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.

Pooley Bridge

Pooley Bridge is a popular tourist village at the northern tip of Ullswater in the Lake District. There are several hotels and bars in the village (The Pooley Bridge Inn, The Sun Inn and The Crown Hotel) and two campsites (Waterside House and Park Foot) making Pooley Bridge a great base for exploring the Lake District's north-eastern fells.

It takes its name from the bridge crossing the River Eamont - the river that drains Ullswater, eventually, into the River Eden.

There are two main routes out of Pooley Bridge: one being the A592 that follows Ullswater's north-western bank to Glenridding at the the southern tip of the lake; the other being the bridleway that heads south-east and uphill that meets up with the High Street former roman road near The Cockpit, resulting in a multitude of possible directions. The popular routes from here are the singletrack descent to Howtown and the former roman road that climbs the ridge in a southerly direction, eventually reaching the summit High Street and beyond.

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.

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.
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.

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.

Levisham Moor near Sheephouse Rigg

Levisham Moor is in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is situated between the impressive Hole of Horcum and Cropton Forest. The one track crossing the moor runs from Saltergate Bank in the north almost to Levisham, which lies just to the south.

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.

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.

Bridleway up Grisedale

Grisedale is the valley between Birkhouse Moor (to the north) and St Sunday Crag and Birks (to the south) in the Lake District. With Grisedale Tarn and the Helvellyn range at the head, and Patterdale and Ullswater at the bottom, Grisedale is about 5.5km (3.5mi) long.

A single bridleway stretches it’s length, forming part of a lot of Helvellyn routes, or over Grisedale Hause to drop down into Grasmere to the south-west. The path itself is fairly wide and quite rocky and can be ridden as either a ascent or descent just as well.

Danby Village

Danby is a village in Esk Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors. There's a tearoom serving refreshments at The Moors Centre. There is also a station here on the Esk Valley Railway. There are three bridleways that drop in off Danby Low Moor in the north, these are known as Siss Cross Road, Pannierman's Causeway and Lord's Turnpike.

Saltergate Bank

Saltergate Bank is a tough road climb on the A169 Whitby to Pickering road in the North Yorkshire Moors. It climbs from Saltergate Moor to above the Hole of Horcum. Access to Levisham Moor is half way up the bank on the west.

Paved route of Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is a long distance footpath which is named after the county of Cleveland, but in fact is mostly based the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

The route starts in Helmsley in the south-west of the national park and makes its way north along the western edge of the moors. From here it flanks the Cleveland escarpment - which makes up the northern edge of the moors, heading generally north-easterly towards the coast at Saltburn. From Saltburn, the route hugs England's north-east coast until its end and Filey Brigg, over 100 miles from the start.

Unfortunately for us mountain bikers, as is the case for most long distance trails, it is not possible to ride the whole length of the Way. A lot of it is footpath. Despite this, as a lot is also bridleway, many routes in the area are made up of, at least in part, the Cleveland Way.

Track Through Heather on Blakey Ridge

Blakey Ridge is a rigg in the North York Moors between the dales of Rosedale and Farndale. The road that runs its length runs north to south between Castleton and Hutton-le-Hole.

The area offers a huge array of mountain biking route options with the main road, as mentioned, running north to south. Then there's the dismantled old mining railway, which meanders across High Blakey Moor to the west, to Bloworth Crossing and beyond. This was once off-limits to mountain bikes but has recently been upgraded to a bridleway. To the east, the same rail route skirts around the head of Rosedale leading past the old mine buildings to Hill Cottages.

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!

Sedbergh, Market Town

Sedbergh is a town in the Yorkshire Dales and a great base for exploring the Howgill Fells. To the north there are two routes onto Winder, giving access to The Calf via the mountain ridge, and beyond to Bowderdale or one of the various other bridleway options once you're up there.

East gets you deeper into the Yorkshire Dales, via road. South-east leads to Dentdale, east goes to Garsdale and north-east follows the River Rawthey, leading to Ravenstonedale and eventually Kirkby Stephen.

'That's some chimney!', a curiosity at Weasdale

Weasdale is a small village in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, about 10km (6mi) south-east of Kirkby Stephen. Two bridleways go north through fields and both meet at Wath about 1km away. East on the road is the only way in/out for motor vehicles and this takes you to Newbiggin-on-Lune and the A685 or, with another bridleway through a few fields, to Ravenstonedale.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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