Best cycle routes in northern Lake District
Whether you are a road cyclist or mountain biker, you will be spoiled for choice in the area to the north of the Lake District National Park. There are loads of country lanes, bridleways and permitted cycleways that suit every level of experience. You’ll be guaranteed to enjoy great views along the way, too. Here we explore some of the best cycle routes to take on in the north of the Lake District.
Applethwaite and Threlkeld – Road Bike
For those looking to get a good blast out on country roads from Keswick, there are few better routes than the loop from Keswick-Applethwaite-Threlkeld-Keswick.
At just nine miles this loop is perfect for those looking for a quick quads workout before coming back in time for a family day out. The route starts out with a big climb into Applethwaite and you can then enjoy a steady descent for the majority of the rest of the route, bringing you comfortably home on country lanes.
Kirkstone Pass – Road Bike
The Kirkstone Pass ride from Keswick is a more serious route taking in 50 miles of the stunning Lake District and passing by Thirlmere Ullswater and through Ambleside.
This ride is great for those looking to explore the Lakes in a day with a perfectly located lunch stop in Ambleside along the way.
Begin by heading south past Thirlmere to Ambleside. You’ll then ride through Hartstop to Patterdale where you will hit the banks of Ullswater. Head north to Threlkeld before turning west and dropping back into Keswick for a celebratory pint or two.
Whinlatter Forest – Mountain Bike
Whinlatter Forest is a purpose-built mountain biking trail that offers a great day out for all the family.
Whether you’ve got the guts to tackle the black routes or want to opt for the easier blues, such as the 7.5km Quercus Trail, and intermediate reds, there is no end of mountain biking fun to be had in Whinlatter Forest.
Honister Pass – Road Bike
The Honister Pass is a bucket list hill climb for good riders. Located 10 miles south of Keswick, this climb has featured in the Tour of Britain and is listed in the top 100 climbs in the UK.
You’ll climb to reacha height of 356m making it one of the region’s highest passes and offering great views.
Ullswater – Mountain Bike
For those looking to head out for some hard but manageable mountain biking from their B&B, the Ullswater mountain bike trail is the perfect route. You could even take your dog with you on this off-road route and because it is eight miles most dogs will enjoy the length of the route.
Begin at the Lake District’s best lake, Ullswater, and head off into the tourist-free middle of nowhere. You’ll return to Ullswater with an arduous uphill ride before you can enjoy a final adrenaline-pumping drop into Boredale with your pooch.
Whether you want to kick up some dirt or take in the UK’s finest passes, the northern Lake District is a fantastic place for you to visit. We recommend staying in the town of Keswick, there are loads of great accommodation options, and there are even some dog friendly B&B’s, if you are looking to bring your four-legged friend.