Happened to drive up the A6 between Kendal and Shap today and noticed a large amount of tempting tracks on the hills off the side. “Breasthigh Road” past the “Thunder Stone” looks especially tempting, not just because of the names 😉
So, can you recommend me a few good circuits in the area?
I was up there last weekend. We parked in the layby on the right a little way past Kendal Caravans (heading towards Shap) and pedalled up the road until just before it drops down again, and took the Byway off to the right. This was sketchy in the snow!
We then rode a few lanes, skirting round the hill. Basically take just about every left until you see a no-through road sign which is effectively someone’s drive. Here you need to bear right and head towards a barn full of chickens. After this, take the left (another no-through road I think) and climb then drop towards a farm.
You’ll then see a road heading up to your left. I think there’s a sign on the gate which states ‘Drive slowly’. ‘Ride slowly’ would also be fitting advice, as you’re now in for a miserable 20 minutes of winching yourself up to the masts on Whinfell. Depending on wind direction and chill factor, this could be purgatory.
A little way past the first mast at the top, you’ll see a bridleway heading left. I can’t really describe this section too well as it’s ages since I’ve ridden it ‘dry’ and last weekend it was covered in fairly deep snow, so we had to follow footprints. If you do ride it in snow, watch out for hidden ditches. I had a journey to the centre of the floor moment thanks to one of those.
You’ll then hit a tractor track, take this left, following the river all the way up the valley, through the farm, up a small climb, and down again to join the river. All too soon it turns left up a pretty steep and surfaced climb to join the A6 again, only a couple of hundred metres from where you first turned off on the Byway.
I’d check my description on a map – apologies if I’ve got my lefts and rights mixed up at any point… I’m so tired after today’s ride I had to get a muffin for sustenance halfway through typing and nearly didn’t make it back from the kitchen.