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.

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.

Hayeswater

Hayeswater is a small reservoir close to Ullswater in the north-eastern Lake District. Nestled between Gray Crag, The Knott and High Street, its single bridleway leads down a fast hard-packed double track descent of Hayeswater Gill to Hartsop (best ridden in the other direction to access the High Street range). And to the north east the bridleway leads up to The Knott and on to the High Street range, although the actual whereabouts of the bridleway on this section is not clear and you'll probably end up pushing the bike through the middle of the field until it joins the footpath near the top.

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.
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.

Lower Man

Lower Man is a 925m (3,035ft) mountain in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District. The main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge passes right over the Lower Man summit.

From here the bridleway heads north, descending technically at first then smoothing off later before climbing again onto the summit of White Side. There's also an alternative route of the ridge if you turn left in the dip between these two summits.

The the west there's a footpath leading off the ridge, but obviously off limits to bikes. To the south east is the mighty Helvellyn - meaning a further climb to the summit, but worth it for the amazing views and the descending return leg.

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.

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.

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.

High Raise Summit

High Raise is a 802m (2,634ft) high fell in the north-eastern Lake District. There are actually two fells named High Raise, the other is in the Great Langdale area.

High Raise forms part of the High Street range of mountains and the epic roman road bridleway that runs it's length skirts the High Raise summit. It'd be rude not to hop up to the top to say you've done it!

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Eastern slope of Great Dummacks

Great Dummacks is a 663m fell in the Howgill Fells range, which sits quietly between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Its little sister, Little Dummacks, sits alongside. Both fells are a short detour from the classic Bowderdale route, but worth it if you're a peak bagger with a list to complete!

The viewing area at Clay Bank carpark

Clay Bank is one of the main road routes onto the northern edge of the North York Moors. The road that runs up it is the B1257, which leads through Bilsdale and eventually to Helmsley in the south of the national park.

Close to the top is Clay Bank carpark, ideally situated to start a ride from. At the top of the pass there's a gate on either side of the road where the Cleveland Way long distance footpath crosses the road. It leads up towards the Wain Stones to the west, no bikes allowed up here (and you wouldn't want to if you'd seen the steep steps to the top) but there's a wonderfully serene forest track that runs below it, passing below the Wainstones that's available for use.

On the other side of the road (the east), it is a bridleway. This climbs steeply onto Carr Ridge and Urra Moor. From the top the trail forks off with the Cleveland Way (still in bridleway form) leading off to the east across the Urra Moor, eventually meeting the dismantled railway at Bloworth Crossing and the Ingleby Incline. The other fork leads south across the edge of the moor, high above Bilsdale, with various crossings onto and off the moor.

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.

Coming down Castle Crag

Castle Crag is a 290m (951ft) fell close to Derwent Water in Borrowdale in the Lake District National Park. It is impressively rugged in appearance, standing guard to the west side of Borrowdale (with Grange Fell opposite).

A bridleway that makes up part of the Allerdale Ramble crosses the fell from north to south, with the northerly direction descending the famous Castle Crag Descent.

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.

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