Family Cycle Rides in the Lake District



by Alf Alderson

As one of the UK’s most beautiful regions it’s no surprise that the Lake Districtis so popular amongst cyclists.

It also has a fearsome reputation — climbs such as Honister Pass and Whinlatter Pass are challenging enough to have featured in the Tour of Britain, whilst the grueling combination of Hardknott and Wrynose Passes between Little Langdale and Eskdale offers some of the toughest cycling in the country, with 33 per cent gradients in some places.

But the Lake District is not all super-steep hills, fortunately! There are plenty of easy lakeside cycle paths and quiet country lanes, along with the mountain bike centres at Whinlatter and Grizedale, where even the youngest cycling enthusiast can get to know this beautiful landscape.

So with a little effort, anyone can access some truly magnificent Cumbrian scenery on their bike



Family Cycle Rides in the Lake District

Great bike rides for all the family

Most of the rides in this guide take in a combination of cycle paths, gravel and fire roads and minor roads. On the very few occasions where you may encounter heavy traffic this is made clear in the route guide.

ONE STAR – easy, mainly flat rides on minor roads, cycle paths and/or non-vehicular trails; suitable for young children.

TWO STARS– longer rides on a mixture of road and off-road terrain with some hills; may not be ideal for younger children.

THREE STARS– longer rides on a mix of road and off-road terrain with a number of climbs (not steep) and possibly some longer sections of road riding; suitable for more experienced cyclist


  • The Lake District: an introduction
  • Equipment/Grading the Rides
  • The Rides at a Glance
  • Windermere& Wray Castle
  • Tarn Hows Loop
  • Kentmere Valley
  • Cartmel & the Coast
  • Great Langdale
  • Eskdale Trail
  • Tilberthwaite & Lt Langdale
  • Threlkeld Railway
  • Thirlmere Shore
  • Buttermere Loop
  • Ennerdale Loop
  • Useful Information

What they say …

“There’s little to fault in this winning formula – clear maps and instructions, concise and well laid out with the reader very much in mind. These are great value for money.”

— Outdoors Writers and Photographers Guild, Awards for Excellence 2013


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