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.

Rosthwaite

This small settlement in the Borrowdale area of the Lake District is set amongst dramatic scenery in a spectacular area of the Lakes.

The village itself sits at the foot of Birkett's Leap, a superb technical descent that drops down from Watendlath Tarn. It also lies directly on the route of the Cumbria Way and close to the route of the Allerdale Ramble, making it a popular place with mountain bikers and walkers alike.

In Rosthwaite you'll find the usual refreshment stops - a shop and a couple of pubs, with beer gardens with a view.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Angle Tarn

There are two Angle Tarns in the Lake District, this one is situated in the fells to the west of Great Langdale and south of Borrowdale.

A bridleway running roughly east/west passes by the tarn, which provides a nice sheltered spot for a rest or lunch. The bridleway to the east climbs slightly before dropping nicely into Mickleden at the head of Great Langdale. To the west it first passes Sprinkling Tarn before meeting a junction with several tracks near Styhead Tarn, below the mighty slopes of Great Gable. From here bridleways descend the Sty Head pass to Wasdale Head and to Seathwaite via Styhead Gill.

Newtondale Forest Drive

Newtondale Forest Drive runs along the eastern edge of Cropton Forest, along Newton Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors. It starts at Levisham Station in the south and snakes through the woods until it meets the minor road that runs right through the centre of the forest.

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.

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.

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.

Rydal Water

Rydal Water is a small lake situated in the heart of the English Lake District. It is located to the north-west of the popular tourist destination of Ambleside, and east of Grasmere. A bridleway flanks its southern shore leading to the main road to the east and along Loughrigg Terrace to the west.

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.

Striding Edge and Helvellyn

Helvellyn is the highest peak legally accessible by mountain bike in England. It stands majestically at 949m above sea level and forms part of the impressive Helvellyn ridge which runs for approximately 12km (7.5 miles) north to south, dividing the valleys of Thirlmere and Ullswater. Indeed some routes cover the full length of this ridge.

Routes on Helvellyn are however not limited to the ridge. There are a massive variety of bridleway options available including a descent off Great Dodd, Sticks Pass, Keppel Cove, Birk Side, and Grisedale to name but a few.

The bridleway to the north leads down Lower Man – a cracking descent – and then back up onto White Side. The bridleway to the south takes you to Nethermost Pike and then on to Dollywaggon Pike. All of these peaks offer a choice of some serious descents into the surrounding valleys, so just get on your bike and explore!

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.

Watendlath Tarn

This small tarn nestled between the fells of High Seat, Watendlath Fell and Grange Fell in the Lake District and sits at the top end of the Ashness Bridge road climb. In the summer there's a cafe at Watendlath Farm.

The routes in and out of here are the road climb to the north (which would be a waste of altitude if ridden as a descent), the bridleway to the west which turns into one of the most fun technical sections in the Lake District eventually spitting you out at Rosthwaite and the third option which is the bridleway headed SSE. This route climbs a little more to Blea Tarn before dropping into Dob Gill Woods and eventually Thirlmere.

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.

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