Grizedale Forest

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
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Posts: 38
Joined: 23 Sep 2008, 1:21pm

Grizedale Forest

Post by Cummings »

Hi all,

me and a mate are thinking of going away for a couple of days to the lakes. After a bit of research, I cam up with Grizedale Forest. There seems to be a few trails there etc, good for camping too.

So has anybody got an opinion they'd be willing to share with me? Is it worth the 2 hours journey (I live in Halifax)???

Look forward to your replies..
half cog
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 11:23pm

Re: Grizedale Forest

Post by half cog »

Was up there last November. The forest fire roads are very easy stuff. There are some good little bridalways through the trees on the Coniston side of the forest. Have not tried the North Face trail as I dont care much for manufactured trails allthough you might. If you look North of the forest ( couple of miles ) you will see an area of old forest called iron keld. bridalway goes past high arnside and is a much better ride. personally unless I was going with young children I would not bother with grizedale and would explore the wild bridalways just north of coniston lake. There are some superb switchbacks and rock slab bits. We use a Dawes double edge tandem and some of it was quite interesting. Not doing this bit allright we have done it said the other half all in the same breath. We normally ride Yorkshire Dales ( Nidderdale ) and took the dawes down the shooting box decent from moor edge last year allthough there has now been a land slip half way down so its got more than a bit iffy. Surprising what you can do with a tandem and sometimes not so surprising what you cant do. Hope this helps
p.s. im going back when I get the chance . I think its well worth it.
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Joined: 6 Dec 2007, 8:07pm

Re: Grizedale Forest

Post by Hastinger »

Very much depends what sort of cycling you like. Very easy surfaces on forest tracks suitable for the forestry equipment if you like that sort of easy stuff. Great views from the tops. We go because we used to tow the trailer round it easily, now use tag-a-longs with kids on those surfaces. See plenty of solo adults there too, enjoying the non challenging stuff. The North Face trail is worth riding, only quite short though, took me 75 minutes on my own (including wrong turns) and that was on a non-suspension mountain bike and I'm just a middle-aged person with no real fitness, so draw your own conclusions there! I'm suspecting if I was 20 years younger and didn't have to go to these sorts of places because of the surfaces required for the kids I'd be happy to visit, but wouldn't keep going back.It's absolutely brilliant for us at present as a family.Hope that helps you decide.
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Joined: 30 Nov 2007, 2:13pm

Re: Grizedale Forest

Post by Snakes »

I'd say the southern Lakes are worth the 2 hour drive from Halifax. Grizedale offers a good mix of man made stuff, and they've certainly put some effort in. You'll find good facilities on site too, although perhaps pricy for some, Bike hire's also available if required.

The only thing I'd add, and I'm a little bias in my opinion.. And that's that you mustn't forget the rest of the trails in and around the area. As a previous poster said, north of Consiton's nice too. I've been heading to Coniston when time permits for well over 20 years, and I love it. I can't say I'm so bothered about Grizedale, but then I too don't go for the man made stuff as I enjoy the freedon/tranquilety offered elsewhere within the Lakes. That said, Grizedale makes for a good facility catering for all abilities.

If you're wanting something that's more challenging, then try the circular route out of Coniston past the Sun pub, and then follow the 1 in 4 / 3 ascent upto the southside of the Old Man and along the Walna Scar route. Once on the Walna Scar road (it's not a road at all, but knarly with rocks) just after the car park you follow the track for approx 1/2 mile, then left onto Bridleway. I'll not give the full detail here, but if you get the OS Explorer map for the area, I'm sure you'll get the idea. Basically the route takes you to the southern end of Coniston, and gives you good views of Coniston almost all the way round. When you travel back up the eastern side of Coniston, you can cut up through Grizedale.

The Black Bull inn serves fine ale, with the Coniston micro brewery at the back. Worth a visit, and a tasty drop too! : )

Andy aka snakes
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Re: Grizedale Forest

Post by cycleruk »

As others say the fire roads in Grizedale are fast and smooth. They are not flat!
Your either climbing or descending. They will test your nerve, wondering if your front wheel will grip on the gravel at 30 mph. :shock:
There have been specific "manufactured MTB trails made lately, but I have not been on them yet.
The area is criss-crossed with bridleways and it's these that are interesting. Use the Fire roads to link these up.
Get an O.S. map of the area (borrow from library) and work a few routes out.
You can tailor the ride to include the Windermere ferry or the Langdale valley.

One of our favourite rides =
Park at Wheelbase bike shop (Staveley) [free parking].
Then bridleways over to Troutbeck, Ambleside, road then to Grizedale (Claife heights).
Tracks around & through Grizedale to Sawrey.
Drop down to the ferry, over Windermere lake and back to Wheelbase.
I don't know your fitness but the Lakes will test your climbing and map-reading abilities. :D

If you are going at a weekend then Saturdays are less busy on the fells, (not as many walkers as Sundays) but get there before 10.A.M. if you want to find a "free" parking space. :wink:
If you do go to Grizedale there is a visitor centre in the middle. Parking is not free there but some of the forest peripheral car parks are.
You'll never know if you don't try it.
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Joined: 30 Apr 2007, 10:30pm

Re: Grizedale Forest

Post by MarkC »

I wouldn't want to rely on the bike hire at Grizedale. I hired 2 bikes from them a few years ago whilst on a relaxing holiday. Each was very poor. Poorly maintained and gears and brakes barely worked. It was a good job that I knew how to fix them up.
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