OverviewSo you want to ride in the Lake District? You want something that's going to challenge you? Well this ride has got it all. You have a high mountain ascent with stunning scenery which will leave you speechless. You have technical challenging descents which you will want to have a go at over and over again. Alongside that you can spend time in a typical Lakeland Village, Coniston and sample some of the local brew. Don't be fooled by the 24 miles distance on this ride. It's tough you'll need the day to do it especially in the snow, so pace yourself. This is one ride you will never forget.
Trail DescriptionOnce you've parked the car on the west side of the lake about 1 mile from Water Yeat set out on the A5084 North with Coniston Water on the right.
1. After 1.25 miles look for a small lane on the left after a disused quarry take this line. After a sharp right-hand bend the bridlepath takes a left follow this. Pass the disused reservoir on the left and continue to Mill Bridge keeping to the left of the river. Cross a small brook on the right and then right again onto the farm track. This brings you out on the main road the A5084. Please note that you can just follow the A5084 instead of going off road.
2. Turn left onto the A5084 and then immediately left onto the A593. Follow this for 0.875 miles and you will see a steep lane on the right, The Old Rake (Hummer Lane). Take this lane it's steep! Follow this for about 2.5 miles with the forest on the right, dropping down to a tight right-hand junction. There is a signpost here which I think says Water Yeat Bridge. Carry on this narrow lane for 0.8 miles past Hawk car park. You will see a five bar gate on the right after which there is a bridlepath sign. Take this. Head up and left joining a wide forest track.
3. Follow this as far as you can and out of the forest. Pass through the gate and over the bridge called Natty Bridge. The track now becomes narrow.
4. Keep on climbing and be aware that you are going to the left of the hill in front of you. This hill is called White Pike. Take great care here as you can go horribly wrong and end up in a bog and the old mine workings. Not a lot of fun.
5. The track joins a wider recently maintained track. This is part of Walna Scar. Make sure you turn right and climb. It's steep! Keep going to the top. You can see the steep track snaking up a mountain in front of you.
6. At the top lower the saddle and enjoy the ride! Follow it right down into Coniston. This is 3 miles of pure joy! All rideable and 1805ft of it! Towards the end you pass through a gate and onto a metalled road. Proceed down this to join the main road in Coniston. Turn left and then immediately right past St Andrew's Church on to the B5285.
7. Continue for about 1 mile with a lake on the right-hand side. Take the right-hand lane signposted to Brantwood. Carry on past the head of the lake and up the hill to the junction. Turn right and proceed with the lake now on your right.
8. Proceed along this lane for about 1.85 miles past the historic Brantwood House. Look carefully for the Forrester's house on the left (after the 1.85 miles) and the wide forest track. Take this and follow the main wide forest track up as it snakes to the top. It's a long climb! About 1.5 miles and 712 ft ascent. Please note:- If you do not want to do this part of the route you may proceed along the lane running to the east of the lake. This will bring you to High Nibthwaite.
9. At the top turn right and keep right with the lake down below on the right too. Follow this to Low Parkamoor and on. This is easy to follow and then descends on a technical track to High Nibthwaite. You come out in the village by the red telephone box. Turn left onto the road.
10. After half a mile take the right lane which takes you over a small bridge. (Please note this road was closed due to bridge problems and an alternative longer route may have to be taken. This would entail you carrying along the road until you hit the main A5084 and turning right back to the car.) If the lane is open proceed over the bridge and join the main A5084. Turn right and proceed back to the car.
Getting ThereFrom the North
From Ambleside take the A593 to Coniston. Drive through Coniston following signs for Torver. Turn right at Torver onto the A5094. Proceed along here and park as near the southern end of the lake as possible
From the South
From the A6 towards Kendal take the A5901(T) through Newby Bridge to Greenodd. Here turn right onto the A5092(T) towards Lowick Green. Turn right here on to the A5084 parking at the head of the lake.
It is best to park the car on the south west side of Coniston Water. There is a car park on the right on the A5084 about 1 mile after Water Yeat. Parking here gives a minimum of the road riding but also finishes with a superb downhill at High Nibthwaite. Ideally parking should be near High Nibthwaite but this is difficult as there is no parking in the little village.