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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

View over S Buttermere from Sour Milk Gill

Buttermere is a lake in the north-west of the English Lake District. The minor road on its north-east bank leads onto Honister Pass and into Borrowdale beyond. A bridleway passes above the lake on its south-east bank, leading to Crummock Water and eventually Ennerdale Water if followed to the north-west, or up onto Scarth Gap Pass to the south-east, leading eventually to Black Sail Hut.

A third option is a steep and tough climb onto Red Pike via Bleaberry Tarn. Finally, best ridden as a descent to Buttermere, a bridleway drops steeply off Fleetwith Pike via Warnscale Bottom.

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.

Trig point on the Calf

The Calf is the highest peak in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, it rises to 676m (2,218ft) above sea level and sits exactly on the national park boundary of the Yorkshire Dales. There are bridleways in all directions here. North-east follows the ridge for a little longer before dropping into Bowderdale on the amazing Bowderdale Singletrack. West descends White Fell before crossing Chapel Beck and ending at the road at Four Lane Ends. South leads to Bram Rigg Top where you can descend Bram Rigg, eventually coming out at Birkhaw. Or, stay on the ridge from here and continue to Little Dummacks and beyond, eventually dropping down into Sedbergh.

Sunset and Fog over the Hole of Horcum

The Hole of Horcum is an impressive glacial feature in the North Yorkshire Moors that looks more like an impact crater at first glance. It is acutally part of the valley formed by Levisham Beck and its glacial predecessors. It is situated on the A169 Whitby to Pickering road where there is also a public carpark, and in summer a food caravan selling refreshments.

There aren't any bridleways that pass through the valley itself but Levisham Moor to its west is crossed by a single bridleway which runs from Saltergate Bank in the north almost to Levisham in the south. This is a well-surfaced, easy-going track and forms part of a few routes.

To the east there are a couple of options. One track, known as Old Wife's Way, crosses Lockton Low Moor before entering Dalby Forest which was the venue for the 2010 mountain bike world cup. Another track heads north-east before descending Saltergate Bank, eventually leading to the RAF base, RAF Flyingdales. This gives access to the many routes on Fylingdales Moor.

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.

Path junction near Bram Rigg Top, Howgill Fells

Little Dummacks is a fell in the Howgill Fells range, which sits quietly between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Its big brother, Great 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bilsdale

Bilsdale is a dale in the northern part of the North Yorkshire Moors. It runs north to south, from Clay Bank in the north to Newgate Bank in the south. The B1257 runs its length and there are several bridleways leading on and off the moors on the surrounding hills.

The main village is Chop Gate which has a lovely pub, The Buck Inn, which serves real ales and good food.

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.

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 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.

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.

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