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.

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.

High Raise Summit

High Raise is a 802m (2,634ft) high fell in the north-eastern Lake District. There are actually two fells named High Raise, the other is in the Great Langdale area.

High Raise forms part of the High Street range of mountains and the epic roman road bridleway that runs it's length skirts the High Raise summit. It'd be rude not to hop up to the top to say you've done it!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bram Rigg Top

Bram Rigg is a 672m (2,205ft) high fell in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, and it is accessible by bridleway. The trail to the south gets you to Calders before descending along the ridge of Rowantree Grains past the summit of Arant Haw to Winder, and beyond, dropping down to Sedbergh. North climbs to The Calf’s summit before descending the famous Bowderdale singletrack. West from either summits of The Calf or Bram Rigg give a couple of options to drop down and meet the road north-west of Sedbergh.

Lower Man

Lower Man is a 925m (3,035ft) mountain in the Helvellyn range of mountains in the Lake District. The main bridleway that runs the length of the ridge passes right over the Lower Man summit.

From here the bridleway heads north, descending technically at first then smoothing off later before climbing again onto the summit of White Side. There's also an alternative route of the ridge if you turn left in the dip between these two summits.

The the west there's a footpath leading off the ridge, but obviously off limits to bikes. To the south east is the mighty Helvellyn - meaning a further climb to the summit, but worth it for the amazing views and the descending return leg.

High Street is a mountain range in the north-eastern Lake District, with its summit standing at a 828m (2,718ft). It is famous for the Roman road that once traversed its ridge, running between the former Roman forts of Brocavum (near Penrith) and Galava (near Ambleside).

In the 18th and 19th centuries the summit plateau was used for summer fetes by the locals, which included sports such as wrestling and horse racing, adding to this particular fell's colourful history. To this day the summit is still named Racecourse Hill on Ordnance Survey maps.

For mountain biking, High Street has a decent selection of bridleways and offers high altitude ridge riding at its best. To the west a bridleway descends steeply through a field towards Hayeswater and beyond along a hard-packed path leading eventually into Hartsop. This can also be mostly ridden as an ascent to get onto the plateu in the first place, but expect some pushing up the section just above Hayeswater.

Heading north, the High Street Roman Road follows the ridge and takes in Rampsgill Head, High Raise and Loadpot Hill before turning into sweet singletrack leading all the way to The Cockpit and Pooley Bridge beyond.

South from the summit (also following the roman road trail) will drop you down the edge of Park Fell and into the valley that contains Troutbeck and Limefitt Park, and eventually joins a road leading to Windermere.

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.

Sedbergh, Market Town

Sedbergh is a town in the Yorkshire Dales and a great base for exploring the Howgill Fells. To the north there are two routes onto Winder, giving access to The Calf via the mountain ridge, and beyond to Bowderdale or one of the various other bridleway options once you're up there.

East gets you deeper into the Yorkshire Dales, via road. South-east leads to Dentdale, east goes to Garsdale and north-east follows the River Rawthey, leading to Ravenstonedale and eventually Kirkby Stephen.

The Buck Inn at Chop Gate

Chop Gate is a small hamlet in Bilsdale, on the B1257 road that runs between Clay Bank and Helmsley in the North York Moors. There's one pub, The Buck Inn, that serves real ale and good food.

Aside from the B1257 there's Raisedale Road, which leads north-west, eventually to Carlton Bank. Theres also a bridleway heading off roughly north west called Cold Moor Lane, which leads up onto Cold Moor and beyond (but better ridden as a descent). There are a couple of other bridleways if you head north up the road a little. Both lead east onto Urra Moor, one at Medd Crag and one via East Bank Plantation.

Borrowdale

This picturesque valley in the Lake District is probably the finest example of a steep sided glacial valley in England. The higher southern end, the 'jaws of Borrowdale' is overlooked by steep imposing cliffs on each side. The River Derwent runs its length and empties into Derwent Water at the lower and wider nothern end of Borrowdale. At the far northern end of the valley is tourist favourite Keswick with its pubs, cafes, bike shops and museums. To the south, the road begins to rise as it lifts you up over Honister Pass.

The valley is home to several settlements. The largest of these is Rosthwaite, which has a couple of pubs and a shop for refreshments. Also in the valley are Stonethwaite, Seatoller and Seathwaite.

Borrowdale, as you might expect, is riddled with mountain bike route options. Bridleways, in some cases clinging to the rocky precipices, run the length of the valley as well as descending off the surrounding fells. One of the more well known routes is the Borrowdale Bash but its worth exploring because some of the other trails offer fantastic mountain biking.

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.

Back on the Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a long distance footpath in the Lake District that stretches right the way from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north. A lot of it is footpath only but there are some fantastic parts of bridleway too, such the section from Great Langdale right the way to Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, via the famous Stake Pass. And also of note the route on and around Skiddaw, particularly the Lonscale Crags area.

Glaisdale Village

Glaisdale is a village in the North Yorkshire Moors, just south of Lealholm and west of Egton Bridge. Two bridleways lead west onto Glaisdale Moor, leading to Glaisdale Rigg. Another drops down through fields into the valley and to Glaisdale Beck. There's a station here too if you're using the Esk Valley Railway to return from a route.

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.

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