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.

Rosedale

Rosedale is a valley in the North York Moors National Park, it runs north-west to south-east and divides Blakey Ridge from Rosedale Moor.

On its eastern banks the remains of several old mine buildings add extra interest.

Several route options are available, most of which take advantage of the dismantled mine railway that flanks the whole valley, a reminder of times gone by.

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.

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.
Stork  House  (ruin)  Bransdale

Bransdale is in the North York Moors, nestled between Bilsdale East Moor, Cockayne Ridge and Rudland Rigg. The hamlet of Cockayne is the main settlement in the dale and the only road in is Bransdale Road which leads in from Gillamoor, crossing Ouse Gill and Shaw Ridge.

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.

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!

Paved route of Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is a long distance footpath which is named after the county of Cleveland, but in fact is mostly based the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

The route starts in Helmsley in the south-west of the national park and makes its way north along the western edge of the moors. From here it flanks the Cleveland escarpment - which makes up the northern edge of the moors, heading generally north-easterly towards the coast at Saltburn. From Saltburn, the route hugs England's north-east coast until its end and Filey Brigg, over 100 miles from the start.

Unfortunately for us mountain bikers, as is the case for most long distance trails, it is not possible to ride the whole length of the Way. A lot of it is footpath. Despite this, as a lot is also bridleway, many routes in the area are made up of, at least in part, the Cleveland Way.

The Knott Summit

The Knott is a fell in the High Street range in the Lake District. It stands at a respectable 739m (2,418ft) and although there isn’t a bridleway route to the summit, the actual bridleway passes within a 20m or so, so if you’re a peak bagger then it's worth shouldering the bike and clambering up to tick it off the list.

The bridleway that we’re talking about is the one leading west to east up Hayeswater Gill from Hartsop and on to High Street summit or High Raise. The route down to Hayeswater isn’t exactly clear but as long as it’s not too wet you won’t go far wrong by just pointing yourself downhill and going for it.

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.

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 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.

Levisham Moor near Sheephouse Rigg

Levisham Moor is in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is situated between the impressive Hole of Horcum and Cropton Forest. The one track crossing the moor runs from Saltergate Bank in the north almost to Levisham, which lies just to the south.

Track Through Heather on Blakey Ridge

Blakey Ridge is a rigg in the North York Moors between the dales of Rosedale and Farndale. The road that runs its length runs north to south between Castleton and Hutton-le-Hole.

The area offers a huge array of mountain biking route options with the main road, as mentioned, running north to south. Then there's the dismantled old mining railway, which meanders across High Blakey Moor to the west, to Bloworth Crossing and beyond. This was once off-limits to mountain bikes but has recently been upgraded to a bridleway. To the east, the same rail route skirts around the head of Rosedale leading past the old mine buildings to Hill Cottages.

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.

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.

Path from Winder to Arant Haw

Winder is a 473m (1,552ft) fell in the Howgill Fells near Sedbergh in the north-western corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. A bridleway climbs the steep-sided southerly aspect from Sedbergh to a point north-east of the summit where it meets the more major track that runs the length of the Howgill Fells. Turning right onto this track will take you eventually to Great Dummacks, The Calf and beyond into Bowderdale, via Rowantree Grains. Turning left and doubling back slightly on yourself takes you to the summit of Winder and then descends the opposite side, meeting the road north-west of 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.

Levisham Station

Levisham Station is one of the stops on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and is situated in Newton Dale, just west of Levisham itself in the in the North Yorkshire Moors.

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.

'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.

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