Dismantled Railway Mountain Bike Routes

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Bridge Over Course of Old Railway, Lazenby Bank

The UK was the birthplace of the railway, and in its heyday there were over 20,000 miles of track. Well the age of steam came and went, and many tracks closed and were dismantled.

In time, many of these former routes were opened to the public as bridleways. Because of this many feature as part of mountain bike routes. They offer easy going on flat, road traffic-free ground for beginner riders, and provide access to more difficult routes for advanced riders.

This is our collection of mountain bike routes that incorporate a dismantled railway.

All Dismantled Railway Routes

Glendaterra & Back o' Skiddaw

On The Edge
32mi / 51km
1,567m / 5,141ft

Not for the faint-hearted, this route combines two of our most popular Lake District routes - Glendaterra & Lonscale Crags and Back o' Skiddaw - and mashes them together into a killer loop. This route is for those looking for a full day out, if your fitness is up to it!

We begin innocently enough with a gentle spin along the old railway route from Keswick to Threlkeld. We then climb onto the flanks of Blease Fell, ascending to Skiddaw House. This sets up nicely for the long descent, following the Cumbria Way to Mosedale.

A road section gets us to the next climb, to the old mine workings north of Skiddaw where we're treated a lovely descent to Branthwaite, followed by an undulating trail taking you to Peter Head Farm, which marks the start of the stunning Whitewater Dash waterfall climb.

Once the tough climb to the waterfall is dispensed with, it's time for the epic descent of exposed Lonscale Crags trail, followed by the ever-popular descent of Latrigg.

Blakey & Fryupdale Loop

The southern end of Little Fryupdale
13mi / 21km
630m / 2,066ft

Blakey Ridge is a rigg in the North York Moors between the dales of Rosedale and Farndale. The road that runs its length runs north to south between Castleton and Hutton-le-Hole.

The area offers a huge array of mountain biking route options with the main road, as mentioned, running north to south. Then there's the dismantled old mining railway, which meanders across High Blakey Moor to the west, to Bloworth Crossing and beyond. This was once off-limits to mountain bikes but has recently been upgraded to a bridleway. To the east, the same rail route skirts around the head of Rosedale leading past the old mine buildings to Hill Cottages.