Lake District Cycle Routes
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Lake District Cycle Map
|Carlisle to Cockermouth||34 miles (55 km)||This challenging route follows NCN route 7 from Carlisle to Cockermouth.|
The route starts just outside the city of Carlisle on the River Caldew and then follows the river along the largely off road Cumbria Way before a section on quiet country lanes leads you into Cockermouth on the edge of the Lake District. Highlights on the route include the lovely Over Water, views of the River Derwent and the backdrop of the beautiful Lake District Fells.
|Coast to Coast Whitehaven to Tynemouth||137 miles (220 km)||This is the complete C2C NCN route crossing the country from east to west along a number of cycle tracks/paths and minor roads. You will see some spectacular scenery as you pass through the Cumbrian Lake District and Northumberland before the last leg through County Durham and the finish point at Tynemouth Pier on the east coast of England.|
Click here for the C2C from Whitehaven to Sunderland
Click here for a comprehensive guide to this popular route.
|Cockermouth to Workington||12 miles (20 km)||Starting in Cockermouth head west to the coast along NCN route 71. Highlights include lovely views of the River Derwent along the way and a lovely off road stretch towards the end of the route that begins at pretty Camerton. You finish at Workington Harbour.|
|Coniston Water||4 miles (6 km)||This easy cycling and walking trail runs along the western shoreline of the beautiful Coniston Water in the Lake District National Park. The route starts at the car park at Lake Road and runs through Coniston Hall Park to Hoathwaite Farm. It's perfect for beginners and families looking for a safe, waterside ride. Bikes can be hired from the Coniston Boating Centre.|
If you'd like to continue your outing you could head to the nearby Grizedale Forest where you will find miles of way-marked cycling and walking trails. You could also follow the Cumbria Way a couple of miles to the north east where you will find the beautiful Tarn Hows.
|Ennerdale Forest||12 miles (20 km)||Enjoy miles of traffic free cycling and walking trails in this super forest in the Lake District National Park. The route starts at the Bowness Knott car park next to the beautiful Ennerdale Water. You then head east into the forest along the lakeside path. After leaving the lake behind the track follows the River Liza into the forest to Ash Crag before returning along the south side of the river. The forest tracks are quite uneven in places so a mountain bike is required for cyclists. |
The views of Ennerdale valley are fabulous with some of the highest and best-known fells in Cumbria forming a spectacular backdrop - Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth, High Crag, Steeple and Pillar are all visible on the route.
Just to the south of the forest is Pillar, the eighth highest mountain in the eighth highest mountain in the Lake District. You can climb to the peak from the forest via the striking Pillar Rock.
|Fred Whitton Challenge||109 miles (175 km)||Follow the route of the Fred Whitton Challenge cycle ride through the Lake District. It is a circular route which starts and ends in Grasmere. There are many steep and challenging climbs with the route visiting the following locations:|
|Grizedale Forest||4 miles (7 km)||This huge forest in the Lake District has several way-marked cycling and walking trails to enjoy. There are six way-marked mountain bike trails of varying lengths and difficulty. These include a moderate (blue) 2 mile trail which visits the Goosey Foot and Juniper Tarns. The Hawkshead Moor Trail is graded red and visits the western side of the valley, overlooking Coniston Water. For an exciting rollercoaster ride try The North Face Mountain Bike Trail. The singletrack trail offers an adrenelising descent through oak woodlands and conifer forest. |
Walkers can enjoy 8 super, way-marked trails. These include the moderate Bogle Crag Trail which runs for 2.5 miles and features numerous sculptures along the way. The Silurian Way is a longer, more challenging walk which visits the summit of Carron Crag, the highest point in the forest. The walks offer great views of the Lake District mountains and lakes such as Coniston Water, Windermere and Esthwaite Water.
There's a great visitor centre at the start of the route where you can hire bikes and find out more information on all the cycling and walking trails in the forest.
|Hardknott Pass||19 miles (30 km)||Tackle one of Britain's toughest climbs on this spectacular cycle ride in the Lake District. Hardknott Pass shares the title of steepest road in England along with Rosedale Chimney Bank in North Yorkshire.|
This ride starts in the village of Grasmere and heads around the lake towards Eltwerwater before heading into Great Langdale. You pass Lingmoor Fell and Blea Tarn before beginning a steep ascent through Wrynose Pass to Hardknott Pass where you will pass the Hardknott Roman Fort. You then descend into Eskdale, passing along the River Esk before finishing at Eskdale Green. It's an extremely tough ride but with stunning views of the Lake District mountains throughout.
If you would like to shorten the ride you could park at Blea Tarn car park and cycle to Hardknott Pass from there.
|Kendal to Settle||43 miles (70 km)||Follow NCN route 68 on this challenging but rewarding route which takes you from the Cumbrian Lake District National Park, through the Yorkshire Dales National Park to Settle. You start by the River Kent in Kendal and follow country roads to Oxenholme and onto Sedbergh. This section has some challenging climbs but splendid views of Lambrigg fell and the River Lune. From Sedbergh you continue on minor roads crossing the rivers Rawthey and Dee as you enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park. You then pass through Dent and Ingleton where you can see the lovely Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. The final stretch takes you to the finish point in Settle with a lovely spell along the River Ribble.|
|Kendal to Windermere||10 miles (16 km)||This short but attractive route takes you through the Lake District National Park and along NCN route 6 from Kendal to Windermere.|
The scenery on the way is fabulous with a lovely stretch along the River Kent at the start and some beautiful countryside scenery near Stavely (below). The route finishes on the banks of Lake Windermere with its stunning views and variety of tourist attractions.
|Keswick Railway Path||6 miles (10 km)||Enjoy an easy cycle or walk along the Keswick Railway Path in the Lake District National Park. The tree lined path runs along the trackbed of the old Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith railway, following the River Greta from Keswick to Threlkeld. It's great for families as it's a nice easy cycle ride with a flat and well defined path. Walkers can enjoy the path too as it makes for a super riverside stroll.|
The latter part of the video below gives a good commentary on the railway path and shows the lovely scenery you can expect to see on the route. This includes the beautiful tree-clad Greta Gorge and views of the magnificent Blencathra mountain.
Near to the route is the fascinating Castlerigg Stone Circle. Often thought of as the Stonehenge of the Lake District the ancient stone circle is located just to the south of the path and is well worth a visit.
To extend your walk you climb to the nearby Latrigg Fell and enjoy great views over the area.
|Penrith to Consett||53 miles (85 km)||Travel from Penrith in the Cumbrian Lake District along the C2C NCN route to Consett in Durham. This can be completed as the 2nd leg of the C2C ride following from Whitehaven to Penrith. Highlights on this ride include spectacular views of the Penines and a number of cycle friendly off road tracks. Also of interest are the Long Meg and Her Daughters Stone circles near Penrith and the beautiful scenery of the South Tyne Valley (below).|
|Thirlmere Reservoir||9 miles (15 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle around the lovely Thirlmere Reservoir in the Lake District National Park. The route starts at Wythburn at the southern end of the lake and then follows the National Cycle Network route on the western side of the lake. On the return on the eastern side of the lake walkers can follow the woodland trail at the lower part of Helvellyn. Cyclists can follow the A591 which runs right alongside the lake for a couple of miles. |
You can get a bit to eat at the inn at Thirlspot.
|Wast Water||7 miles (11 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around one of the most stunning lakes in the Lake District National Park. Wast Water is the deepest of all the lakes and is surrounded by some of the highest mountains - Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike (England's highest mountain). In 2007 the public voted Wast Water Britain’s favourite view in an ITV television program. Although the complete route below is suitable for walkers, a quiet country road runs along the western edge of the lake so you can enjoy an excellent waterside cycle ride too.|
Wast Water is located about 6 miles north east of Ravenglass.
|Whinlatter Forest Park||7 miles (11 km)||Enjoy some fantastic walking and cycling trails in this huge park in the Lake District. There are fantastic views of Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick as you make your way through the mixed species forest and peaceful glades. The park also has two fantastic purpose built mountain bike trails with cycle hire available within the park. The red graded Altura Trail is a challenging 19 km mountain singletrack, the Quercus Trail is an easier 7.5 km trail. The C2C cycle route also runs through the park so you could continue your ride on the Whitehaven to Keswick or Whitehaven to Penrith cycle route.|
|Whitehaven to Keswick||31 miles (50 km)||Starting on the West coast of Cumbria follow the C2C NCN route from Whitehaven to Keswick in the Lake District. This route can be completed as the first leg of the C2C crossing from Whitehaven to Sunderland/Newcastle. Highlights on this journey are Whinlatter Forest and the stunning scenery of the Lake District. This includes the beautiful Lowes water and Crummock water (below).|
|Whitehaven to Penrith||53 miles (85 km)||Starting on the West coast of Cumbria follow the C2C NCN route from Whitehaven to Penrith in the Lake District. This route can be completed as the first leg of the C2C crossing from Whitehaven to Sunderland/Newcastle. Highlights on this journey are Whinlatter Forest, the stunning scenery of the Lake District and the spectacular Cumbrian mountains - including Blencathra below. Particularly eye catching are the beautiful Lowes and Crummock water as well the popular and stunning Derwent Water (below). There is also a lovely off road stretch along the River Greta just after you pass through Keswick.|
|Whitehaven to Sunderland||134 miles (215 km)||This is the complete C2C NCN route crossing the country from east to west along a number of cycle tracks/paths and minor roads. You will see some spectacular scenery as you pass through the Cumbrian Lake District and Northumberland before the last leg through County Durham and the finish point at Roker Pier on the east coast of England.|
Click here for the C2C from Whitehaven to Tynemouth
Click here for a comprehensive guide to this popular route.
|Windermere-Circular||28 miles (45 km)||This circular route takes you through some lovely Lake District scenery as you travel around the beautiful Lake Windermere.|
The route passes through the villages of Ambleside, Grasmere and Elterwater and exposes you to some stunning views. Highlights are the spectacular lakeland scenery around Windermere including Rydal Water, Grasmere Lake, Esthwaite Water and the lovely wooded section through Hawkshead Hall Park.