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.

On the descent from Grisedale Hause to Grisedale Tarn

At the head of the Grisedale valley, Grisedale Tarn nestles between Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield and Seat Sandal in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District.

The setting is outstandingly picturesque, a good place for a sandwich stop on one of our routes!

The bridleway that descends Dollywaggon Pike from the north has been upgraded by the fix the fells project to the point that its hardly ridable as descent, and definitely a hike-a-bike route as an ascent. To the south a singletrack bridleway (pictured) heads over Grisedale Hause and flanks the south of Seat Sandal before dropping down into Little Tongue Gill and eventually to Grasmere, and is rideable in both directions. To north east lies the 5.5km (3.5mi) fast descent into Grisedale itself which eventually leads to Ullswater and Patterdale.

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.

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.

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.

Grange is a small village in Borrowdale in the Lake District. It sits just off the main road by the picturesque River Derwent, surrounded by impressive mountains including High Spy, Grange Fell and Ashness Fell.

In terms of mountain bike route options, Grange lies on a part of the Cumbria Way that is classified as bridleway, and forms part of many popular routes around here. The Cumbria Way to the north contours Cat Bells' eastern flank, affording stunning panoramas across Derwent Water to Keswick and Skiddaw beyond. Taking a left from this route would take you over Hause Gate, the mountain pass between Maiden Moor and Cat Bells.

South from Grange, also along the Cumbria Way, at first follows the river before climbing onto the flanks of High Spy then High Scawdel. The bridleway eventually comes to an end in this direction as it meets Honister Pass on its eastern side, about 50m below the the high point.

A592 in Glenridding Village

Glenridding is small village at the southern tip of Ullswater, and the northern end of the Kirkstone Pass. Its position makes it the perfect base for attempting one of the many Helvellyn routes.

If you’re staying in the lakes then Gillside Campsite is ideally situated in the shadow of Helvellyn, and the Traveller’s Rest pub serves food and is within stumbling distance of the campsite.

In terms of mountain biking options you have Sticks Pass which climbs into the Helvellyn Range, with a fork left for a more direct route to White Side's summit. Continuing up and over Sticks Pass will drop you down to Legburthwaite in the Thirlmere valley. To the east there are a massive variety of options inlcuding the Ullswater Lakeside Bridleway, the High Street Range and the climb to Boredale Hause which gives access to the Boredale and Bannerdale descents.

The Allerdale Ramble through Setmurthy Plantation

The Allerdale Ramble is a long distance footpath in the Lake District. It runs from Seathwaite in Borrowdale the very heart of the Lakes to Grune Point on the Solway Firth. It takes in an amazing variety of scenery including Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake as well as the coastal scenery in the west.

Most of the trail is public footpath and therefore off-limits to mountain bikes but parts of it are bridleway and play an important part in a lot of routes. Most notable of this is the section around Cat Bells and Derwent Water.

Footpath Down Cold Moor

Cold Moor sits above Bilsdale, just south of the Wainstones, in the North Yorkshire Moors. It is accessed by either from the south via Cold Moor Lane in Chop Gate, or one of several bridleways in the north. The trail traverses the length of the moor from one to the other, including the flowing singletrack of Carlton Bank.

Sunset and Fog over the Hole of Horcum

The Hole of Horcum is an impressive glacial feature in the North Yorkshire Moors that looks more like an impact crater at first glance. It is acutally part of the valley formed by Levisham Beck and its glacial predecessors. It is situated on the A169 Whitby to Pickering road where there is also a public carpark, and in summer a food caravan selling refreshments.

There aren't any bridleways that pass through the valley itself but Levisham Moor to its west is crossed by a single bridleway which runs from Saltergate Bank in the north almost to Levisham in the south. This is a well-surfaced, easy-going track and forms part of a few routes.

To the east there are a couple of options. One track, known as Old Wife's Way, crosses Lockton Low Moor before entering Dalby Forest which was the venue for the 2010 mountain bike world cup. Another track heads north-east before descending Saltergate Bank, eventually leading to the RAF base, RAF Flyingdales. This gives access to the many routes on Fylingdales Moor.

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.

Boredale

Boredale is dale near Ullswater in the north-eastern Lake District, it runs from north to south between Place Fell, High Dodd and Beda Fell. The road from Howtown runs most of its length before turning into a bridleway at boredale head.

The afformentioned bridleway is the only one in the valley, but plays an important part in many routes as it lead up to (or down from) Boredale Hause where several routes meet. These allow access to Hartsop, Patterdale and Ullswater to the west, or up and over Beda Fell into Bannerdale to the east. It is rideable in both directions, save a short section of boulder-field you may have to carry for.

North leads, via road, to a fork where left gets you to Sandwick and the lakeside trail and right gets you to Howtown for either a pleasant quiet road saunter along the banks of Ullswater to Pooley Bridge, or to The Cockpit, by riding its descent to Howtown as a climb.

Barker's Crags, Scugdale

This popular rock climbing spot is set overlooking the sleepy valley of Scugdale in the North York Moors. A single bridleway climbs from the road in the valley through the crags, past Brian's Pond, and eventually to the summit of Whorlton Moor. From here it descends the fast stony track on the east of Carlton Bank, leading to the Lord Stones Cafe and Country Park, a great spot for refreshments, a bite to eat, and fantastic views across the Tees Valley.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Horseshoe Hotel, Egton Bridge

Egton Bridge is a small hamlet in in Esk Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors, just south of Egton and west of Grosmont. The Esk Valley Railway divides the community down the middle and there's a stop here. There is also a pub here serving food and real ale.

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:

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.

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.

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