Disused Mine Mountain Bike Routes

Disused mine buildings in Rosedale, North York Moors

The UK once had a thriving mining industry. Those days are of course now long gone in this part of the world, but they have left reminders scattered about our landscapes. Evidence of mining is everywhere.

Of note for mountain biking are the disused mine buildings in Rosedale in the North York Moors (pictured) and Greenside Mine near Glenridding in the Lake District. Greenside Mine is high up in the Helvellyn range and most routes out of Glenridding onto the range will pass though it.

This collection of routes incorporate some sort of disused mine. Great if you like to include a bit of history with your bike ride!

All Disused Mine Routes

Glendaterra & Back o' Skiddaw

On The Edge
Distance: 
32mi / 51km
Ascent: 
1,567m / 5,141ft
Offroad: 
73%
Difficulty: 
97%

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.

Back o' Skiddaw

Back o'Skiddaw
Distance: 
21mi / 34km
Ascent: 
893m / 2,929ft
Offroad: 
59%
Difficulty: 
76%

This classic northern Lake District mountain bike route takes you around the north edge of the Skiddaw range of mountains, starting from Mosedale.

The route set off with a decent climb to the old mine workings north of Skiddaw where it delivers a nice 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 all downhill for a glorious 7 miles (11km) of fun, all the way back to the start at Mosedale, punctuated only with one short climb up to Skiddaw House.

Blakey & Fryupdale Loop

The southern end of Little Fryupdale
Distance: 
13mi / 21km
Ascent: 
630m / 2,066ft
Offroad: 
62%
Difficulty: 
62%

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.

Helvellyn & Sticks Pass

Distance: 
12mi / 19km
Ascent: 
936m / 3,070ft
Offroad: 
83%
Difficulty: 
75%

This is a technical and strenuous route taking you to the summit and back of England’s highest peak legally accessible by mountain bike, Helvellyn.

Although this shouldn't be attempted by the faint-hearted, the promise of 954m of descending offers enough motivation to make all the climbing worth it. This combined with the breathtaking views across the Lake District and as far as Scotland on a clear day should be enough to put Helvellyn firmly on any serious mountain biker's to-do list. So what are you waiting for?