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.

Barker's Crags, Scugdale

This popular rock climbing spot is set overlooking the sleepy valley of Scugdale in the North York Moors. A single bridleway climbs from the road in the valley through the crags, past Brian's Pond, and eventually to the summit of Whorlton Moor. From here it descends the fast stony track on the east of Carlton Bank, leading to the Lord Stones Cafe and Country Park, a great spot for refreshments, a bite to eat, and fantastic views across the Tees Valley.

Seatoller

Seatoller is a small hamlet in the Borrowdale area of the Lake District. It sits nestled amongst dramatic mountainous scenery at the foot of the Honister Pass with its famous slate mine.

There's a pub and shops for refreshments, and a public toilet here as well as Tourist Information selling maps and guides. There are no bridleways directly from Seatoller but it features in many routes as Honister Pass gives great road access to several high altitude bridleways.

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 Rawthey and Path to Cautley Spout

The Rawthey is a river in Cumbria. Its source is on East Baugh Fell and it flows, at first north-west, around the north of the fell, before heading south. It flows through Cautley as it skirts the east of the Howgill Fells.

It picks up the Clough River (coming from Garsdale) and the River Dee (coming from Dentdale) before reaching Sedbergh, the start of many Howgill Fells routes.

Eventually the Rawthey joins the River Lune at Stangerthwaite.

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 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.

Ambleside

Ambleside is a bustling tourist town in the heart of the English Lake District, situated at the head of England's largest lake, Windermere. Its central position makes it a great base for mountain biking, and exploring the national park.

From here, you can get easy access to many top mountain bike trails including the Helvellyn ridge to the north, High Street to the north-east, the Kirkstone and Garburn passes to the east, Claife Heights to the south, Furness Fells to the south-west, Little Langdale and Great Langdale to the west and finally Grasmere Common and Greenup Edge to the north-west.

So, tons of opportunity around here. Also, you won't have any difficulty finding somewhere to stay, there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs in Ambleside, and it has more than its fair share of pubs, cafes and tearooms too which are open all year round serving refreshments.

Trig point on the Calf

The Calf is the highest peak in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, it rises to 676m (2,218ft) above sea level and sits exactly on the national park boundary of the Yorkshire Dales. There are bridleways in all directions here. North-east follows the ridge for a little longer before dropping into Bowderdale on the amazing Bowderdale Singletrack. West descends White Fell before crossing Chapel Beck and ending at the road at Four Lane Ends. South leads to Bram Rigg Top where you can descend Bram Rigg, eventually coming out at Birkhaw. Or, stay on the ridge from here and continue to Little Dummacks and beyond, eventually dropping down into Sedbergh.

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.

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.

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.

Bowderdale in the Howgill Fells

Bowderdale is a dale in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria. It’s head is right on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, close to Cautley Spout and it runs north through the fells to Bowderdale village. A track drops into the dale from the summit of The Calf and descends the steep-sided valley for its entire length of 7km (5mi) on one of the best pieces of singletrack you will find in this country. It’s simply unmissable, if you’ve never rode this then do so now!

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.

Road Bridge at Skelwith Bridge

Skelwith Bridge is a Lake District hamlet between Ambleside and Great Langdale. There are no bridleways to speak of but the quiet road is used to connect up sections of various routes.

Derwent Water

Derwent Water is one of the more popular lakes in the English Lake District. It is fed by the River Derwent as it runs down from the high mountains of Borrowdale. The busy town of Keswick is situated on the north bank, which is a great base for mountain biking.

The viewing area at Clay Bank carpark

Clay Bank is one of the main road routes onto the northern edge of the North York Moors. The road that runs up it is the B1257, which leads through Bilsdale and eventually to Helmsley in the south of the national park.

Close to the top is Clay Bank carpark, ideally situated to start a ride from. At the top of the pass there's a gate on either side of the road where the Cleveland Way long distance footpath crosses the road. It leads up towards the Wain Stones to the west, no bikes allowed up here (and you wouldn't want to if you'd seen the steep steps to the top) but there's a wonderfully serene forest track that runs below it, passing below the Wainstones that's available for use.

On the other side of the road (the east), it is a bridleway. This climbs steeply onto Carr Ridge and Urra Moor. From the top the trail forks off with the Cleveland Way (still in bridleway form) leading off to the east across the Urra Moor, eventually meeting the dismantled railway at Bloworth Crossing and the Ingleby Incline. The other fork leads south across the edge of the moor, high above Bilsdale, with various crossings onto and off the moor.

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.

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.

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.

Reflections on the River Esk, Ruswarp

Esk Dale cuts right across the northern part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The River Esk flows its length. Its western end is near Castleton and the river flows roughly east, eventually reaching its mouth at the seaside town of Whitby. There are several towns and villages along its length including Danby, Lealholm, Glaisdale, Grosmont and Sleights. The popular Esk Valley Railway also runs along its entire length, meeting up with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in the east.

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