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Rides around Kendal

I'm spending a week in Kendal at Easter this year. Never cycled in the Lakes before and know of the great climbs (Hardknott, Honister, Kirkstone, ect) but don't really know how close Kendal is to the some of them. Looking to do between 40-60 miles each ride. I have mapped 1 ride from Kendal which takes in Kirkstone.

Can anyone recommend some other good loops from Kendal or do I need to get in the car for a better starting point?



  • VarianceVariance Posts: 130
    A drive up to Keswick (about 30 mins) would see Honister, Newlands and Whinlatter passes all in easy reach. The likes of Hardknott/wrynose are a fair distance from kendal itself. So may require a drive to Coniston or maybe Eskdale Green.
  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    I live in Kendal and have done most of the Lakeland climbs (including Kirkstone, Honister, Hardknott and Wrynose) from home. The roads can be busy on a bank holiday so you are better trying to get out in the morning before the traffic builds up; if you are planning on doing Hardknott/Wrynose its better when you don’t have cars stopping you and getting in the way. Another option is to head from Kendal into the Yorkshire Dales where the roads tend to be a bit quieter.
    Here are a few routes I use, the distances are a bit of a guess as my old diary’s I use to log training rides are in my draw at work.

    (approx 40 miles) Set off from Kendal and follow road to Burneside, Bowston, Plantation Bridge, Staveley, Windermere, Ambleside (most of this is cycle route to Ambleside), Clappersgate, Outgate, Hawkshead, Newby Bridge (at Newby Bridge turn left as and follow road signed to Windermere but turn off this road at Fell Foot, you will find Fell Foot or Gummers Howe road a good climb), Bowland Bridge, Crosthwaite, Under barrow (good little hill back over Scout Scar) and back to Kendal.
    (approx 50 miles) Set off from Kendal and follow A6 (will be little traffic on this road) north to Shap village (nice steady climb up to top of Shap), turn left in Shap and follow road to Bampton, Askham, Pooley Bridge, Watermillock, Glen ridding (nice ride down side of Ullswater), Patterdale, Kirkstone Pass (good climb from this side), Troutbeck, Moorhowe Road, Ings, Staveley, Burneside and back to Kendal.
    (approx 60 miles) Set off from Kendal and follow road to Burneside, Bowston, Plantation Bridge, Staveley, Windermere, Ambleside, Clappersgate, Skelwith Bridge (keep following road to Coniston but turn right to Little Langdale), Little Langdale, Wrynose Pass, Hardknott Pass, Boot, Eskdale Green, Austhwaite Brow (road to Ulpha), Birker Fell, Ulpha, Duddon Bridge, Broughton, Grizebeck, Spark Bridge, Bouth, A590 to Newby Bridge (not the best cycling road but you can go through Backbarrow to minimise the time your on the A590), Newby Bridge, Bowland Bridge, Crosthwaite, Under barrow and back to Kendal. If you reverse this route you can do Hardknott/Wrynose as people say Hardknott from West to East is the hardest climb but I think the climb up Wrynose from Little Langdale side is almost as difficult.
    There are lots of routes from Kendal but if you do chose to try route 3 please be aware the climbs (Wrynose/Hardknott/Birker/Fell Foot AKA Gummers Howe/Scout Scar) are very hard and not to be underestimated; I don’t know what type of cyclist you are but the combination of these hills will knock hell out of you if you are not strong.
    Also its worth having a look on as these folks have some good routes and all the climbs are listed.
    Note on gearing, triple, compact or a 28 rear cassette recommended, locals will let you off for using a triple and won’t make you carry a white feather!
  • GAWOODGAWOOD Posts: 36
    Thanks LeighB that is brilliant. After I had posted the question I went to Sportive Central and has given me an idea for a ride over to Dentdale as well.

    I'm currently trying to train for the Etape Du Dales in May, so need a few hills!
  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    One of my loops takes in Dentdale.
    Set off from Kendal up Oxenholme Road, past Oxenholme Station, Old Hutton, Old Town, Kirkby Lonsdale (through village to main road and go over Devils Bridge), Casterton, Barbon, Barbondale, Gawthrop, Dent, Cowgill, Dent Station (this section is known as the Coal Road, good climb), Garsdale Station, Garsdale, Sedbergh and follow main road back to Kendal (main road is not usually too busy and you get a good little hill called Black Horse on the way back).
    I think this route is about 40 miles, but I tend not to get too fussy about the distance travelled as these are good hilly miles. If you want to do a longer ride you can extend this by turning right at Garsdale Station then left at the Moorcock and following the Mallerstang Valley to Nateby and Kirkby Stephen; follow main road back towards M6 then turn off left and follow road to Cautley, Sedbergh and back to Kendal.

    Good Luck with the Etape Du Dales, this ride does the Coal Road but the opposite way over to my usual ride, I’ve ridden over it from both sides and it’s a good climb either way.
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