A Selection of Lake District Road & MTB Cycle Rides:
Grasmere is home to perhaps one of the most famous of English Sportives ‘The Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge’ this epic road ride takes place every May and sees several thousand riders depart Grasmere as they embark on an epic 112-mile ride taking in some of the best riding country in the UK.
But don’t feel overwhelmed by events like this as the Lake District, Cumbria, offers something for every type of cyclist… there are pleasant family pootles on quite country roads, to serious road rides taking in some of the steepest mountain pass climbs going, there are gentle forest tracks to serious mountain bike down hills… whatever you fancy we can supply it in spades.
Forest Side is perfectly places to take advantage of both mountain bike and road rides you can explore from Grasmere:
You could undertake a tour of the Langdales – this 18.1 mile (29.2.6km) ride is suitable for MTB’s and Hybrids. The route takes in Great Langdale, and its sister valley Little Langdale, which sit side by side amongst the high dramatic peaks of the central fells. At both ends the two valleys are interlinked by road passes. This tour tackles both passes to form a circular tour. The western pass beside Blea Tarn is the highest and steepest and is best tackled from south to north to take advantage of the more forgiving gradients on the Little Langdale side. This unlocks the whole circuit allowing you to enjoy an ever-changing selection of sights and sounds.
If you fancy off-road adventures you could try your hand at ‘The Mountain Road’… This 18.8 mile (30.4km) ride is one for toughies on mountain bikes. It heads off in the direction of the High Furness Fells, initially on a deceptively easy going ride, and then the fun begins as the route takes a turn upwards on a rocky track, locally known as ‘The Mountain Road’. On a clear day there are fantastic views of the Coniston Fells and Langdale pikes. The route takes in old quarries around Hodge Close descending to Little Langdale and finally following the River Brathay, crossing it on the Millenium Bridge and the back to Ambleside.
The 6.0 mile (9.7 km) ‘Coffin Route’ is worth a ride out but this really is a route to do early on in the morning as the mist is lifting over Rydal Water or last thing as the sun is setting on the fells if you want it to yourself. If sounds like a bit of a killer route from the name but in reality it’s quite cultured for a mountain bike route especially as it takes in the bulk of Wordsworth country, including Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Whitemoss, Loughrigg Terrace, Rydal Caves, Rydal Water and Nab Scar.
From a road point of view, you could tackle the Grasmere to St John’s in the Vale loop, this 29 mile (46.67km) ride via Dunmail Raise, though steep to start with the rewards you in spades. With epic views all around. Some of the best are yet to come too as you turn off at Wythburn and ride alongside Thirlmere on a quite service road breath-taking views of Helvellyn on the opposite side unfold in front of you, as you enter St John’s you get some serious glimpses of ‘Saddleback’ on the way round to the mysterious ancient stone circle at Castlerigg, before riding along Castle Lane to Nest Brow and making the short hop onto the A591, before the return journey alongside Thirlmere over Dunmail Raise to Grasmere.
There are also plenty of entry level rides to explore too, with routes including the Windermere West Shore Route, the Consiton to Torver Trail and the Grasmere to Wray Castle route via Rydal and Ambleside.