Cycling in the Lake District

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
liamba
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Cycling in the Lake District

Postby liamba » 24 Jun 2019, 11:56pm

I’m off on a family holiday to the Lake District in a couple of weeks and am keen on taking my bike. With a wife, little fella and a dog I’m going to have to invest in a roof rack (bike usually goes in the boot). My question is, is the cycling in the lakes sufficiently good to make the investment? We’re staying somewhere between Troutbeck and Trelkeld and I’d be limited to three or four rides of circa 50km at the crack of dawn. Can’t go on a family holiday and then clear off all day!

This might sound daft but I don’t have much of a clue what the Lakes are going to be like and I can’t see me getting a huge amount of use out of the roof rack thereafter so am trying to justify to myself :-) I’m hoping you guys are going to tell me the cycling is stunning and not to be missed!

Cheers

brynpoeth
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Jun 2019, 5:34am

You mean the Troutbeck by Keswick I guess, not the one by Ambleside
Cycling north from there is very good, relatively quiet, but sort of outwith the Loch District, great views from outside, views to Fiends Fell too
In the ld proper many roads are narrow and busy

Do remember to visit the pencil museum in Keswick and the only 'Lake' in the Tarn District :wink:
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philvantwo
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby philvantwo » 25 Jun 2019, 6:31am

I've been to Keswick 3 times on walking holidays and I certainly wouldn't recommend taking a bike unless you've got a low geared bike and enjoy climbing hills.The pencil museum is a waste of money so don't bother with that.
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Oldjohnw
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jun 2019, 7:19am

Walking boots, rucksack and waterproofs more use than a bike. Get the little guy up some of the modest hills.
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby Tigerbiten » 25 Jun 2019, 7:35am

Yes and no ..... :D
From a campsite just east of Keswick, you could do a nice 50 km/1,000m climbing loop around the Skiddaw group.
Starting from Keswick, there's a nice loop over the Honister and back over the Whinlatter that is a similar size.
But that's probably it for loops.
Also the roads could well be silly busy ........ :(
Hence yes and no ........ :D

Luck ........... :D

liamba
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby liamba » 25 Jun 2019, 7:48am

Pleased I asked as not really the answers I expected. Thanks all.

rfryer
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby rfryer » 25 Jun 2019, 7:52am

I'd say definitely yes! The area to the north, "Back 'o Skiddaw" is lovely; not too hilly (relatively speaking), and very quiet in terms of traffic. Further north, the Solway coast makes for some nice flat routes, but probably too far away. To the south you've got Patterdale and Kirkstone Pass, though maybe as a there and back.

And from Keswick, you can do various combinations of Honister, Newlands and Whinlatter passes, but that's definitely an early morning activity as they will get clogged up with cars once the B&Bs stop serving breakfast.

Hope you have a great holiday!

F70100
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby F70100 » 25 Jun 2019, 7:55am

philvantwo wrote:I've been to Keswick 3 times on walking holidays and I certainly wouldn't recommend taking a bike unless you've got a low geared bike and enjoy climbing hills.The pencil museum is a waste of money so don't bother with that.


Lake District roads are too busy for me to enjoy cycling, but might be ok for early morning rides

We went to the Pencil Museum on Honeymoon and really enjoyed it...!

cyclop
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby cyclop » 25 Jun 2019, 8:05am

rfryer wrote:I'd say definitely yes! The area to the north, "Back 'o Skiddaw" is lovely; not too hilly (relatively speaking), and very quiet in terms of traffic. Further north, the Solway coast makes for some nice flat routes, but probably too far away. To the south you've got Patterdale and Kirkstone Pass, though maybe as a there and back.

And from Keswick, you can do various combinations of Honister, Newlands and Whinlatter passes, but that's definitely an early morning activity as they will get clogged up with cars once the B&Bs stop serving breakfast.

Hope you have a great holiday!

+1

blastroundthehead
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby blastroundthehead » 25 Jun 2019, 8:06am

Hi, I live in West Cumbria and often cycle around the Keswick area.

1 ... the main roads will be busy
2 ... very few routes that don’t have hills

You can access some Sustrans routes, one in particular is the C2C route that passes through Keswick from the West and out towards Penrith to the East. Probably the flattest cycling route...
Also Sustrans Route 6 which travels North/South and includes a lovely section around the quiet side of Thirlmere onto a newly opened traffic free section over Dunmail Raise and onto the main road for a short section to Grasmere.
“Gravel” routes around Whinlatter accessible from the C2C route.
Note that there have been new cycle paths created around the main East/West road that by passes Keswick, very useful for accessing the quieter lanes and Sustrans routes.

Using Sustrans Route Map you can easily see the quiet lanes and traffic free cycling routes.

Have a great time.

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Paulatic
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby Paulatic » 25 Jun 2019, 8:06am

I’ve stayed in that location probably five times now at the Troutbeck CC site and old C&CC site. The
Limitations of being there is the A66. As already stated the great loop that springs to mind is around Skiddaw heading out to Hesketh Newmarket and back round by Bassenthwaite. One of the highlights of that route the old railways path out of Keswick is still closed.
If you were actually staying in Keswick or Penrith then yes there’s loads of rides but being at Troutbeck you’ve to get to either of those places first. Originally I used to go with a MtB but it’s not long until you’ve done all the local routes twice or more.
So in answer to your question I think if I had invested in something I won’t use again then I’d be disappointed.
A good pair of walking shoes stay away from the honey spots and it can be great. First wet day get your fill of outdoor clothing shops in Keswick. Stay away from the pencil museum but do have a look to see what’s on at the theatre. Been a few times and never disappointed.
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Rod Goodfellow
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby Rod Goodfellow » 25 Jun 2019, 8:44am

"We went to the Pencil Museum on Honeymoon and really enjoyed it...!" Which?

Lead in your pencil?

Oldjohnw
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jun 2019, 8:49am

Rod Goodfellow wrote:"We went to the Pencil Museum on Honeymoon and really enjoyed it...!" Which?

Lead in your pencil?



Ah! Lake District and honeymoons. Those were the days, my friends! We went to the Lakeside Hotel at Windermere. Now it's African safaris or the Outback or Bali - all paid for by your wedding guests.

Weather merely dictated what you wore; it didn't stop you getting out and about.
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geocycle
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby geocycle » 25 Jun 2019, 9:41am

I agree with suggestions for going north and west. Mungrisedale, Hesketh Newmarket, Bassenthwaite and over to Cockermouth offer quiet rolling roads. Going south St John's in the Vale is gorgeous and if you don't mind a bit of traffic and hills you can ride down the west of Thirlmere, a short stretch of the A591 over Dunmail to Grasmere, Ambleside, then over Kirkstone (via 'the struggle') and back past Ullswater.

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cycleruk
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Re: Cycling in the Lake District

Postby cycleruk » 25 Jun 2019, 9:47am

Road or MTB ?
Personally not worth the investment.
As everyone has noted the roads can be very busy. A very early morning run or evening bimble, outside tourist hours, could be feasible.
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