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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.

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.)

High Raise Summit

High Raise is a 802m (2,634ft) high fell in the north-eastern Lake District. There are actually two fells named High Raise, the other is in the Great Langdale area.

High Raise forms part of the High Street range of mountains and the epic roman road bridleway that runs it's length skirts the High Raise summit. It'd be rude not to hop up to the top to say you've done it!

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.

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.

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.

Bowderdale in the Howgill Fells

Bowderdale is a dale in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria. It’s head is right on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, close to Cautley Spout and it runs north through the fells to Bowderdale village. A track drops into the dale from the summit of The Calf and descends the steep-sided valley for its entire length of 7km (5mi) on one of the best pieces of singletrack you will find in this country. It’s simply unmissable, if you’ve never rode this then do so now!

Lower Man

Lower Man is a 925m (3,035ft) mountain in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District. The main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge passes right over the Lower Man summit.

From here the bridleway heads north, descending technically at first then smoothing off later before climbing again onto the summit of White Side. There's also an alternative route of the ridge if you turn left in the dip between these two summits.

The the west there's a footpath leading off the ridge, but obviously off limits to bikes. To the south east is the mighty Helvellyn - meaning a further climb to the summit, but worth it for the amazing views and the descending return leg.

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 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.

Leaving the Cleveland Way at Bloworth Crossing

Bloworth Crossing is the site of a crossroads on the former Rosedale Ironstone Railway in the North York Moors. What were once rail lines are now public bridleways, so Bloworth Crossing forms a major junction for many mountain bike routes. It also sits on the Cleveland Way long distance footpath.

The northern track follows the Cleveland Way, staying close to the edge of the moors and overlooking the Tees Valley. After about three miles there's a junction for the Bank Foot descent.

The eastern trail follows an easy, meandering, dismantled railway route across the moor to the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, and gives access to the Rosedale routes.

South traverses Rudland Rigg, an easy climb and descent good for either beginners or for joining up other route sections.

The west path soon forks. The left fork follos the Cleveland Way across Urra Moor. The right leads to the Ingleby Incline, which although would make blisteringly fast descent, would be a bit of a waste of altitude and is best ridden as a (tough!) climb onto the moors and up to Bloworth Crossing.

Boredale Hause looking towards St Sunday Crag

Boredale Hause is a mountain pass close to Patterdale at the southern tip of Ullswater in the Lake District. It passes between Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes and rises to 399m at the top.

In typical lakeland pass style, the descent at both sides of the Hause are rocky but fast paths. On the west side there are two bridleways, one heading down to Patterdale and the other to Hartsop with the east side offering a descent into Boredale or a track that takes you onto and over Beda Fell before a singletrack descent into Bannerdale.

Both directions are great fun with the best probably being west to east which takes in the long descent that flanks Place Fell and drops into the Boredale valley.

Eastern slope of Great Dummacks

Great Dummacks is a 663m fell in the Howgill Fells range, which sits quietly between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Its little sister, Little Dummacks, sits alongside. Both fells are a short detour from the classic Bowderdale route, but worth it if you're a peak bagger with a list to complete!

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.

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.

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.
Askham Fell

Askham Fell is a small (323m) hill near Pooley Bridge and Ullswater. It is criss-crossed with good bridleways leading to Pooley Bridge, Celleron roman fort, Askham, Loadpot Hill, and down one of the country's best descents to Howtown. All of these trails meet at a stone circle forming the central junction, known as The Cockpit.

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