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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Dob Gill Woods

Dob Gill drains Harrop Tarn into the south-west of Thirlmere in the Lake District, as it descends through Dob Gill Woods.

A bridleway climbs from Watendlath Tarn, 2 or 3 miles to the north-west, up to Blea Tarn on Watendlath Fell, before passing over the top and dropping back down, through Dob Gill Woods, passing Harrop Tarn, to the quiet road on Thirlmere's western bank.

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.

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.

Cairn, White Side

White Side is a fell in the Lake District which is part of the Helvellyn mountain range, situated between the Thirlmere and Glenridding valleys. Standing at 863m (2,831ft) above sea level, White Side sits between Raise and Lower Man and forms part of most Helvellyn routes.

Bridleways stretch out in four directions, with the main rocky trail that follows the ridge leading to Raise to the north and Lower Man and Helvellyn itself to the south. The westerly bridleway descends steeply via Brown Crag to the Thirlspot car park on Thirlmere. The eastern trail is also a steep descent dropping into Keppel Cove and leading past the youth hostel and eventually delivering you into Glenridding.

Both north and south directions make fast descents followed by a climb, and in the other direction make for perfectly rideable ascents. The easterly bridleway drops down very steeply for some very technical riding, and as an ascent requires shouldering the bike. The westerly bridleway is fast and steep but should be rideable at a push as a climb too.

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!

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.

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!

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.

The Final Climb to Skiddaw

Skiddaw is a 931m (3,054ft) mountain in the Lake District. It towers over the town of Keswick, dominating its skyline.

Using Keswick as a base opens up plenty of route opportunities on and around Skiddaw, including its summit which is reached by bridleway, making it the second highest legally accessible by bike after Helvellyn. Also on offer are the well known Whitewater Dash waterfall climb or descent and a wealth of routes around the 'back' of Skiddaw, meaning its northern side.

Skiddaw's neighbour, Blencathra, also offers route options and any number of routes can be constructed within this mountain range, taking advantage of all the trails that lead to and from Skiddaw House at its centre.

North York Moors Railway near Thomason Foss

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a popular steam railway and tourist attraction. It runs from Whitby to Pickering with stops at Grosmont, Goathland, Newton Dale, and Levisham on the way. The whole route is contained within the North York Moors National Park.

The train allows bikes (at least, it did when I rode it, it might be worth checking) so can be used as part of a ride, or for the return leg of a one way route.

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.

The path to Nethermost Pike

Nethermost Pike is 891m (2,923ft) fell in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District National Park. Its summit is just off the main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge, north takes you to Helvellyn itself and beyond. South takes you to Dollywaggon Pike before dropping into Grisedale and eventually ending up at Patterdale.

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.

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.

Loadpot Hill, Trig Point

Loadpot Hill is a 671m (2,201ft) fell in the High Street range of mountains in the north-eastern Lake District. The bridleway runs close to the summit. In the north-eastern direction it descends in the form of some lovely singletrack across Barton Fell to The Cockpit stone circle where there's a choice of directions, all downhill, and include the awesome descent to Howtown

Another track takes you east to Keldhead and the main trail goes south following the former route of the High Street roman road the High Street summit and beyond.

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.

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