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.

Mountain Biker on Glaisdale Moor

Glaisdale Moor sits pretty much centrally in the North York Moors. It consists of the High Moor in the south and the Low Moor in the north, with Glaisdale Rigg bridging the gap in between. The valleys either side are Great Fryupdale and Glaisdale.

A road crosses both moors, traversing the ridge between them. Bridleways also cross the ridge at several points, as well as criss-crossing the Low Moor. All make for good route options, while the High Moor boasts two bridleways, one of which leads to the famous descent into Great Fryupdale.

Cleveland Way on Urra Moor

Urra Moor is the highest moor in the North York Moors National Park. Its highest point, Round Hill, is 454m (1,490ft) above sea level, and is also the highest point in the North York Moors.

The moor is bordered on its north edge by the Cleveland escarpment, and on its west by Bilsdale and Clay Bank. Several trails cross the moor, notably the Cleveland Way (a bridleway at this point) which climbs from Clay Bank in the west and crosses to meet the dismantled railway at Bloworth Crossing in the east.

Following the ridge that marks the western edge above Bilsdale is a lovely section moorland singletrack, running north to south. There are plenty of on/off options along this route too.

Askham Village

Askham is a village in the north-eastern Lake District, close to Ullswater, in Cumbria.

The bridleway west from the village climbs onto Askham Fell where the trail splits in several directions, with bridleways to Pooley Bridge, High Street and Howtown.

The village shop sells delicious home made sandwiches and of course there's the country pub for post-ride refreshments!

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.

Horseshoe Hotel, Egton Bridge

Egton Bridge is a small hamlet in in Esk Dale in the North Yorkshire Moors, just south of Egton and west of Grosmont. The Esk Valley Railway divides the community down the middle and there's a stop here. There is also a pub here serving food and real ale.

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.
Bainley Bank Farm, Great Fryup Dale

Great Fryupdale is a valley in the North Yorkshire Moors, between Fairy Cross Plain and Glaisdale Rigg. A lovely technical descent leads into it from its south-west end and there are two other bridleways of note. One climbs onto Glaisdale Rigg to meet the road, the other climbs the opposite side to meet the minor road running through Danby High Moor. The northern end of the valley opens into Esk Dale.

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.

Watendlath Fell

Watendlath Fell is 515m fell in the English Lake District that sits between Borrowdale in the west, and the Thirlmere valley in the east.

There is one bridleway that crosses the fell and it is best ridden in the SSE direction. This is accessed from the road to the north with climbs from Derwent Water in the Borrowdale valley to Watendlath Tarn, via the well-known and oft-visited Ashness Bridge and its stunning viewpoint.

From the tarn, the road turns to bridleway. You can cross the stream to the right, just before the tarn. This would take you away from Watendlath Fell, climbing Bowdergate Gill before dropping off for the well-known technical descent of Birkett's Leap.

Instead of crossing the stream, turn left and climb the steep track to the left of the buildings. After about 200m of climbing, pass through a gate and turn right. Now, heading in a SSE direction, the trail flanks Middle Crag with Watendlath Fell across Bleatarn Gill to your right. The track gradually steepens before topping out at about 500m before the descent starts. From here the track first drops to the banks of Blea Tarn (popular for fishing), then continues its descent in a easterly direction towards Harrop Tarn and Dob Gill, for an excellent woodland section that eventually will regurgitate you out onto the banks of Thirlmere and the minor road hugging its western bank.

In the summer there's a small cafe at Watendlath Farm, a lovely place to stop for refreshments.

River Esk above Ruswarp

The River Esk flows west to east along Esk Dale in the north of the North Yorkshire Moors. The Esk Valley Railway also follows most of its length. The river's source is near Westerdale, high in the moors and it finally empties into the sea 45km (28mi) later at Whitby. The entire length is contained within the national park.

Commondale from the edge of Commondale Moor

Commondale is a hamlet in the North Yorkshire Moors. There's a small tearoom here serving refreshments and a station on the Esk Valley Railway.

There are two offroad routes out of the village. The first heads east from the village centre following the field boundary. The second starts a short distance south and also heads east through fields. Both meet to become a single trail that heads south east down Esk Dale, roughly following the rail line, to Castleton. After the brief interuption of a short road section this bridleway continues to Danby, or to join Pannierman's Causeway, opening up several options.

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.

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.

The Howtown Hotel, near Ullswater

Howtown is a hamlet with a small harbour on the south-east bank of Ullswater in the Lake District. Via road, there is only one way in and out and that is the minor road that leads here from Pooley Bridge in the north, and on to dead ends at Dale Head, Boredale Head and Sandwick to the south and west.

The bridleway to the north-east leads uphill towards the stone circle The Cockpit, and is best ridden in the opposite direction as a sweet singletrack downhill section dropping down the flank of Barton Fell. Following the same route to the west leads via Bannerdale and Sandwick to the Ullswater lakeside trail, in our opinion one of the best technical rocky routes in the country, with superb views across the lake itself - eventually leading to Patterdale and Glenridding.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sheep on Castleton Rigg

Castleton Rigg is a rigg in the North York Moors between the dales of Westerdale and Danby Dale. Its highest point is at 326m above sea level. The road that runs its length (north to south) leads to Castleton in the north and Blakey Ridge in the south.

Bridleways lead off the rigg in both easterly and westerly directions, opening up a fair bit of terrain for mountain biking. There are also bridleways that break up the road sections if you're cycling its length.

Blea Tarn

There are two tarns named Blea Tarn in the Lake District. This is one located on Watendlath Fell, between the Thirlmere valley and Borrowdale, and sits close to the bridleway between Dob Gill and Watendlath Tarn. The trail climbs through the woods from the banks of Thirlmere, past Harrop Tarn, before dropping down and descending past Blea Tarn to Watendalth. From Watendlath a short climb gets you to the beginning of the excellent technical descent of Birkett's Leap.

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