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.

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.

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.

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.

Rosthwaite

This small settlement in the Borrowdale area of the Lake District is set amongst dramatic scenery in a spectacular area of the Lakes.

The village itself sits at the foot of Birkett's Leap, a superb technical descent that drops down from Watendlath Tarn. It also lies directly on the route of the Cumbria Way and close to the route of the Allerdale Ramble, making it a popular place with mountain bikers and walkers alike.

In Rosthwaite you'll find the usual refreshment stops - a shop and a couple of pubs, with beer gardens with a view.

Bainley Bank Farm, Great Fryup Dale

Great Fryupdale is a valley in the North Yorkshire Moors, between Fairy Cross Plain and Glaisdale Rigg. A lovely technical descent leads into it from its south-west end and there are two other bridleways of note. One climbs onto Glaisdale Rigg to meet the road, the other climbs the opposite side to meet the minor road running through Danby High Moor. The northern end of the valley opens into Esk Dale.

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.

Striding Edge and Helvellyn

Helvellyn is the highest peak legally accessible by mountain bike in England. It stands majestically at 949m above sea level and forms part of the impressive Helvellyn ridge which runs for approximately 12km (7.5 miles) north to south, dividing the valleys of Thirlmere and Ullswater. Indeed some routes cover the full length of this ridge.

Routes on Helvellyn are however not limited to the ridge. There are a massive variety of bridleway options available including a descent off Great Dodd, Sticks Pass, Keppel Cove, Birk Side, and Grisedale to name but a few.

The bridleway to the north leads down Lower Man – a cracking descent – and then back up onto White Side. The bridleway to the south takes you to Nethermost Pike and then on to Dollywaggon Pike. All of these peaks offer a choice of some serious descents into the surrounding valleys, so just get on your bike and explore!

The Bridge across Great Langdale Beck at Elterwater

Great Langdale Beck runs along the Great Langdale valley in the Lake District national park. It flows through the villages of Chapel Stile, Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge. Eventually it flows into the River Brathay.

For the section between Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge it has a bridleway running along its banks. (Please note this was recently upgraded so if you are looking at and old map it may be marked as a footpath.)

Red Crag

Red Crag is a 711m fell in the High Street range of mountains of the English Lake District. The roman road singletrack passes within a stone's throw of the summit cairn, so it's worth a quick detour for those summit-bagging.

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 Honister Pass

Honsiter Pass is a mountain pass in the Lake District. It carries a road from Borrowdale to Gatesgarthdale and passes between the fells of Dale Head and Grey Knotts. It is well known for its slate mine at the top, which has visitor centre as well as various fell-based activities such as rock climbing and a zip wire.

The pass is most often used by mountain bikers as a road climb giving access to the surrounding fells. A bridleway rises steeply on its south side and climbs Fleetwith Pike before descending just as steeply and eventually ending up at Buttermere. A second rather scenic route leaves the road about half way up the eastern side and follows the contours around Dale Head and High Scawdel before meeting with the Allerdale Ramble and dropping down into Borrowdale via a descent of Castle Crag.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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