Mountain biking in the Lake District

Mountain biking in the Lake District

If you are planning to go mountain biking in the Lake District you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to exciting trails and routes.

Grizedale Forest

This route is from Coniston to Lawson Park, and is 8 miles in length, including a long climb into the forest. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy magnificent views over Coniston Water, and a scenic descent past an abandoned farm at Lawson Park. If you like it rough, the other option is to take the ´rough ride´, which is 15 miles long and includes roads and tricky bridleways.


The Grand Tour of Borrowdale is 18 miles long, and the views are matched by the mountain biking, which can prove particularly challenging on the bridleways. A shorter alternative is the southern part of the route which is 14 miles long and much easier to navigate. This route misses out road sections around the lake. Another trail around Derwent Water is 13 miles, and offers riders some breath-taking scenery en route.

The Old Coach Road at Glenderaterra

The Old Coach Road at Glenderaterra covers 28 miles, and traverses the mountain valley. It is a popular route for mountain biking in the Lake district. The Keswick Railway Cycle Track provides a great warm up area for riders who are planning to tackle the tough bridleway ride. The route proves fast and enjoyable and is moderate difficulty. The ride ends with a thrilling descent. A shorter version of the route is 17 miles long and starts at Threlkeld.

Skiddaw House to Keswick

If you are feeling fit, take the route from Skiddaw House to Keswick which is 18 miles long, and includes some easy on-road cycling, before getting harder on the land track towards Skiddaw House. The return to Keswick follows more natural tracks, most of it off-road. The descent from Skiddaw Summit is 12 miles long, and offers mountain bike fans the longest bike descent in England. The ride back down makes it all worthwhile, after a massive uphill push.


The Barf Circuit is 22 miles and includes mostly pleasant cycling on narrow country lanes and forest roads. The bridleway parts are fairly tricky, but the route overall is varied. The Forestry Commission Cycle Trails are 6 miles and 8 miles long, and follow smooth forest roads. These trails are perfect for novices.


Excellent routes in Ullswater include: Silver Point to Glenridding, which is 6 miles long, the circumnavigation of Place Fell, which is 12 miles long. An easier ride includes Howtown to Pooley Bridge, 15 miles, and Pooley Bridge to Lowpot Hill, which is 25 miles in length. A 6-mile descent will take you to Howtown, and you can combine a mountain bike ride with a cross-water boat trip at Ullswater.

If you are planning a visit to the Lake District, why not base yourself in Windermere and book into a Windermere spa hotel with hot tub suites? Make the most of your stay and find a wide choice of mountain biking routes within easy reach of Windermere.

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