The Lakes, as it is known in England, is one of the most picturesque National Parks in the UK. It boasts hundreds of lakes and tarns set in mountain grandeur and attracts all types of visitors from the day tripper to hard core mountaineers. There are seriously manic MTB routes over mountain passes which only the experienced or deranged should attempt! For the not so serious there are forest rides at every level. The newly opened Altura Mountain Bike Trail at Whinlatter Forest MTB Trail has the longest stretch of purpose build MTB Trail in the Lakes. It has 15km of single track and rivals Grizedale's North Face Trail. Staying in the Lakes has many options ranging from camping, YHA, B&B and Hotels. While the weather can be unpredictable this need not put you off. Just take a look at some of the photos posted on the trails here at mbpost to whet your appetite.
This page acts as a gateway to several areas within the English Lake District which offer classic mountain biking.
Scroll down the banner on the left to see the current 'areas' and 'trails' within the Engish Lake District.
Examples of the type of trails you can do are shown below:-
Getting ThereSouthern Lakes
Take the M6 and leave at Junction 37 west to Kendal on the A684. Follow this on the outskirts of Kendal and through Windermere to Ambleside. Coniston can be easilly accessed from Ambleside by taking the A593 for 6.5 miles.
Great Langdale is accessed by following the A593 from Ambleside for 2 miles and turning right at Skelwith Bridge onto the B5343. The head of Great Langdale is 4.5 miles through Chapel Stile.
Take the M6 and leave at Junction 40, the Penrith turn off and head west to Keswick on the A66 for 17 miles.
CentresThe main centres in the Lake District are Ambleside in the Southern Lakes and Keswick in the North. Both are very busy touristy towns but with character. Both offer good amenities and bikes shops. Bike Treks in Ambleside is paticularly good.
AccommodationThere are campsites and numerous hotels and guest houses but book in advance so as not to be disappointed. If you are looking to do it on the cheap then campsites can be found at farms out of the main centres.
National Trust Camping
There are good quality Hostels all over the Lakes at a budget rate. Worth looking at. They are not what they were 30 years ago (thank goodness!). YHA
Hotels, B&B and Property Rental
Hotels & B&B
Hotels & B&B
Where to RideIn the Southern Lakes
1. Grizedale Forest has a whole series of trails, visitors centre, bike hire and a new trail called The North Face Trail (TNF). The best downhill is off the east shore of Coniston and on the edge of Grizedale, down to High Nibthwaite.
2. High Street and Kentmere (see my trails).
3. Kentmere via Longseddale up Gatescarth Pass to Haweswater and up over Nan Bield Pass and back down to Kentmere.
4. Walna Scar Road on the eastern edge of Coniston Old Man.
5. The Dunderdale Fells just west of Coniston have a series of great bridal paths (bike trails) which can be linked with Walna Scar.
6. From the Langdale Valley and up the seriously tough Rossett Gill past Angle Tarn and Sprinkling Tarn to Sty Head (not for the faint hearted!) and down Styhead Gill to Rosthwaite. Through Borrowdale and back along Stake Pass. Clock wise or other. This is mean!
7. The new Whinlatter Altura Trail is now open with 15km of sweet singletrack.
In the Northern Lakes
1. From Keswick round Derwent Water via Watendlath where there is an awesome downhill to Rosthwaite.
2. Siddaw and out and back - 2500ft climb and descent.
3. Round Skiddaw.
4. Serious stuff up Scarth Gap Pass in Buttermere and Black Sail Pass.
5. The popular Helvellyn (see my Trails)
External Linkswww.lake-district.gov.uk - Lake District National Park Authority
www.cumbria.gov.uk - Cumbria County Council
www.visitcumbria.com - Lake District tourist information
www.lakedistrictletsgo.co.uk - Genral info from Lake District Lets Go
www.langdaleweb.co.uk - general info from Langdale.Web
www.lakedistrictoutdoors.co.uk - Lake District Outdoors website
www.cyclingcumbria.co.uk - Cycling Cumbria website
www.mountain-bike-cumbria.co.uk - Mountain Bike Cumbira website
www.lake-district.gov.uk/index/enjoying/webcams - webcams of the Lake District