top of page
E-Bike Safaris - Main Image

Cycling Guide - The Lake District

By E-Bike Safaris

Introduction

E-Bike Safaris has developed this guide as a starting point for anyone planning to cycle in the Lake District. Below are a snap shot of routes that E-Bike Safaris can offer you, from your accommodation, for a fun, hassle free, self-guided cycle tour.

Cycling is one of the best ways to appreciate the natural beauty of the Lake District, to explore the lesser visited valleys, lakes and fells, as well as to see many of the world heritage site’s most famous attractions. With the recently developed additional cycle trails and the advances in electric assisted bikes, cycling in the Lake District is rapidly becoming accessible for all abilities.

Whether you want to tackle some of the most challenging hill climbs in the UK, or simply enjoy a leisurely ride through the beautiful fells and tranquil villages on country lanes and gravel tracks, Cumbria has what you are looking for.  It’s a gorgeous scenic location with plenty of options for those with children.

Whilst many of the longer, challenging routes are suitable for experienced road cyclists, there are a range of easier, more leisurely cycle routes in the Lake District.  In addition, there are traffic free cycle routes around Lake Windermere, Langdale Valley and Grasmere. Both Grizedale and Whinlatter forests have extensive trails, although you will ideally need a mountain bike.

3. Langdale, Blea Tarn, Wray Castle, Grasmere 23 mile loop 1.png

Cycling with Children

The choice and range of places where you can cycle with children on cycle paths and trails in the Lakes is constantly growing. Some suggestions are:

  • Starting from the Windermere ferry is a lovely option, if you are approaching the Lake Windermere area from the south or east but do google in advance to check the ferry is operating.  After the 10-minute ferry crossing, the boat takes you to the cycle path on the western shore of Lake Windermere. From there you can head north to Wray Castle for a picnic (or cup of tea in the tea room) and a stunning view.

  • In the Langdale Valley, you can cycle from Skelwith Bridge through Elterwater to Dungeon Ghyll and back, all on the gravel paths following the river Brathay. This route has a great range of cafes and pubs at Skelwith Bridge, Elterwater and at the top of the valley at Dungeon Ghyll.

  • There are loads of off-road trails in Grizedale Forest, with distances from around 2 to 14+ miles. As well as the graded and technical mountain bike routes, there are miles of forest gravel tracks on either side of the valley. You will also come across over 40 sculptures and works of art. However, beware the forest trails are quite steep, so, if you're with younger/inexperienced kids, then a good starting point could be from Moor Top car park where you'll find the easier routes.

  • Whinlatter Forest also has some fantastic options for off-road riding, with trails from 1 to 12+ miles. More suitable for mountain biking but a few short trails are accessible for your kids and there is a café for refreshments.

  • The Keswick old railway line cycle path is a 6 mile off road route that is quite flat and with a good surface. A convenient place to join it is from the Keswick Leisure Centre, or from the other end of the route at the village of Threlkeld. There are also a number of spots along the route where you can get access the river Greta for a picnic.

Leisure Cycling Routes

While many of the most scenic road cycling routes in the Lakes involve hilly terrain, rides can be found in most areas that avoid the major hill climbs. As well as the lower gear ratio’s available and the progress of E-Bike technology, cycleways are progressively being developed in the heart of the Lake District. Below are a few suggestions of routes that include quiet country lanes, and some gravel cycle tracks suitable for hybrid and road bikes (ideally with gravel tyres).

1/ Grasmere & Coniston 17 mile loop

This is a great way to fully appreciate and enjoy the central Lakes without having to cover too great a distance. If you start near Rydal Water, there is a gravel cycle path around the lake and then lanes and cycle tracks taking you south to Wray Castle. From here some gated cycle-friendly tracks and country lanes take you up to Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater.  Travelling on there is a climb both up and then down over Red Bank taking you to Grasmere Village.  Here is Dove Cottage which was the home of the poet William Wordsworth and where it is possible to buy the famous Grasmere Gingerbread. There is a huge choice of great refreshment stops all the way around this route.

2/ Staveley & Carmet Fell 19 mile loop

This relatively short cycle loop around South Lakeland will give you the taste of the beautiful rolling hills as well as great views of the larger Lake District fells. The route follows relatively quiet country lanes as well as a few sections of quiet, gated lanes as you climb over the moors from Ings to Winster. If you start and end in Staveley there are a range of cafes and pubs, as well as the highly recommended Wilf’s café behind the Wheelbase Cycle Store. The Brown Horse at Winster and Hare & Hounds at Bowland Bridge serve lovely meals or simply a nice pot of tea.

3/ Ambleside, Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere Steamer 14-mile ride

A lovely option if you would like to combine a leisurely cycle ride with a lovely steamer trip on Lake Windermere. Either direction works fine. If you cycle from Ambleside, there are cycle tracks parallel to many of the country roads which can be useful, particularly on sections which can have quite a lot of traffic in peak holiday times during the summer. The Steamers usually run on an hourly basis both ways between Waterside near Ambleside to the north and Lakeside just north of Newby Bridge to the south. Detours can be included to visit a range of attractions including Wray Castle, the pretty market town of Hawkshead and Hill Top house, where Beatrix Potter was inspired when writing the Tales of Peter Rabbit.

Moderate Cycle Routes (great for leisure E-Bike Rides)

1/ Coniston, Duddon Valley, Wrynose 39-mile loop

Coniston, Duddon Valley, Wrynose 39 mile ride.png
Coniston, Duddon Valley, Wrynose 39 mile ride.png

This lovely route explores the central Lakes but without covering as many miles as some of the longer routes recommended below. Covering 39 miles and a total elevation of 1,250m, it is still a challenging ride, but the ascents are mostly more gradual, and you will experience breathtaking scenery from the top of Wrynose Pass. If you start from Elterwater, the route takes you south along the shores of Coniston Water, then along the peaceful and beautiful Duddon Valley.  From here is the ascent up to the top of Wrynose Pass with the spectacular views and a descent down through Little Langdale. The route can be shortened by following the road along the west of Coniston Water.  Also, a great way to slightly lengthen it (if you are up for another climb), is to turn left after descending Wrynose Pass, cycle up past Blea Tarn and return along the Langdale Valley.

Café options after passing the town of Coniston are limited, but there are options of a detour to the market town of Broughton-in-Furness, or the Newfield Inn at Seathwaite as you cycle up the Duddon Valley. There is The Three Shires Inn when you reach Little Langdale and pubs and cafes in Great Langdale.

2/ South Lakeland 42-mile loop

This is a great route to explore the South Lakeland region with its rolling fells and quiet country lanes with a total elevation of 740m. If you start at Staveley and go in a clockwise direction, you will soon be high enough for superb views of the Lake District mountains to the north and west and the rolling fells to the south and east. The route follows quiet lanes south through picturesque villages to Grange-over-Sands, then meanders in a north-eastern direction through the market town of Kendal and navigates around the fells back to Staveley.

You pass a choice of great traditional pubs and a range of cafes as you go through Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands and Kendal. You can easily adapt this route to visit attractions of your choice, including the National Trust gardens on Lake Windermere.

2/ Staveley & Carmet Fell 19 mile loop

A lovely option if you would like to combine a leisurely cycle ride with a lovely steamer trip on Lake Windermere. Either direction works fine. If you cycle from Ambleside, there are cycle tracks parallel to many of the country roads which can be useful, particularly on sections which can have quite a lot of traffic in peak holiday times during the summer. The Steamers usually run on an hourly basis both ways between Waterside near Ambleside to the north and Lakeside just north of Newby Bridge to the south. Detours can be included to visit a range of attractions including Wray Castle, the pretty market town of Hawkshead and Hill Top house, where Beatrix Potter was inspired when writing the Tales of Peter Rabbit.

Route Summary Map 

5 Days Cycling (route can be adjusted on a daily basis).

Full Circle Tour cycling route in the Lake District.

The Details

Price: 

£1,069 per person with £240 single supplement.

What is Included: 

  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast (shared twin / double rooms)

  • 5 days Hybrid E-Bike Rental with accessories

  • Detailed daily route maps

  • Daily luggage transfer

  • Van and mechanic support

  • Helmets can be provided (we encourage you to bring your own)

What is Not Included: 

  • Lunches and evening meals

  • Trains, bus and airport transfers (if required - can be organised by E-Bike Safaris)

  • Café / pub stops

  • Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs etc

  • Fees to enter local attractions and other optional activities

  • Additional days bike hire

  • Additional nights’ accommodation

  • Travel insurance

  • Sundries

Bike Options: 

​The tour price quoted above includes the rental of a Touring Hybrid E-Bike.

If you would like to bring your own bike, please do contact Phil on info@ebikesafaris.com for a revised quotation.

To Make a Booking 

​Please complete the enquiry form or contact Phil directly on +44 7930 869351 or email info@ebikesafaris.com

bottom of page