• This topic has 23 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by IHN.
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  • Lakes – Claife Heights/ Low Wray route Q
  • Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    We’re in the Lakes next week, staying at Low Wray, and I might take the bike and nip out on one of the days. I don’t know the Lakes at all, but I have found this route that looks like it’ll do me nicely:

    https://www.exploresouthlakeland.co.uk/downloads/Claife-Heights.pdf

    Question is, looking at the map, rather than taking the road from Far Sawrey down to Windermere to pick up the track that runs along the lake, as per the the route directions, I can see there’s a bridleway going North West from Far Sawrey, that climbs up and over and drops down through Belt Ash Coppice, hitting the lake further along.

    Anyone know what it’s like, and whether it’s worth doing? FWIW, I’m a bimbly-around type rider, not a gnaartec warrior.

    Premier Icon failedengineer
    Free Member

    Definitely worth going that way. Nice descent, bit slippy when wet but take it easy and you’ll be OK.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Agreed ( apart from the fact you’re mixing up your NE and NWs 😝

    PS, don’t do the cobbled bridleway at Belle Grange. Especially if it has rained in the past month. It’s slippery rounded mossy slippiness.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Agreed ( apart from the fact you’re mixing up your NE and NWs

    Oh aye, so I am. Best not tell my Scouts that 🙂

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    If you mean Harrow Slack, definitely. It’s a nice descent, all rollable.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Cheers all, yeah it’s harrow Slack.

    One more – what about the bridleway that runs north east ( 🙂 ) from Outgate back to Low Wray, that worth doing?

    Premier Icon elliptic
    Free Member

    The one past Blelham tarn? Yep that’s a handy connection.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    The one past Blelham tarn?

    Yup. Ta.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Full Member

    FWIW I did the Claife route when I was a proper newb and didn’t die. If you want a bigger day out that;s still rideable from Low Wray, you could head to Outgate then up to Knipe Fold, the BW over Iron Keld to Skelwith Bridge is grand (and leads to cake at Chesters) but then I’ve not ridden the bits from there back to Low Wray so I’m a bit hazy on the best route home. If you were really motoring you could do a loop of Loughrigg Fell and back to Chesters for more cake…

    Premier Icon Jerm
    Full Member

    I love the Claife Heights route. I can’t believe they are suggesting going down the road and missing out the excellent descent to Belt Ash Coppice. That’s the route the route guide uses. It’s really easy to find. You turn left past the Cuckoo Brow pub. I tend to stop there for a swift half and chips.

    If you want a longer day out, you can get on the ferry after the descent, go up through Windermere on the road, to Dubbs reservoir then Troutbeck, Robin Lane to Jenkin Crag and back to Ambleside before returning on the excellent cycle track to Low Wray. That avoids the somewhat dull ride along the edge of the lake too. I know that sounds long but it adds up to a spectacular and not particularly technical route. All the climbs are gentle and non technical and the descents are great.

    I’d probably stay off Loughrigg during half term. It will be heaving with walkers which will ruin what is a great ride otherwise.

    The Lake District Mountainbiking Essential Trails guide book is well worth getting.

    Premier Icon agentdagnamit
    Free Member

    Jerm – I did exactly that route last week on a raining due during our holiday in Hawkshead. Except we tried out the footpath down to the Ferry (instead of the NE bridleway), which I wont be doing again… Started out very Alpine and promising, but ended in collapsed stairs, trees etc. I’d take the BW next time!

    The ride up to the road to Dubs through Windermere is a bit of a drag, unless I missed some off road options?

    IHN – if you get to ride Claife, it’s well worth taking in the BW down to Colthouse, it can get a bit wet, but a long fun descent.

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    if you get to ride Claife, it’s well worth taking in the BW down to Colthouse, it can get a bit wet, but a long fun descent.

    I’ve only ridden around Claife a couple of times but did that BW from Long Height to Colthouse and remember it being bloody brilliant. There was a few of us flying down there and with multiple lines so there was loads of over taking, cheeky lines etc. A brilliant descent. Seem to remember we climbed up through Hawkshead and into Grizedale afterwards. Some brilliant riding around there (Claife / Grizedale / Satterthwaite etc). Loads and loads of off-piste stuff in Grizedale, coupled with the NFT and then all the amazing BWs… some of the best riding around I reckon.

    Premier Icon gkeeffe
    Full Member

    +1 for the Colthouse descent….

    Premier Icon agentdagnamit
    Free Member

    Yeah, proves you dont need to get up high to find good riding in the Lakes.

    Premier Icon jpacey
    Full Member

    Sorry for the thread hijack, I’m looking for a route in the same area.
    Renting some e-bikes in Windermere and want to get the ferry over and ride Claife heights and grizedale and stop in hawkeshead for food. Anyone got any tips on how to link it together?
    Looking to find the best descents we can fit in along the way

    Cheers

    James

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    Except we tried out the footpath down to the Ferry (instead of the NE bridleway), which I wont be doing again… Started out very Alpine and promising, but ended in collapsed stairs, trees etc. I’d take the BW next time!

    I’ve walked up that, thinking ‘this would be great on a MTB’, then changed my mind pretty rapidly when I got to the hairpins on slippery wood steps.

    There’s another descent in between Harrow Slack and Belle Grange which is pretty good. Think it’s on Strava.

    +1 for Colthouse. A much better descent than down past the tarns, although less scenic. You can follow the road around to get back to Sawrey.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    Anyone got any tips on how to link it together?

    https://www.strava.com/activities/4128083104#2746024890664590672

    Something like this would be simplest (starting at the Ferry instead of Grizedale, and ignoring the little extra loop I’ve added to the end (unless you felt like it)). The only thing I’d change about it is to continue the BW descent (Bacon Slicer) all the way down Grizedale VC rather than pick up the NF trail after you meet the fire road.

    It’s got six good quality descents on it, including Harrow Slack and Colthouse.

    Premier Icon jpacey
    Full Member

    Excellent thank you

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    Stopping in Grizedale VC for food would work better for this. Hawkshead is only one proper climb and descend into the route.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Stopping in Grizedale VC for food would work better for this.

    Food at grizedale is pretty uninspiring. To put it mildly.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    Eagles Head in Satterthwaite it is, then…

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    ^ definitely

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Eagles Head in Satterthwaite it is, then…

    Ooh yes , got a takeaway pizza from there last year. Gnomm.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Right, so, bearing in mind the tip about the Colthouse Descent, but also liking a bit of scenery, and not being quite sure as to how long I’ll have, I’ll probably do something like this:

    https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/8619304/Low-Wray-Claife-Heights-2

    It means I do the climb up to Long Height twice, but the perverted inner roadie in actually quite likes climbing.

    EDIT – and the route outline also serves as a bit of a Rorschach Test 😉

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