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.

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.

The Derwent is a river in the English Lake District, with its source at Styhead Tarn near Skafell Pike and its mouth at Workington on Cumbria's west coast.

The river meanders down the Borrowdale valley and flows into the southern end of Derwent Water. Exiting near Keswick it then heads west and flows into Bassenthwaite Lake and from there to Workington via the town of Cockermouth.

Mountain bike routes along the Derwent are mostly limited to near its source and the Borrowdale valley. Here is what we have.

Cairn on Danby Rigg

Danby Rigg is a rigg in the North Yorkshire Moors. It divides Danby Dale to its west from Little Fryup Dale to its east. Its namesake, the village of Danby, lies to the north, there are shops here serving refreshments as well as a small visitors centre. To the south is Danby High Moor which has a couple of roads leading onto it, meeting at a small carpark in the centre.

Loughrigg Fell/Grasmere/Rydal

Loughrigg Fell stands at 335m overlooking Grasmere, Rydal Water, Ambleside and Windermere in the Lake District. The main trail here is Loughrigg Terrace which is fast, fun and beautifully scenic.

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.

The Esk Valley Railway runs across the northern part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. For the most it follows the route of the River Esk. In all, it links Middlesbrough in the west to Whitby in the east, with plenty of stops along the way.

Of interest to us mountain bikers is the fact that you can take a bike on the train, this opens up a wealth of opportunities, check out the routes listed.

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.

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.

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.

Boredale

Boredale is dale near Ullswater in the north-eastern Lake District, it runs from north to south between Place Fell, High Dodd and Beda Fell. The road from Howtown runs most of its length before turning into a bridleway at boredale head.

The afformentioned bridleway is the only one in the valley, but plays an important part in many routes as it lead up to (or down from) Boredale Hause where several routes meet. These allow access to Hartsop, Patterdale and Ullswater to the west, or up and over Beda Fell into Bannerdale to the east. It is rideable in both directions, save a short section of boulder-field you may have to carry for.

North leads, via road, to a fork where left gets you to Sandwick and the lakeside trail and right gets you to Howtown for either a pleasant quiet road saunter along the banks of Ullswater to Pooley Bridge, or to The Cockpit, by riding its descent to Howtown as a climb.

Dob Gill Woods

Dob Gill drains Harrop Tarn into the south-west of Thirlmere in the Lake District, as it descends through Dob Gill Woods.

A bridleway climbs from Watendlath Tarn, 2 or 3 miles to the north-west, up to Blea Tarn on Watendlath Fell, before passing over the top and dropping back down, through Dob Gill Woods, passing Harrop Tarn, to the quiet road on Thirlmere's western bank.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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