Guidebook to a 5-day cycle tour of the Lake District, with 2 options each day up to a total of 186 miles and almost 5000m of ascent, and 15 tough day rides from Keswick, Ambleside, Penrith and bases to the southwest and southeast of the National Park. With outlines of other tours and the Fred Whitton Challenge ride (112 miles over 7 iconic passes).
Using existing cycle trails and quiet country lanes, this guidebook presents a five-day cycle tour of the Lake District. For each day there are two options, giving up to a total of 186 miles and almost 5000m of ascent. There are also 15 challenging day rides departing from Keswick, Ambleside, Penrith and bases to the southwest and southeast of the Lake District National Park. It also gives an outline of the 112 mile Fred Whitton Challenge ride over seven iconic passes.
Step-by-step route descriptions are accompanied by either 1:100,000 or 1:200,000 mapping, together with details on gradient, major climbs and cafes/pubs en route. Also included is a comprehensive 'what to take' checklist plus other practical information such as preparing your bike, packing for a cycle tour, fuelling your ride and more.
The guidebook allows for flexible touring of between 2- 7 days, suggesting schedules taking in all the dales, lakes and passes and making maximum use of budget accommodation. It contains full logistical information, as well as advice on preparation and equipment.
For nearly 50 years Cicerone have been producing guidebooks on recognised treks, regions, areas and general tips for hikers.
We have used them countless times and they've always provided excellent insight and knowledge that you only get through experience, giving you the edge to make your trip a success and more enjoyable too.
If you're a gram counter you can easily remove sections of the book to take with you making your own ultra-lightweight guidebook with only the essential sections that you require.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
SeasonsThe best time to go touring in the Lake District is between April and October, when the days are longer and the weather is at its best. But even then, you will undoubtedly get wet and experience blustery days. So be prepared for them. As a general rule always plan your route so that you are riding south to north with the prevailing south westerly winds.
CentresAmbleside Grasmere Troutbeck Shap Penrith Stainton Keswick Cockermouth Eskdale Green Ravenglass Broughton in Furness Grizedale Cartmel Grange-over-Sands Bassenthwaite Buttermere
DifficultyEach tour stage and day ride and is graded on two criteria: distance with rides categorised as short, medium or long, and total ascent with rides categorised as easy, moderate, hard or challenging. Easy - smooth pedalling with gentle inclines Moderate - undulating with an occasional steady climb, but nothing to get you out of the saddle Hard - involves some hard climbs with gradients up to 10 per cent Challenging - long steep ascents or multiple short sharp gradients that will most definitely hurt. Inevitably, the majority of rides fall into the latter categories.
Must SeeIncredible scenery and rare wildlife - the Lake District is England's largest national park; local craft breweries; local foods; Kirkstone Pass; Hardknott Pass; the impressive panorama of Yewbarrow, Kirkfell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head
Table of Contents
Lake District National Park
Geology and landscape
Plants and wildlife
History and culture
Weather and when to ride
Where to stay
What type of bike?
Preparing your bike
What to pack
How to pack
Fuelling your ride
Riding as a group
The Fred Whitton Challenge
Maps and itineraries
Using this guide
A tour of the Lake District
The Eastern and Far Eastern Fells
Stage 1A Ambleside to Troutbeck over Kirkstone Pass
Stage 1B Ambleside to Troutbeck via Shap
The Northern Fells
Stage 2A Troutbeck to Keswick via Threlkeld
Stage 2B Troutbeck to Keswick via Hesket Newmarket
The North Western Fells
Stage 3A Keswick to Cockermouth over the passes
Stage 3B Keswick to Cockermouth via Lorton
The Western Fells
Stage 4A Cockermouth to Eskdale Green via Ennerdale Green
Stage 4B Cockermouth to Eskdale Green via Egremont
The Southern and Central Fells
Stage 5A Eskdale Green to Ambleside over the passes
Stage 5B Eskdale Green to Ambleside via Coniston and Hawkshead
Ambleside and the Central Lakes
Route 1 Over the Wrynose and Hardknott passes from Ambleside
Route 2 Around the Central Fells
Route 3 A circuit of the Eastern Fells from Ambleside
Penrith and the North East
Route 4 Haweswater and Ullswater from Shap
Route 5 Lowther Park and Ullswater from Penrith
Route 6 Around Inglewood Forest
Keswick and the North West
Route 7 Loop around the Back o’ Skiddaw
Route 8 Whinlatter and Honister passes from Keswick
Route 9 Across Allerdale
The South West
Route 10 Back o’ Sellafield and Wasdale Head
Route 11 The Far South West from Ravenglass
Route 12 Around the Furness Fells from Broughton
The South East
Route 13 Around Grizedale Forest
Route 14 Across Windermere from Cartmel
Route 15 A circuit around Whitbarrow
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C What to take
Appendix D Further reading