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Lake District Mountain Biking Essential Trails

lake District mountain biking routes essential trails guide

A fantastic book of 26 routes that shows the best mountain biking the Lake District has to offer. A great variety of routes, clear directions and excellent maps.

See below for route details

Book Details:
ISBN: 978-1-906148-12-2
Written by Chris Gore & Richard Stanton
224 pages
Book Size is a compact 12cm x 17.5cm 
Second Edition

Great Value


RRP £15.95

Fast Despatch

The Mountain Biking Routes

Map showing the approximate recommended starting points for each route as indicated in the book.
Click on a marker for route information.

Classic MTB Lake District Routes

In the guide each route includes a map with the route highlighted and clear text directions.

lake district mountain bike routes photo 1

Route 1. Blawith Loop

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 12km

A mountain biking route that takes in quiet Lanes, farm tracks and great singletrack. Fantastic descent off Woodland Fell. A good route for avoiding the hot spots of the Lake District.

Route 2. Claife Heights Route

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 15km

An ideal introduction to Lakes riding: a ferry ride on Lake Windermere, a dolly along the scenic shore of the Lake and then steady climbing on wide tracks with some good climbs and superb downs. The run down from Claife is one of these: fantastic rolling downhills through open land.

Route 3. Cartmell Fell Route

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 18km

A hidden gem of a bike route taking in the tracks and trails around Cartmell Fell area and the forest of Chapel House Plantation

Route 4. Garburn Pass Route

Route Grade: extreme. Distance 15k

The route crosses one of the classic Lakeland passes. There is some seriously technical climbing and some fast, fun descent. It is a mountain bike route for experienced riders crossing high mountain country.

Route 5. Black Combe Route

Route Grade: medium / hard. Distance: 13km

This route starts at Townend Hall, goes onto Wickham and then uphill to Black Combe and hopeful weather permitting some great views, then its downhill to Hall Foss and then along back to Townend Hall.

Route 6. Grizedale Loop Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 15km

This will thrill you with the descents and have you reaching for the lowest gears on the climbs. A short but cracking bike route, ideal for an evening, night ride or just a quick blast when time is limited.

Route 7a. Lonscale Fell Loop Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 19.5km

Steep road work gets most of the climbing out of the way before a track runs up into the hills. Things get technical on a descent to Glendettera beck. Then technical singletrack back down the valley and onto Keswick

Route 7b. Skiddaw Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 16.5km

Carry/push/ride – whatever you can manage and then it’s time to tackle the loose stone descent at whatever speed you feel happy with!

lake district mountain bike routes photo 2

Route 8. Ullswater Singletrack Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 18km

An awesome little bike route for the technically able mountain biker.

Route 9. Seathwaite-Dunnerdale Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 18km

Superb undulating terrain. Rewards for hard climbing are a great downhill through the quarries a superb technical downhill section of singletrack and later more singletrack leading to the Dunnerdale Valley

Epic MTB Routes

Route 10. Kentmere & Longsleddale Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 23km

This is a great route for the novice biker looking to become a bit more adventurous or for those wanting to start and end their ride at a great café.

Route 11. Whitbarrow Scar Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 21km

A route that passes through some beautiful semi-natural woodland. It throws up a few surprises that will have you screaming for more!

Route 12. Troutbeck & Jenkin Scar Route

Route Grade: medium. Distance 20km

Set around Ambleside this is a varied and surprisingly technical route.

Route 13. Ings & Winster Route

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 23km

If you prefer country lanes and bridleways to rocky slopes then this is the bike route for you. A great introduction to ‘proper’ Lake District mountain biking if you’ve just come off the family trails at Grizedale and want a long ride.

lakje district mountain biking Broughton

Route 14. Broughton Moor & Seathwaite Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 21km

This route packs everything for the experienced rider, good singletrack, technical climbs and storming descents.


Route 15. Iron Keld & Loughrigg Route

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 24km

A great bike route in the heart of the South Lakes travelling among great mountain scenery without having to gain a lot of height!

Route 16. Mitterdale & Eskdale Route

Route Grade: extreme. Distance: 26km

Again this is a route that offers everything for the enthusiastic mountain biker. It is also an area where you will find solitude ‘far from the madding crowd’

Enduro Routes

lake district mtb enduro routes

Route 17. Helvellyn

Route Grade: hard / extreme. Distance 22.5km

This route gives you the option of three descents: a relatively easy track, a mainly-singletrack-with-a-couple-of-steep-bits option and a ridiculously rocky descent that will test just about everyone.

lake district mountain bike routes photo 3

Route 18. Grizedale & Parkamoor Loop

Route Grade: Hard. Distance: 27km

Don’t make the mistake of thinking Grizedale is just the North Face Trail and a few forest tracks. This bike route is quite a day out and with over 900 metres of ascent is not for the faint hearted.

Route 19. Borrowdale Bash Route

Route Grade: extreme. Distance: 27km

Fairly easy road work and some easy trails to start with then working up towards the end of the route with some serious descents, massive road climbs and some technical bits of singletrack.

Route 20. Grizedale & Esthwaite Route

Route Grade: Hard. Distance 30km.

If you want technical climbs, singletrack and technical downhill then you will not be disappointed. With 1100 metres of ascent be prepared for tired legs at the end of it.

Route 21. Skiddaw Loop

Route Grade: hard . Distance: 44km.

The bridleways around Skiddaw have long been popular for mountain biking as they strike a nice balance between being too hard for the less experienced and too boring for the pros.

Route 22. High Street North Route

Route Grade: extreme. Distance: 30km.

A big day out in the hills. This mountain bike route involves some pushing/carrying, undulating terrain, fantastic views and a descent that is seriously fast in places and features some flat-out singletrack.

Route 23. Walna Scar Route

Route Grade: extreme . Distance: 21km

This route is for experienced mountain bikers, as it involves crossing high mountain country on very difficult technical ascents and descents.

lake district mountain bike routes photo 4

Killer Lake District Routes!

Route 24. Parkamoor & Tilberthwaite Route

Route Grade: extreme. Distance: 40km

This route never has a dull moment, stunning views of Parkamoor, the remoteness of Blawith Fells, the exhilaration of descending Walna Scar road, the shock of civilisation at Coniston, the landscape of Tilberthwaite quarries and the sheer beauty of Tarn Hows.

Route 25. Big Day Out

Grade: extreme. Distance: 50km

This is one of the best mountain biking routes in the Lake District taking in many of the best bridleways – some easy, some technical, making it a hard day.

Route 26. High Street & Swindale Route

Route Grade: extreme. Distance 60km.

This is a tough bike route over high mountain terrain. Although not technically demanding riders undertaking this route should be used to a long day.

Also includes lists of top ten singletracks, downhills and hill climbs.

Plus Information on Whinlatter and Grizedale Mountain Bike Trail Centres


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