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Lake District Routes

briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
edited June 2011 in Tour & expedition
I'm probably going to take my bike up to the Lake District - it's mostly a walking holiday, but might do one or two little excursions:

http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=253324
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=253323

Any roads to avoid? The sorts of ones which are busy but not wide enough for passing, with heavy fast-moving lorries .... if Cumbria is anything like Devon, most of the roads are OK, but there are a few that aren't much fun, and I'd rather avoid those if I can.

Posts

  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Ahh Ulpha, Cockley beck... must include the wrynose pass! It's good fun round there brian!

    I have covered about 40% of your second route and they are good enough roads. A local forumite will have to assist further though so hope you have nice weather on your holiday.
  • YecombYecomb Posts: 26
    Brian,
    The whole of your first route looks fine and I've done the majority of it. I'm assuming you ride along the C2C on the side of the A66.
    Along the A591 is ok, some wagons, mostly cars but not massively busy and it's a good 2 way road so plenty of room. Going round the back of skiddaw is just small roads with mostly tourist or local traffic.
    Your second route will be busy along the A595 although it's just a short section. The worst bit (for me) would be betweem Thirlmere and Grasmere as it's a slog up a narrowish 2 way road with buses, caravans and plenty of cars. If you have the time/energy go a bit further round from Keswick past Ullswater and over the Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside.
    And as Garz says, try the Wrynose from Langdale.
    Cheers..
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
    Yecomb wrote:
    The worst bit (for me) would be betweem Thirlmere and Grasmere as it's a slog up a narrowish 2 way road with buses, caravans and plenty of cars. If you have the time/energy go a bit further round from Keswick past Ullswater and over the Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside. And as Garz says, try the Wrynose from Langdale.
    Thanks Yecomb (and Garz). Depending on the wind, I was thinking of doing this anti-clockwise, so it'd mean I had the cycle up to Dunmail Rise on the wide road, then the descent down to Thirlmere on the narrower bit, so I should be around the 35mph mark on that section you mention, so shouldn't be so much of a problem, I think. I'm not sure my legs would want to go the long way round via the Kirkstone Pass, however picturesque it is.

    Re Wrynose - I'm hoping I'm not misjudging my climbing ability, as I'm on a 50/34 compact, and I hate getting off and walking up hills (it's partly that reason I've bypassed Hardknott); I seem to remember the climb Wrynose West-East is not too savage, though I can't exactly remember it (I've only driven it before). I've done a fair bit of walking in the Lake District, but this will be my first jaunt with a bike, so I'm not going to be too adventurous this time!
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Re Wrynose - I'm hoping I'm not misjudging my climbing ability, as I'm on a 50/34 compact, and I hate getting off and walking up hills (it's partly that reason I've bypassed Hardknott); I seem to remember the climb Wrynose West-East is not too savage, though I can't exactly remember it (I've only driven it before). I've done a fair bit of walking in the Lake District, but this will be my first jaunt with a bike, so I'm not going to be too adventurous this time!

    I tackled this on the recent 'Wrynose or Bust' sportive mid april. I managed again on a compact and you are right the West-East route is easier, just be careful of the descent especially if it is damp/wet.
  • mike ivesmike ives Posts: 319
    If you are going Grasmere - Thirlmere why don't you use the road on the other side of Thirlmere instead of the main road. It will get you off a busy main road and also give you good views of Helvellyn.

    Also, what about doing a loop around Derwentwater or the possibly Coniston/Langdale/ Hawkshead area. Theses are much quieter roads and amongst some very nice scenery.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
    mike ives wrote:
    If you are going Grasmere - Thirlmere why don't you use the road on the other side of Thirlmere instead of the main road. It will get you off a busy main road and also give you good views of Helvellyn.
    I'm planning to do just that - especially since I've never driven it. The main road by Thirlmere is tedious even in a car.
  • millemanmilleman Posts: 181
    Did exactly the first route round Skiddaw last Autumn-lovely route on small very quiet roads-would definately do that one again.

    The second route looks quite ok, done most of it in sections-will be busy on some of the roads though.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
    I might yet extend the Northern Fells route up to Skinburness tomorrow - I should be walking later in the day, but my knee, which is fine for cycling, has been protesting at the terrain I've subjected it to the past couple of days, so might skip the walk, as it were. We'll see.

    Anyway, weather looks good - warm and not windy. I've forgotten what that feels like.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
    Both rides now done - both highly enjoyable.

    I did extend the north run, up to Skinburness (a more godforsaken place it is hard to imagine) via Bothel and Aspatria, but it was nice for a Devonian to ride some straight level roads round there. Back via Wigton and down to Caldbeck. No scarily busy roads, and no major climbing.

    The circuit down to Gosforth from Keswick was a stunner - about 8,500ft of climbing, and (boo!) heavy legs caused me to walk a couple of short bits (the first bit up to Birker Fell, and the last bit of Wrynose), but it's hard to imagine a more varied and pretty route. The short bit of road from Calder Bridge to Gosforth wasn't a problem, ditto Dunmail Rise. I did the St John in the Vale diversion for the last bit into Keswick, to avoid the main road. 77 extremely tiring but rewarding miles. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    EDIT: I should mention that the road that leads from Ting Mound near Little Langdale to Middle Fell Farm in Langdale is in a shocking state of repair - enormous potholes all over the place, including one about 3ft wide and 1ft deep right in the dip by Bleatarn House. Proceed with caution!!!
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Glad you enjoyed the views and the non Devonian hills Brian!

    Shocked that you had to walk some, but at least your man enough to admit it. This year tackling wrynose after 60 miles I admit I nearly gave in as my fitness was lagging the previous years preparation.

    I take it you done both rides solo?
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
    Garz wrote:
    Shocked that you had to walk some, but at least your man enough to admit it. This year tackling wrynose after 60 miles I admit I nearly gave in as my fitness was lagging the previous years preparation.

    I take it you done both rides solo?
    Yes, both rides solo. My only vaguely plausible excuse for the two bits of walking is that I did the Mosedale Horseshoe up to Pillar (on foot, I hasten to add, though I did meet someone walking a mountain bike down Black Sail pass as I went up) on Tuesday, and my legs have been very stiff since then, so found today harder work than I'd have hoped.

    In Gosforth the lady who served me in the shop told me of a Gosforth man who did his last Hardknott/Wrynose ride when he was 77, and kept his bike in the bath.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Surely to aid recovery and alleviate some of the pain he should have kept his legs in the bath and not his bike!

    :lol:
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