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.

Road Bridge at Skelwith Bridge

Skelwith Bridge is a Lake District hamlet between Ambleside and Great Langdale. There are no bridleways to speak of but the quiet road is used to connect up sections of various routes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Overlooking Ullswater from Long Crag on Barton Fell

Barton Fell, at the northern end of the High Street range of mountains overlooks Ullswater in the north-eastern Lake District. The High Street roman road descends south to north from Loadpot Hill to The Cockpit on Askham Fell.

There are numerous route options from here leading in all directions: west gets you on the descent to Howtown, and Ullswater beyond; north heads to Roehead and Pooley Bridge, or the Celleron roman fort; north-east leads across Askham Fell to the village of Askham; and south-east crosses Moor Divock to drop you on the road near Helton.

Beyond Loadpot Hill to the south, traverses the High Street ridge, eventually crossing its summit and leading to Windermere far beyond.

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.

Great Langdale

Great Langdale is a valley in the centre of the Lake District. It is one the areas lakeless valleys but offers ample mountain biking and breathtaking scenery.

Baysbrown Farm in the valley is a fantastic camp site with beautiful views and makes a perfect base for exploring. You can ride up through the site into the woods and access several routes from there. There are also a number of great pubs in the area such as the Sticklebarn (now National Trust owned) and New Dungeon Ghyll.

For mountain biking, if you head west into the valley you can pick up the Cumbria Way and climb to the head of Mickleden before the path forks. Left leads to Sty Head pass, passing Sprinkling Tarn enroute. Right continues the Cumbria Way and climbs Stake Pass before descending into Langstrath, then Borrowdale beyond.

Head east and you can access Loughrigg Terrace via Elterwater. Or, eventually, Ambleside via Loughrigg Fell.

Ashness Bridge

Ashness is one of the more famous landmarks of the Lake District. Set in a picture perfect setting, it is a much visited and much photographed area. The views span out across Derwent Water and beyond to Keswick and Skiddaw.

It is situated on a road climb from Derwent water and up into Ashness Fell, giving access to Watendlath Tarn, where there's a tearoom in the summer; Castle Crag Descent, which drops down into Rosthwaite; and a mountain pass which crosses over to Dob Gill on Thirlmere.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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