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Best Cycling Routes in the Lake District

What better way to explore the Lake District than on your bike?

We’ve compiled a list of some of our much-loved trails in the Lakes. Many of which pass some of the top locations and offer plenty of fantastic views.

Read on for our five favourite cycle trails in the Lake District. 

1. Wrynose and Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass from Wrynose and Hardknott Pass Trail Lake District

This trail begins and ends in Ambleside and offers two moderate and two notoriously difficult climbs. Hardknott Pass is infamous with some of its gradients reaching 30% – a section that many regard as the most difficult in the Lake District. You will pass through the Eskdale Valley on to Coniston, from which you will have a much less strenuous ride back to Ambleside.

Distance: 42 miles
Time: Allow between 6-7 hours

2. Low Furness Ride

Furness Abbey Barrow in Furness Low Furness Trail

The Low Furness Ride begins in Ulverston and ends in Barrow-in-Furness, and is a fairly undemanding section of the challenging Waltney to Wear route. During the route you will follow a number of minor roads, passing farmland and the remains of the 12th Century Furness Abbey.

Distance: 12.5 miles
Time: 1.5-2 hours

3. Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest Cycling Trail

This route starts and ends at the Grizedale Visitors Centre, passing numerous attractions with only one steep but fairly short climb. You will ride through Hawkshead, following the road along Coniston Water’s eastern shore, passing Brantwood, once home to John Ruskin. You’ll enjoy some great views of The Old Man of Coniston and Dow Crag on the other side of the Lake.

Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2-3 hours

4. Kendal and Windermere

Kendal to Windermere Cycle Trail

The route from Kendal to Windermere offers some of the best scenery in the Lake District. Start a Kendal and end at the Brockhole Visitor Centre in Windermere. Upon leaving Kendal, you will be following country roads to alongside the River Kent, passing through the villages of Stavely and Burnside until you reach the dedicated cycle path to Windermere.

Distance: 11.5 miles
Time: 1.5-2 hours

5. Cycling Tour of Windermere

Southern Windermere Fell Foot Park

Beginning and ending at Windermere Train Station, this route offers a great way to see the well-known body of water in all its glory. Following quiet country lanes around the South of Windermere, this trail features plenty of stopping points for fantastic Lakeland views. Use the car ferry to return, and take a breather while enjoying the beautiful scenery from another perspective.

Distance: 22.5 miles
Time: 3-5 hours

Images Courtesy of: Chris Worsley ; Martin; David Dixon (CC-BY-SA 2.0).