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.

Watendlath Fell

Watendlath Fell is 515m fell in the English Lake District that sits between Borrowdale in the west, and the Thirlmere valley in the east.

There is one bridleway that crosses the fell and it is best ridden in the SSE direction. This is accessed from the road to the north with climbs from Derwent Water in the Borrowdale valley to Watendlath Tarn, via the well-known and oft-visited Ashness Bridge and its stunning viewpoint.

From the tarn, the road turns to bridleway. You can cross the stream to the right, just before the tarn. This would take you away from Watendlath Fell, climbing Bowdergate Gill before dropping off for the well-known technical descent of Birkett's Leap.

Instead of crossing the stream, turn left and climb the steep track to the left of the buildings. After about 200m of climbing, pass through a gate and turn right. Now, heading in a SSE direction, the trail flanks Middle Crag with Watendlath Fell across Bleatarn Gill to your right. The track gradually steepens before topping out at about 500m before the descent starts. From here the track first drops to the banks of Blea Tarn (popular for fishing), then continues its descent in a easterly direction towards Harrop Tarn and Dob Gill, for an excellent woodland section that eventually will regurgitate you out onto the banks of Thirlmere and the minor road hugging its western bank.

In the summer there's a small cafe at Watendlath Farm, a lovely place to stop for refreshments.

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.

On Calders

Calders is a 674m (2,211ft) summit on Brant Fell in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria. It is on right on the main bridleway, meaning most routes around here reach the summit.

There’s a short track to the east which gets you to the summit of Great Dummacks and back. North climbs The Calf followed by the amazing singletrack descent into Bowderdale. The track to the south crosses the ridge of Rowantree Grains, before decending past the summit of Arant Haw to Winder, and beyond, eventually dropping down to Sedbergh.

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.

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.

The path to Nethermost Pike

Nethermost Pike is 891m (2,923ft) fell in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District National Park. Its summit is just off the main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge, north takes you to Helvellyn itself and beyond. South takes you to Dollywaggon Pike before dropping into Grisedale and eventually ending up at Patterdale.

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.

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.

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.

The Allerdale Ramble through Setmurthy Plantation

The Allerdale Ramble is a long distance footpath in the Lake District. It runs from Seathwaite in Borrowdale the very heart of the Lakes to Grune Point on the Solway Firth. It takes in an amazing variety of scenery including Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake as well as the coastal scenery in the west.

Most of the trail is public footpath and therefore off-limits to mountain bikes but parts of it are bridleway and play an important part in a lot of routes. Most notable of this is the section around Cat Bells and Derwent Water.

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.

Bram Rigg Top

Bram Rigg is a 672m (2,205ft) high fell in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, and it is accessible by bridleway. The trail to the south gets you to Calders before descending along the ridge of Rowantree Grains past the summit of Arant Haw to Winder, and beyond, dropping down to Sedbergh. North climbs to The Calf’s summit before descending the famous Bowderdale singletrack. West from either summits of The Calf or Bram Rigg give a couple of options to drop down and meet the road north-west of Sedbergh.

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.
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.

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!

White Lion at Patterdale

Patterdale is a village in the Ullswater valley in the Lake District. It is situated on the A592 just south of Glenridding at the southern tip of Ullswater.

The White Lion Inn and The Patterdale Hotel both offer great food and post-ride beers, the latter has a beer garden perfect for those hot summer days, and also offers accomodation.

As a base for mountain biking, Patterdale can offer a variety of routes. The Helvellyn range to the west is very popular, with a huge choice of routes on offer. Similarly the High Street range to the east offers endless possibilities. Any route that starts in Glenridding can also be started in Patterdale just as easily.

Grasmere

Grasmere is a stunning lake in the middle of the English Lake District. The famous Loughrigg Terrace trail overlooks from the south, showing off the area's incredible scenery.

There are bridleway routes in each direction. Rydal is to the east. To the north another climbs up to Grisedale hause and the Helvellyn Range beyond, with it's wealth of epic options. North west will, after a long climb onto Greenup Edge, drop you down into the next valley, Borrowdale, at Rosthwaite 7.5 miles away.

Little Langdale Tarn

Great Langdale's smaller cousin, Little Langdale, lies in the heart of the English Lake District.

The disused quarry to the south creates the fun and can be linked up to several routes.

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.

Borrowdale

This picturesque valley in the Lake District is probably the finest example of a steep sided glacial valley in England. The higher southern end, the 'jaws of Borrowdale' is overlooked by steep imposing cliffs on each side. The River Derwent runs its length and empties into Derwent Water at the lower and wider nothern end of Borrowdale. At the far northern end of the valley is tourist favourite Keswick with its pubs, cafes, bike shops and museums. To the south, the road begins to rise as it lifts you up over Honister Pass.

The valley is home to several settlements. The largest of these is Rosthwaite, which has a couple of pubs and a shop for refreshments. Also in the valley are Stonethwaite, Seatoller and Seathwaite.

Borrowdale, as you might expect, is riddled with mountain bike route options. Bridleways, in some cases clinging to the rocky precipices, run the length of the valley as well as descending off the surrounding fells. One of the more well known routes is the Borrowdale Bash but its worth exploring because some of the other trails offer fantastic mountain biking.

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