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.

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.

The Newtondale Gorge

Newton Dale is in the North Yorkshire Moors and forms the east edge of Cropton Forest and the west edge of Levisham Moor. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs its length as well as the Newtondale Forest Drive, which is criss-crossed with tracks with which to form mountain bike routes.

The Buck Inn at Chop Gate

Chop Gate is a small hamlet in Bilsdale, on the B1257 road that runs between Clay Bank and Helmsley in the North York Moors. There's one pub, The Buck Inn, that serves real ale and good food.

Aside from the B1257 there's Raisedale Road, which leads north-west, eventually to Carlton Bank. Theres also a bridleway heading off roughly north west called Cold Moor Lane, which leads up onto Cold Moor and beyond (but better ridden as a descent). There are a couple of other bridleways if you head north up the road a little. Both lead east onto Urra Moor, one at Medd Crag and one via East Bank Plantation.

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.

Trig point on the Calf

The Calf is the highest peak in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, it rises to 676m (2,218ft) above sea level and sits exactly on the national park boundary of the Yorkshire Dales. There are bridleways in all directions here. North-east follows the ridge for a little longer before dropping into Bowderdale on the amazing Bowderdale Singletrack. West descends White Fell before crossing Chapel Beck and ending at the road at Four Lane Ends. South leads to Bram Rigg Top where you can descend Bram Rigg, eventually coming out at Birkhaw. Or, stay on the ridge from here and continue to Little Dummacks and beyond, eventually dropping down into Sedbergh.

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.

Glaisdale Village

Glaisdale is a village in the North Yorkshire Moors, just south of Lealholm and west of Egton Bridge. Two bridleways lead west onto Glaisdale Moor, leading to Glaisdale Rigg. Another drops down through fields into the valley and to Glaisdale Beck. There's a station here too if you're using the Esk Valley Railway to return from a route.

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.
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.

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.

Dob Gill Woods

Dob Gill drains Harrop Tarn into the south-west of Thirlmere in the Lake District, as it descends through Dob Gill Woods.

A bridleway climbs from Watendlath Tarn, 2 or 3 miles to the north-west, up to Blea Tarn on Watendlath Fell, before passing over the top and dropping back down, through Dob Gill Woods, passing Harrop Tarn, to the quiet road on Thirlmere's western bank.

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.

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.

Watendlath Tarn

This small tarn nestled between the fells of High Seat, Watendlath Fell and Grange Fell in the Lake District and sits at the top end of the Ashness Bridge road climb. In the summer there's a cafe at Watendlath Farm.

The routes in and out of here are the road climb to the north (which would be a waste of altitude if ridden as a descent), the bridleway to the west which turns into one of the most fun technical sections in the Lake District eventually spitting you out at Rosthwaite and the third option which is the bridleway headed SSE. This route climbs a little more to Blea Tarn before dropping into Dob Gill Woods and eventually Thirlmere.

Over Lord Stones to Roseberry Topping

Carlton Bank is a hill in the Cleveland Hills at the northern edge of the North York Moors. There's a glider station up top and a single bridleway track leads from Barker's Crags and Brian's Pond to the south. This crosses Whorlton Moor and goes through the glider station before a fast hard-pack double-track descent (pictured) to the east of the hill. You meet a road at the bottom and the small car park for the Lord Stones Cafe.

Beyond the cafe, heading east you can follow the Cleveland Way for just under a mile before the trail forks left (straight on is footpath only), bringing you to the start of a fast, flowy singletrack blast along the contours of Kirby Bank.

Derwent Water

Derwent Water is one of the more popular lakes in the English Lake District. It is fed by the River Derwent as it runs down from the high mountains of Borrowdale. The busy town of Keswick is situated on the north bank, which is a great base for mountain biking.

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.

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 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.

Track junction near Low Arnside

Park Fell is a 284m hill overlooking Windermere and Little Langdale in the Lake District. One bridleway contours its western flank, in a north/south direction and serves as a link to the area's routes.

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