into Borrowdale beyond. A bridleway passes above the lake on its south-east bank, leading to Crummock Water and eventually Ennerdale Water if followed to the north-west, or up onto Scarth Gap Pass to the south-east, leading eventually to Black Sail Hut.

A third option is a steep and tough climb onto Red Pike via Bleaberry Tarn. Finally, best ridden as a descent to Buttermere, a bridleway drops steeply off Fleetwith Pike via Warnscale Bottom.

'That's some chimney!', a curiosity at Weasdale

Weasdale is a small village in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, about 10km (6mi) south-east of Kirkby Stephen. Two bridleways go north through fields and both meet at Wath about 1km away. East on the road is the only way in/out for motor vehicles and this takes you to Newbiggin-on-Lune and the A685 or, with another bridleway through a few fields, to Ravenstonedale.

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.

Raise

Raise is the 12th highest mountain in the Lake District. It sits majestically in the Helvellyn range at 883m (2,897ft) above sea level.

The bridleway that runs the whole length of the Helvellyn range, from the old coach road in the north to Grisedale Tarn in the south, crosses over the summit of Raise. This – combined with the many on/off options nearby such as Sticks Pass, Glenridding Common or Grisedale – ensures that Raise is part of many Lake District routes. Perfect for peak-baggers.

As mentioned earlier, the bridleway that crosses the summit runs north-south. To the north is a fast but rocky descent that crosses Sticks Pass and from there climbs again to the summit of Stybarrow Dodd. As an ascent this is 100% rideable. The route to the south is pretty much the same, ridable as an ascent and fast and rocky as a descent, dropping down to meet the bridleway coming up Keppel Cove just before climbing again to the summit of White Side.

The Cockpit (Stone Circle)

The Cockpit is a small stone circle that lies to the east of Ullswater, at the northern end of the High Street mountain range in the Lake District.

It is located at the junction of several bridleways, including the High Street roman road running from Celleron in the north to the High Street ridge and beyond in the south. The west gives you an awesome singletrack descent to Howtown, which leads to Ullswater and its lakeside bridleway. To the east are two bridleways, one leading to Askham and the other to Helton.

Bowderdale in the Howgill Fells

Bowderdale is a dale in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria. It’s head is right on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, close to Cautley Spout and it runs north through the fells to Bowderdale village. A track drops into the dale from the summit of The Calf and descends the steep-sided valley for its entire length of 7km (5mi) on one of the best pieces of singletrack you will find in this country. It’s simply unmissable, if you’ve never rode this then do so now!

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.

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.

Path from Winder to Arant Haw

Winder is a 473m (1,552ft) fell in the Howgill Fells near Sedbergh in the north-western corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. A bridleway climbs the steep-sided southerly aspect from Sedbergh to a point north-east of the summit where it meets the more major track that runs the length of the Howgill Fells. Turning right onto this track will take you eventually to Great Dummacks, The Calf and beyond into Bowderdale, via Rowantree Grains. Turning left and doubling back slightly on yourself takes you to the summit of Winder and then descends the opposite side, meeting the road north-west of Sedbergh.

The Final Climb to Skiddaw

Skiddaw is a 931m (3,054ft) mountain in the Lake District. It towers over the town of Keswick, dominating its skyline.

Using Keswick as a base opens up plenty of route opportunities on and around Skiddaw, including its summit which is reached by bridleway, making it the second highest legally accessible by bike after Helvellyn. Also on offer are the well known Whitewater Dash waterfall climb or descent and a wealth of routes around the 'back' of Skiddaw, meaning its northern side.

Skiddaw's neighbour, Blencathra, also offers route options and any number of routes can be constructed within this mountain range, taking advantage of all the trails that lead to and from Skiddaw House at its centre.

River Rawthey and Path to Cautley Spout

The Rawthey is a river in Cumbria. Its source is on East Baugh Fell and it flows, at first north-west, around the north of the fell, before heading south. It flows through Cautley as it skirts the east of the Howgill Fells.

It picks up the Clough River (coming from Garsdale) and the River Dee (coming from Dentdale) before reaching Sedbergh, the start of many Howgill Fells routes.

Eventually the Rawthey joins the River Lune at Stangerthwaite.

River Esk above Ruswarp

The River Esk flows west to east along Esk Dale in the north of the North Yorkshire Moors. The Esk Valley Railway also follows most of its length. The river's source is near Westerdale, high in the moors and it finally empties into the sea 45km (28mi) later at Whitby. The entire length is contained within the national park.

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.

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