lakes routes from keswick – 3 days

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  • lakes routes from keswick – 3 days
  • o96192083

    Hi all

    I’m going to the lakes for a week in April, staying just east of Keswick in St Johns in the Vale, which is within spitting distance of white side (helvellyn). I’ve a family friend coming who is into walking, and wants to do some mountain biking (I’m bringing two bikes :D), so setting aside maybe 3 days for walking/rest, I’ve 3 days of mountain biking. I’ll probably just do one day with him as I do want to do some more challenging stuff.

    Helvellyn is a must, probably from Glenridding even though it’s on the other side of the range. That’s one day. That would be done by myself.

    Then I was thinking as a good intro to mountain biking (as he’s really not done a lot of anything remotely extreme), maybe Whinlatter? I’ve never been to a trail centre as such, and thought the red route might be OK for a beginner-ish. I’m confident he’ll be very balanced and get a feel for the bike, but I’m not sure if red is a good starting point. Any ideas?

    Then for the final day of riding, I thought maybe high street, but have heard awful things about it in bad weather, and additionally heard it’s not great for actual riding technicality and skill, but more for seeing beautiful views. That’s nice, but both would be ideal when I have a budget of three days!
    So any other suggestions within a reasonable distance would be greatly appreciated. A trip on a ferry ( a la singletrack a few months back) would be lovely to incorporate!

    If any of you feel up to answering some walking queries too.. any suggestions for 3 decent routes? I thought helvellyn striding edge, one day, as that would be a decent challenge. Then I get stuck and can’t think of anything that, annoying as it sounds, wouldn’t be more fun on a bike! So any ideas for two days walking routes would be appreciated as well.

    thanks a bunch


    Along with Helvellyn via Striding Edge, Scafell Pike via the corridor route (starting at Seathwaite) would be my other classic Lakes walk.

    Whinlatter Red is great fun – it is basically two big ups and two big downs. There is nothing on the trails themselves that would be beyond a beginner that I can recall – but the descents are scary fast if you stay off the brakes.


    Cool, thanks for the info re: whinlatter, think that’s what we’ll be doing then!

    Not sure about Scafell, got half way up there once and had to turn back as it turned into a lightning storm. I’ve heard it’s not that great anyway, lots of scree and not much of a view. Worth a look though.


    Back of Skiddaw is a must do classic ride.


    If it is views that you want ride up Skiddaw 🙂

    Steep though!

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Blencathra and Sharp Edge are close to Keswick, for walking.

    I don’t think anyone’s mentioned the Borriwdale Bash for MTB have they? Nice lower level route if the weather is bad.


    No, haven’t heard that one. If there are any GPX’s floating about that’d be great as I have memory map standing by with all lakes maps ready to go! Got to have a few backup routes for, as you say, when the weather is bad (note not IF)!

    Skiddaw does indeed look nice.

    Praying that this easter is like last easter (very hot and very sunny), but probably won’t be!

    Premier Icon giantonagiant

    I’d say get into KMB (In Keswick).

    They have maps of all the local routes and if not then they’ll certainly be able to give you pointers as to where is dry (relatively speaking!) and where is wet, which can make a ride either a bogfest or not at this time of year up there.

    +1 Borrowdale Bash. A great ride out, with a couple of cafe options on the way round.

    If you go to Whinlatter, I’d say give the blue a go first and see how your mate goes, then the red if you think they’re up for it. The south loop is pretty exposed and if the weather is very wet or windy it can be a bit grim.

    Have fun, it’s great up there.


    Whatever recommendations you get here, they’ll probably be a Memory Map file for it here.

    Premier Icon djflexure

    I’d disagree with some of the advice above.
    Don’t think either Borrowdale or Whinlatter red are good for beginners.
    They will have to climb quite a bit and the descents will be too difficult for them to enjoy.
    Whinlatter blue is ideal and the south loop of the red is easier.
    There is a nice run from Keswick along the river to Threkeld, up the bridle way towards Skiddaw house then back down the other side of the valley to Keswick. Nice easy fast descent that a beginner could enjoy, and you would too.
    Nothing worse than feel responsible for somebody who can’t cope with where you’ve taken them IMO.
    Enjoy your week


    thanks a lot for the advice, I’ll ask him how confident he feels, but given that it’s a drive over, It’ll be a whole day activity so best to start on the blue and then the red if possible anyway. Will look on the map for that riverside ride, sounds ideal. I rarely get to go up there so will appreciate any riding I can do!

    thanks for the GPX links, will have a look through!

    And will now go look for borrowdale bash, ta.

    Premier Icon Trekster

    Would advise Whinlatter blue extended loop to gauge your mates fitness more than his skill. It is always easy enough to get off and walk down stuff but if his fitness is not up to it then it is not worth considering the other suggestions, there is a lot of climbing in them all which will sap a beginners will to live quite quickly. I remember the first few times I rode those trails and take this into consideration nowadays when taking others.
    Then if he manages the blue route consider the red south loop rather than the north, just a bit easier on the climb and descent IMO. See how he feels after that. That has been enough for some of my newbie friends
    +1 djf suggestion. Bit of hiking and rocky exposure to add to the fun and then the blast down Latrigg Terrace back into Keswick 😆
    Riverside ride starts behind swimming pool/leisure centre. Free parking on roadside and some of the area beside old railway station. Big climb up through Threlkeld 🙄 past Blencartha outdoor centre. Go up one side of the valley to YHA and then return via the other side 😆

    Premier Icon senor j

    Helvelyn is also weather dependant imo.If it’s bad do the Borrowdale bash or go to Ambleside and ride Langdales/Loughrigg Terrace.
    Whinlatter is good fun. Do all three trails to make a decent ride.
    Skiddaw figure of 8 is a must .

    Premier Icon jonostevens

    Sharp Edge is a fun walk. The final upward bit is almost like rock climbing.


    high street can be technical if your route includes the ullswater lakeside path south of howtown to patterdale. i also really like the stretch from loadpot hill to howtown via the cockpit.

    The descent from Watendlath on the Borrowdale Bash is going to be a baptism of fire.

    And Helvellyn, with some one new to riding….c’mon!

    Claife Heights is fun, and not tough. Proper tour of Grizedale, see how he gets on on TNF trail and look at Parkamoor if he’s enjoying more techie stuff.

    Hawkshead, Iron Keld, Langdale, Loughrigg Terrace and back is fun.

    Keswick to Skiddaw House,back down Glendaterra beck back to Keswick has a proper mountain feeling.

    Old Coach road, will end back near St John In The Vale.

    Amazing riding there, you’ll have a good time.

    If he’s got a head for heights, I’d walk up Blencathra via Sharp Edge and back down Halls Fell, classic easy scramble (unless it snows and ices up…). Close to you too.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    I was suggesting Borrowdale for the OP only, he said his mate was only riding one day.

    Looking at your pics, I think I might go and join him though.

    Sad I haven’t been to Lakes since October or November last.



    KMB will have a map of the ‘Riverside ride’ – known locally as ‘Glenderaterra’ after the beck in the bottom of the valley. No need to come into town if you’re staying down in St John’s – you can pick up the route by heading straight to Threlkeld. There’s a nice off road route takes you through Threlkeld Quarry – easy to find as it runs parallel to the B5322. I’d also avoid being tempted into the full figure of eight around the back of Skiddaw – it’s the world’s most boring ride.

    It’s worth considering Sticks Pass from where you’re staying – you can hike up your side and the descent into Glendridding is one of the best. There’s a few miles of tarmac via Dockray, then you can pick up the Coach Road all the way back to St Johns. Not suitable for a beginner though.

    Premier Icon tomaso

    Have a look here for routes on the boggies website

    boggies gpx route borrowdale bash

    helvellyn twice

    If your mate is a beginner I’d go for the Quercus trail at Whinlatter to get him up to speed and stop for an early lunch and then do the proper trails afterwards.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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