Points of Interest

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Ambleside

Ambleside is a bustling tourist town in the heart of the English Lake District, situated at the head of England's largest lake, Windermere. Its central position makes it a great base for mountain biking, and exploring the national park.

From here, you can get easy access to many top mountain bike trails including the Helvellyn ridge to the north, High Street to the north-east, the Kirkstone and Garburn passes to the east, Claife Heights to the south, Furness Fells to the south-west, Little Langdale and Great Langdale to the west and finally Grasmere Common and Greenup Edge to the north-west.

So, tons of opportunity around here. Also, you won't have any difficulty finding somewhere to stay, there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs in Ambleside, and it has more than its fair share of pubs, cafes and tearooms too which are open all year round serving refreshments.

Footpath Down Cold Moor

Cold Moor sits above Bilsdale, just south of the Wainstones, in the North Yorkshire Moors. It is accessed by either from the south via Cold Moor Lane in Chop Gate, or one of several bridleways in the north. The trail traverses the length of the moor from one to the other, including the flowing singletrack of Carlton Bank.

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.

Castleton Moor Station

Castleton is a village in the North Yorkshire Moors. The River Esk runs through which makes it a tourist hot spot in the summer months. There are a couple of pubs and a shop for refreshments and the Esk Valley Railway also has a stop here.

Routes in and out are mainly roads and footpaths, of which there are many around here. But there is one bridelway which comes in from Commondale to the north-west and runs along the north bank of the River Esk and re-joins the road just before Danby to the east.

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.

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.

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.

Ullswater

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District. It sits at approximately 9 miles long and is surrounded by a maze of bridleways, especially to the south, making it an ideal base for mountain biking. If you’re looking to go riding here then there are many hotels, B&Bs and campsites in the area and Patterdale, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, and Howtown make for the perfect base for exploring the lake and the surrounding mountains by bike.

Here you’ll find the Ullswater lakeside bridleway, the famous High Street roman road and plenty of routes for all abilities including some real Lake District classics. Try one of our routes in the area, or simply go exploring – there’s something for everyone!

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.
Cat Bells

Cat Bells is a 451m (1,480ft) fell on the west bank of Derwent Water in the Lake District. Its distinctive shape when viewed from the opposite bank of the lake makes it popular amongst walkers.

As per usual for the Lake District, the route to the summit is footpath only and therefore off-limits to mountain bikers. There is a bridleway that runs east to west, crossing over Hause Gate, which is the pass between Cat Bells and Maiden Moor to its south. Part of the Allerdale Ramble flanks the the lower slopes, running north to south on the Derwent Water (east) side, running just above the minor road that also passes here.

Askham Village

Askham is a village in the north-eastern Lake District, close to Ullswater, in Cumbria.

The bridleway west from the village climbs onto Askham Fell where the trail splits in several directions, with bridleways to Pooley Bridge, High Street and Howtown.

The village shop sells delicious home made sandwiches and of course there's the country pub for post-ride refreshments!

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.

Cleveland Hills

The Cleveland Hills are a bit of a Mecca for mountain bikers in the area. They mark the northern and western edges of the North Yorkshire Moors and are literally littered with awesome trails.

There's Guisborough Woods in the east which is full of forest tracks and tons of hidden singletrack short-cuts through the woods. Then there's Clay Bank of course, with its popular car park making it a great base for a great selection of rides. And of course you've got Carlton Bank where there's a downhill course, and that's just a small taste of what's available round here.

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.

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.

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.

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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