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Cycling and MTB
The Lake District & Cumbria

On this page (click to see) – Family Cycling, For the more dedicated, Clubs and associations, other sources for cycle hire see our activity providers page

Family Cycling

There are a number of cycle tracks in the Lake District & Cumbria area suitable for family cycling, though with young children you may need to select your route with stops and refreshments in mind. I hope you find the following useful.

 

Miles Without Stiles 37: Keswick Railway Path – 6 miles Keswick to Threlkeld and back

The Old Railway Line and Castlerigg Stone Circle – 6 miles  Grade: Short – Easy. Relatively flat cycling on smooth tracks with no route-finding challenges. Suitable for all bikes.

Swinside Circuit – 8 miles Grade: Easy – Short. Suitable for all bikes

The Northern Viaduct Round –  1.25 miles three viaducts using old railway bed from Hartley quarry to Millennium Bridge see www.nvt.org.uk

Ullswater the lakeside road from Pooley Bridge and Howtown is 4 miles and you have the option to take the Steamer back

 


For the more dedicated and experienced

C2C (Sea to Sea) Cycle Route – from Whitehaven on the West Coast to Sunderland on the North East Coast of England. also see sustrans.org.uk

The Walney to Wear or Whitby Cycle Route –  Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness to Wearmouth in Sunderland (153 miles) or Whitby (179 miles).

Cumbria Way Cycle Route (C.W.C.R.) – 72 / 80 miles from Ulverston in the South Lakes up through Lake District to Keswick then onto Carlisle.

Bird’s Eye Kendal – Kendal, Natland & Mealbank – 8.5 miles Start/finish: Peppercorn Lane Car Park, Kendal (additional car parking nearby at Parish Church and Dowker Lane Car Parks) Grade: Short / hard. All on-road with short sections of steep downhill and junctions with A685 which require caution.

Cycle and See – Arnside and Silverdale AONBArnside to Kirkby Lonsdale 26 miles (41km) Moderate/Challenge – Holme to Hutton Roof 11 miles (17km) Challenge – Warton, Silverdale & the Lancaster Canal 13 miles (20km) Moderate – Warton to Arkholme 14 miles (22.5km) Moderate/Challenge – Heversham to Farleton & Beetham 11 miles (17km) Easy/Moderate –

Cycling around the Solway Coast 5 do-in-a-day rides on easy to follow circular routes from Silloth, Kirkbride and Carlisle

Cycling in Coniston – 3 do-in-a-day circular rides on quiet roads, country lanes and tracks – Tarn Hows 8.7 miles Grade: Short-Challenge.Mix of road, forest road and mostly good roadside or woodland track – Little Langdale 9.3 miles (15km) Grade: Short-Challenge. Off-road is rough in places so favours mountain bike use – Coniston Water & Subberthwaite Common, Lowick Bridge and back: 17.5m (28km) or With Subberthwaite Common loop: 22.5m (36km) Lowick Bridge and back: Medium-Easy With Subberthwaite Common loop Grade: Medium- Moderate. On-road or cycle path, except for short section of track after Subberthwaite Common and Torver jetty

Cycle Route from Appleby: Eden Valley Ride –  26+ miles Grade: Long – Hard (all on road) Start/finish: Appleby TIC in the town centre (download pdf)

Cycle Route from Appleby: Orton Fells Ride –  27.5 miles Grade: Long – Hard (all on road) Start/finish: Appleby TIC (download pdf)

Cycle Route from Kirkby Stephen: Eden Rivers and Brough Castle Ride – 16+ miles Grade: Medium – Moderate (all on road) Start/finish: The Upper Eden Visitor Centre, Market Square, Kirkby Stephen (download pdf)

Cycle Route from Kirkby Stephen: Mallerstang and Pendragon Castle Ride –  12.5 miles Grade: Medium – Hard (all on road) Start/finish: The Upper Eden Visitor Centre Kirkby Stephen (download pdf)

Cycle Route from Kirkby Stephen: Villages and Viaducts –  12.5 miles Grade: Medium – Hard (on and off road) Start/finish: The Upper Eden Visitor Centre, Market Square, Kirkby Stephen (download pdf)

Cycle Routes from Penrith: Eden Valley –  29 miles Grade: Long-Hard, all on road Start/finish: Sandgate Car Park (download pdf)

Cycle Routes from Penrith: Edge of Lakeland – 31 miles Grade: Long – Moderate, all on-road except stony track between edge of town and Newton Rigg campus Start/finish: Sandgate Car Park (download pdf)  

Cycle Routes from Penrith: To Greystoke and Back –  15 miles Grade: Medium – Moderate, all on-road and cycle path except stony track between Newton Rigg campus and edge of town Start/finish: Sandgate Car Park (download pdf)

Cycle Routes from Penrith: Lowther Valley – 26 miles Grade: Long-Moderate, all on-road except short track under A66 Start/finish: Sandgate Car Park (download pdf)

Cycle Routes from Penrith: Lyvennet Valley – 30.5 miles Grade: Long-Moderate, all on-road except short track under A66  Start/finish: Sandgate Car Park (download pdf)

Ennerdale Water 17 miles Start/finish: Grade: Medium-Hard. Mix of road and cycle path Mining sculptures in Cleator Moor Market Square Whitehaven

Kendal to Windermere (NCN route 6) 10 miles

Kendal – Milnthorpe & Arnside – 26 miles Start/finish: Peppercorn Lane Car Park, Kendal (additional car parking nearby at Parish Church and Dowker Lane Car Parks) Grade: Long – easy, all on-road

Kent Valley – 10miles Start/finish: Kendal Grade: Short – easy. Mostly on minor roads except for short sections of stone surfaced permissive path and tarmac cycle path.

Keswick Dismantled Railway – 5.25miles There are only a few inclines, so if you take your kids on there they will not have much to climb.  

Keswick to Cockermouth – 14 miles – via Bassenthwaite Lake

Keswick Ullswater Loop – 40 miles (Keswick / Thirlmere / Grasmere / Ambleside / Kirkstone Pass / Ullswater / Old Coach Road / Keswick)

Lonscale Fell and the Glenderaterra Valley – 11 miles Grade: Medium – Challenge.Suitable for mountain bikes only Start/Finish: Keswick Leisure Pool

Lyth Valley – Damsons & Daffodils – 13miles Start/finish: Lay-by off A590 at the Strickland Arms, Sizergh. Follow signs off the A590 to Sizergh Castle (National Trust). Grade: Medium – moderate (grade becomes hard if optional detour to Helsington Church is included). All on-road except short section of ascent to Helsington Church on unsurfaced track and grassland. 

St Bees Coastal – 15 miles Medium-Moderate. Mostly on-road with some cycleway  Start/finish: Egremont Market Place

Staveley, Ings & Windermere – 10miles Grade: Short – hard. All on-road except stone surfaced track from edge of Windermere to B5284 -1.2 miles (1.9 km). Some steep descents with junctions and bends at bottom which require caution.

The Skiddaw Loop – 11 miles Grade: Medium – Challenge. Suitable for mountain bikes 

The Borrowdale Bash – 17 miles Grade: Hard – Challenge. Suitable for mountain bikes only

The Eskdale TRail – 8.5 miles family route – take the train out and cycle back (also see ravenglass-railway.co.uk)

Whitehaven & St Bees Head – 18 miles Grade: Medium-Hard. On-road and cycle path Start/finish: Egremont Market Place

Windermere Circular – 28 miles passes through the villages of Ambleside, Grasmere and Elterwater

Ullswater’s North Western Fell – 13 miles Start: Pooley Bridge car park, finish at Glenridding steamer pier car park – Grade: Medium – Challenge (see www.eden.gov.uk)

Under Cold Fell – 8+ miles Grade: Short-Challenge. All on-road Start/finish: Egremont Market Place  

Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell – 17.5 miles Start/finish: Pooley Bridge Grade: Medium – Challenge (see www.eden.gov.uk)

The Old Coach Road (Mountain Bike Ride) – 19.5 miles Start/finish: Aira Force Car Park Grade: Medium – Challenge (see www.eden.gov.uk)

Boredale and Eastern Flanks of Ullswater (Mountain Bike Ride) – 18.5 miles Start: Glenridding steamer pier car park finish: Pooley Bridge car park Grade: Medium – Challenge (see www.eden.gov.uk)

Moor Divock (Mountain Bike Ride) – 14.5 miles Start/finish: Pooley Bridge Grade: Medium – Hard (see www.eden.gov.uk)

 

North Face trail – Grizedale Forest 16km loop – there is also The Moor Top route – 7 miles (also see visitlakelandforests.co.uk)

Wheels to the Wild Cycle Route – 70 miles Starting in Wolsingham (Weardale) the route passes through Frosterley, Stanhope, Rookhope, Allenheads, Nenthead, Alston, Garrigill, Middleton-in-Teesdale and returns to Wolsingham via Hamsterley Forest.

Whinlatter Mountain Bike trails – the Altura Trail and the Quercus Trail (also see visitlakelandforests.co.uk)


Clubs and associations

KDCS – The Kendal & District Cycle Scene – The open and free club for all things cycling – rides, routes, events and campaigns

South Lakes Group of the Rough-Stuff Fellowship –

 

www.bmbo.org.uk British Mountain Bike Orienteering

 

 


sources and other sites

Mountain Bike Cumbria –  lots of info & routes

imba.org.uk – International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) UK

www.theedgecycleworks.com      www.northernmunkies.co.uk

www.cycle-route.com

Cycling / MTB Events

The Eden Valley Epic Cycle Sportive – 2nd March 2014

Grizedale Off Road Duathlon – 16th March 2014  

Whinlatter Mountain Bike Challenge – 23rd March 2014

Lakeland Loop Cycle Sportive – 27th April 2014

Wrynose or Bust & Bay Dash – 13th April 2014

The Fred Whitton Challenge – 11th May 2014

Clive’s Cumbrian Way – two-day challenge cycle ride round the county of Cumbria – 14th / 15th June 2014

High Moors Sportive

Newlands Duathlon – 27th April 2014

Coast to Coast in a Day Sportive – Saturday 28th June 2014

Lakeland 100

The Coast to Coast Cycle – a 2 day cycling challenge that will take us from Tynemouth on the East coast to Ravenglass on the West coast (175 miles) 29th – 30th August 2014

Hartside Hundred Sportive (100km)

Tour of Eden Cyclosportive (100km & 50km) Sunday 18th August 2013

Summer Lakeland Loop Cycle Sportive -August 10th 2014

Cumbrian Cracker Cycle Sportive – November 2014

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Family Cycling, For the more dedicated, Clubs and associations, other sources

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