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.

Rampsgill Head

Rampsgill Head is a 792m (2,598ft) fell in the Lake District, the peak of which lies just a few meters from the former roman road bridleway running along the High Street range of mountains.

Bridleways head of in three directions. Heading west drops you past Hayeswater and down Hayeswater Gill to Hartsop and Brothers Water – although the bridleway seemingly disappears before Hayeswater as you descend across a field, but just head for the dam where you can pick it up again easily. South takes the roman road route to the summit of High Street and beyond, eventually reaching Windermere. Finally north also follows the roman road route along the High Street ridge, leading predominently downhill and via some of the Lake District's best singletrack, eventually spitting you out at Pooley Bridge.

There are lots of route options available here but at 792m, be warned, there's a lot of climbing involved!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Styhead Tarn

Styhead Tarn sits close to the top of Sty Head, a mountain pass between the valleys of Wasdale and Borrowdale in the Lake District. The descents into either of these valleys are technical but rideable and fun. As ascents they're both tough, but surprisingly mostly rideable.

Another bridleway heading roughly east passes Sprinkling Tarn and then Angle Tarn before decending into Mickleden at the head of Great Langdale, where it meets the Cumbria Way.

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 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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ullswater

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District. It sits at approximately 9 miles long and is surrounded by a maze of bridleways, especially to the south, making it an ideal base for mountain biking. If you’re looking to go riding here then there are many hotels, B&Bs and campsites in the area and Patterdale, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, and Howtown make for the perfect base for exploring the lake and the surrounding mountains by bike.

Here you’ll find the Ullswater lakeside bridleway, the famous High Street roman road and plenty of routes for all abilities including some real Lake District classics. Try one of our routes in the area, or simply go exploring – there’s something for everyone!

Sandwick

Sandwick is a small hamlet on the south-eastern bank of Ullswater between Hallin Fell and Sleet Fell. Due to the healthy amount of bridleways in the area a lot of routes pass through here, including the Ullswater lakeside route and many others:

Coming down Castle Crag

Castle Crag is a 290m (951ft) fell close to Derwent Water in Borrowdale in the Lake District National Park. It is impressively rugged in appearance, standing guard to the west side of Borrowdale (with Grange Fell opposite).

A bridleway that makes up part of the Allerdale Ramble crosses the fell from north to south, with the northerly direction descending the famous Castle Crag Descent.

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.

Pooley Bridge

Pooley Bridge is a popular tourist village at the northern tip of Ullswater in the Lake District. There are several hotels and bars in the village (The Pooley Bridge Inn, The Sun Inn and The Crown Hotel) and two campsites (Waterside House and Park Foot) making Pooley Bridge a great base for exploring the Lake District's north-eastern fells.

It takes its name from the bridge crossing the River Eamont - the river that drains Ullswater, eventually, into the River Eden.

There are two main routes out of Pooley Bridge: one being the A592 that follows Ullswater's north-western bank to Glenridding at the the southern tip of the lake; the other being the bridleway that heads south-east and uphill that meets up with the High Street former roman road near The Cockpit, resulting in a multitude of possible directions. The popular routes from here are the singletrack descent to Howtown and the former roman road that climbs the ridge in a southerly direction, eventually reaching the summit High Street and beyond.

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