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.

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.

Hartsop

Hartsop is a small hamlet close to Brothers Water in the north-eastern part of the Lake District. It lies just off the A592 between Ullswater and the Kirkstone Pass, and is surrounded the high peaks of Hartsopp Dodd and Brock Crags.

Its name in Norman means 'valley of the dear', and there are some fine examples of Norman era buildings including the remains of a drying kiln and a water mill. Since then the village has been a lead mining community and is now more of a tourist attraction.

The surrounding landscape is mountainous and provides plenty of opportunity for getting out in the hills on your bike. Hartsop sits right on the bridleway that leads to Hayeswater and onto the High Street range beyond. It also has a trail running north and climbing Boredale Hause, with the Boredale and Beda Fell descents beyond.

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.

Ashness Bridge

Ashness is one of the more famous landmarks of the Lake District. Set in a picture perfect setting, it is a much visited and much photographed area. The views span out across Derwent Water and beyond to Keswick and Skiddaw.

It is situated on a road climb from Derwent water and up into Ashness Fell, giving access to Watendlath Tarn, where there's a tearoom in the summer; Castle Crag Descent, which drops down into Rosthwaite; and a mountain pass which crosses over to Dob Gill on Thirlmere.

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.
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.

Cairn on Danby Rigg

Danby Rigg is a rigg in the North Yorkshire Moors. It divides Danby Dale to its west from Little Fryup Dale to its east. Its namesake, the village of Danby, lies to the north, there are shops here serving refreshments as well as a small visitors centre. To the south is Danby High Moor which has a couple of roads leading onto it, meeting at a small carpark in the centre.

Road Bridge at Skelwith Bridge

Skelwith Bridge is a Lake District hamlet between Ambleside and Great Langdale. There are no bridleways to speak of but the quiet road is used to connect up sections of various routes.

Ullswater

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District. It sits at approximately 9 miles long and is surrounded by a maze of bridleways, especially to the south, making it an ideal base for mountain biking. If you’re looking to go riding here then there are many hotels, B&Bs and campsites in the area and Patterdale, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, and Howtown make for the perfect base for exploring the lake and the surrounding mountains by bike.

Here you’ll find the Ullswater lakeside bridleway, the famous High Street roman road and plenty of routes for all abilities including some real Lake District classics. Try one of our routes in the area, or simply go exploring – there’s something for everyone!

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.

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.

Lealholm village

Lealholm is a small picturesque village in Esk Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors. The Esk Valley Railway makes a stop here. For mountain bikers there are several road options and one main offroad route, which leads of in an easterly direction, following the railway at first, to meet the road a couple of miles north of Glaisdale.

High Street is a mountain range in the north-eastern Lake District, with its summit standing at a 828m (2,718ft). It is famous for the Roman road that once traversed its ridge, running between the former Roman forts of Brocavum (near Penrith) and Galava (near Ambleside).

In the 18th and 19th centuries the summit plateau was used for summer fetes by the locals, which included sports such as wrestling and horse racing, adding to this particular fell's colourful history. To this day the summit is still named Racecourse Hill on Ordnance Survey maps.

For mountain biking, High Street has a decent selection of bridleways and offers high altitude ridge riding at its best. To the west a bridleway descends steeply through a field towards Hayeswater and beyond along a hard-packed path leading eventually into Hartsop. This can also be mostly ridden as an ascent to get onto the plateu in the first place, but expect some pushing up the section just above Hayeswater.

Heading north, the High Street Roman Road follows the ridge and takes in Rampsgill Head, High Raise and Loadpot Hill before turning into sweet singletrack leading all the way to The Cockpit and Pooley Bridge beyond.

South from the summit (also following the roman road trail) will drop you down the edge of Park Fell and into the valley that contains Troutbeck and Limefitt Park, and eventually joins a road leading to Windermere.

Leaving the Cleveland Way at Bloworth Crossing

Bloworth Crossing is the site of a crossroads on the former Rosedale Ironstone Railway in the North York Moors. What were once rail lines are now public bridleways, so Bloworth Crossing forms a major junction for many mountain bike routes. It also sits on the Cleveland Way long distance footpath.

The northern track follows the Cleveland Way, staying close to the edge of the moors and overlooking the Tees Valley. After about three miles there's a junction for the Bank Foot descent.

The eastern trail follows an easy, meandering, dismantled railway route across the moor to the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, and gives access to the Rosedale routes.

South traverses Rudland Rigg, an easy climb and descent good for either beginners or for joining up other route sections.

The west path soon forks. The left fork follos the Cleveland Way across Urra Moor. The right leads to the Ingleby Incline, which although would make blisteringly fast descent, would be a bit of a waste of altitude and is best ridden as a (tough!) climb onto the moors and up to Bloworth Crossing.

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.

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.

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.

The west ridge of Arant Haw

Arant Haw is a 605m (1,985ft) fell in the Howgill Fells in the Yorkshire Dales. It is situated about 2km (1.5mi) north of Sedbergh and is reached by the bridleway that begins in the town and climbs the flanks of Winder before reaching Arant Haw’s summit. This then continues to climb in a northerly direction to Calders and The Calf before eventually descending into Bowderdale.

Ridden in the other direction, this makes for a cracking descent. At first it’s a wide gravelly belting descent, then the trail throws a few interesting obstactles at you. All this with a rather exposed drop off one side. This is soon followed by a fast grassy section as you descend Winder, bringing you out on the road to the north-west of Sedburgh.

Descending Dollywaggon into cloud inversion

Dollywagon Pike is a 858m mountain in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake Distirict, which sits between the Thirlmere and Ullswater valleys. A single bridleway crosses the summit, heading to High Crag and Helvellyn to the north and Grisedale Tarn to the south.

Dollywagon Pike features in most Helvellyn summit routes, and indeed is part of the classic route, but recent path 'improvements' have made some of the bridleway technical to say the least. We're talking trials-style boulders and slow progress if you decide to take the descent to the south. That said, this is a classic bridleway route and if you're serious about mountain biking you have to be able to say you've done it.

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