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.

North York Moors Railway near Thomason Foss

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a popular steam railway and tourist attraction. It runs from Whitby to Pickering with stops at Grosmont, Goathland, Newton Dale, and Levisham on the way. The whole route is contained within the North York Moors National Park.

The train allows bikes (at least, it did when I rode it, it might be worth checking) so can be used as part of a ride, or for the return leg of a one way route.

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.

The Howtown Hotel, near Ullswater

Howtown is a hamlet with a small harbour on the south-east bank of Ullswater in the Lake District. Via road, there is only one way in and out and that is the minor road that leads here from Pooley Bridge in the north, and on to dead ends at Dale Head, Boredale Head and Sandwick to the south and west.

The bridleway to the north-east leads uphill towards the stone circle The Cockpit, and is best ridden in the opposite direction as a sweet singletrack downhill section dropping down the flank of Barton Fell. Following the same route to the west leads via Bannerdale and Sandwick to the Ullswater lakeside trail, in our opinion one of the best technical rocky routes in the country, with superb views across the lake itself - eventually leading to Patterdale and Glenridding.

Mountain Biker on Glaisdale Moor

Glaisdale Moor sits pretty much centrally in the North York Moors. It consists of the High Moor in the south and the Low Moor in the north, with Glaisdale Rigg bridging the gap in between. The valleys either side are Great Fryupdale and Glaisdale.

A road crosses both moors, traversing the ridge between them. Bridleways also cross the ridge at several points, as well as criss-crossing the Low Moor. All make for good route options, while the High Moor boasts two bridleways, one of which leads to the famous descent into Great Fryupdale.

Castleton Moor Station

Castleton is a village in the North Yorkshire Moors. The River Esk runs through which makes it a tourist hot spot in the summer months. There are a couple of pubs and a shop for refreshments and the Esk Valley Railway also has a stop here.

Routes in and out are mainly roads and footpaths, of which there are many around here. But there is one bridelway which comes in from Commondale to the north-west and runs along the north bank of the River Esk and re-joins the road just before Danby to the east.

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.

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.

Rampsgill Head

Rampsgill Head is a 792m (2,598ft) fell in the Lake District, the peak of which lies just a few meters from the former roman road bridleway running along the High Street range of mountains.

Bridleways head of in three directions. Heading west drops you past Hayeswater and down Hayeswater Gill to Hartsop and Brothers Water – although the bridleway seemingly disappears before Hayeswater as you descend across a field, but just head for the dam where you can pick it up again easily. South takes the roman road route to the summit of High Street and beyond, eventually reaching Windermere. Finally north also follows the roman road route along the High Street ridge, leading predominently downhill and via some of the Lake District's best singletrack, eventually spitting you out at Pooley Bridge.

There are lots of route options available here but at 792m, be warned, there's a lot of climbing involved!

Cropton Forest

Cropton Forest is a coniferous forest in the North Yorkshire Moors managed by the Forestry Commission, and home to the Newtondale Forest Drive. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs along Newton Dale in a north/south direction, forming the forest's eastern edge.

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.

Seatoller

Seatoller is a small hamlet in the Borrowdale area of the Lake District. It sits nestled amongst dramatic mountainous scenery at the foot of the Honister Pass with its famous slate mine.

There's a pub and shops for refreshments, and a public toilet here as well as Tourist Information selling maps and guides. There are no bridleways directly from Seatoller but it features in many routes as Honister Pass gives great road access to several high altitude bridleways.

Cleveland Way on Urra Moor

Urra Moor is the highest moor in the North York Moors National Park. Its highest point, Round Hill, is 454m (1,490ft) above sea level, and is also the highest point in the North York Moors.

The moor is bordered on its north edge by the Cleveland escarpment, and on its west by Bilsdale and Clay Bank. Several trails cross the moor, notably the Cleveland Way (a bridleway at this point) which climbs from Clay Bank in the west and crosses to meet the dismantled railway at Bloworth Crossing in the east.

Following the ridge that marks the western edge above Bilsdale is a lovely section moorland singletrack, running north to south. There are plenty of on/off options along this route too.

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.

The Esk Valley Railway runs across the northern part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. For the most it follows the route of the River Esk. In all, it links Middlesbrough in the west to Whitby in the east, with plenty of stops along the way.

Of interest to us mountain bikers is the fact that you can take a bike on the train, this opens up a wealth of opportunities, check out the routes listed.

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.

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.

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.

Blea Tarn

There are two tarns named Blea Tarn in the Lake District. This is one located on Watendlath Fell, between the Thirlmere valley and Borrowdale, and sits close to the bridleway between Dob Gill and Watendlath Tarn. The trail climbs through the woods from the banks of Thirlmere, past Harrop Tarn, before dropping down and descending past Blea Tarn to Watendalth. From Watendlath a short climb gets you to the beginning of the excellent technical descent of Birkett's Leap.

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.

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.

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