Is there a road route around lake Windermere?

homers_double Posts: 8,019
edited March 2014 in Road general
I've got a site visit in Kendal on Monday so LW isn't too far away, I can chuck my bike in the truck and ride round.

I generally do the same on my MTB with trail centres as I'm riding new places without getting lost, so can it be done without gps etc?
Advocate of disc brakes.


  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Lake Windermere? When you are only a stones throw from The Struggle and Kirkstone Pass?! Don't be soft! :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 8,019
    Thanks for that BP, are there waymarkers to look out for or is it just a case of heading towards some towns?
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • styxd
    styxd Posts: 3,234
    edited March 2014
    The road on the East side of the lake isn't particularly great. There isn't a road along the Wes shore, you'd have to go through Hawkshead to get back to Newby Bridge.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    The eastern side isn't great - lumpy, twisty, fairly narrow and busy. I'd choose a quieter route myself.

    You could get the ferry across for a quid or so - quieter roads that way.
  • walney
    walney Posts: 35
    Also known as the Porthole GP!
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 8,019
    Is that porthole or POThole???
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • iron-clover
    iron-clover Posts: 737
    I quite enjoyed the road around from Windermere to Ambleside, and then through the quieter (but much lumpier) Hawkshead wood back to the ferry, although as said the Eastern shore between Windermere and Ambleside is busier. But it is pretty next to the lake, and also a pretty fast smooth road at that point.

    However, I'd take a right at Ambleside and go up The Struggle. If you can ride that, you can ride almost anything (although Wrynose and Hardnott not too far away could challenge that!) and then the descent along the main Kirkstone pass road back to Windermere was the longest and best descent I've ever had. But then I'm from the South and more used to terrifying steep little descents on gnarled country lanes than majestic mountain passes.
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 8,019
    What road name/number is that? I don't fancy asking a ramndom polish ice cream vendor for directions.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • big_p
    big_p Posts: 565
    Kirkstone pass, go to the top of the one way system where the traffic lights are, turn left past biketreks at the mini roundabout turn right and head up through the house and just keep on heading up, when you get to the pub at the top you can have a nice pint.
  • Kieran_Burns
    Kieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    big p wrote:
    Kirkstone pass, go to the top of the one way system where the traffic lights are, turn left past biketreks at the mini roundabout turn right and head up through the house and just keep on heading up, when you get to the pub at the top you can have oxygen.


    (and he means in Ambleside btw...)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • lakesluddite
    lakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    Depending on where you are staying in our fine town, you can pretty much get to Ambleside without going on the main A591 (the main road twixt Kendal/Windermere/Ambleside), and it's a route about 15 miles or so.
    From Kendal, head out to Burneside (pronounced Burney side, if you're asking for directions!), carry on through Burneside, into Bowston, this road then brings you to the main road, but take the cycle path to Staveley, carry on into Staveley (home of Wheelbase, allegedly the largest bike shop in the Country), straight through, pick up the cycle path at the other end of Staveley, and continue into Ings.
    At Ings, follow the path until it runs out, then you will go right up a hill that climbs for about 1k, go over the top (great view over the Southern Fells, especially if done at dawn as I do on my commute), and drop down on that road until you get to a T junction, this is the Kirkstone Pass road, officially the A592.
    Going left here will take you to Windermere town centre, a small roundabout - straight on for Bowness, right for Ambleside.
    Going right will take you up Kirkstone Pass, where you can either go straight up to the Inn (then from the Kirkstone Inn, take The Struggle down directly into the heart of Ambleside), or perhaps instead turn (sharp) left at the small bridge at the bottom of the valley just before the small church (called simply Jesus Church), up the sharp climb and into Troutbeck.
    At Troutbeck, going right means you will end up back on the A592, going left will (following my commute) take you down a good descent, past Holbeck Ghyll to Low Wood Marina on the shores of Windermere (careful as the descent will spit you onto the main road without much warning). From there turn right and Ambleside is about a half mile away following the lake.
    If you want to go down the west side of Windermere, bear left at the traffic lights, then left again, signposted Coniston/Hawkshead - after going through Clappersgate, take the left turn to Hawkshead, this road will take you all the way down the side of the lake, but will cut 'inland' to Hawkshead, where you can either stay on the flat and continue down to Newby Bridge, or a good route is to go right just after Hawkshead up the hill to Grizedale - but beware the roads south of Grizedale become somewhat of a maze, and it's easy to get lost here and end up at Haverthwaite or even further west than you want to be.
    From Newby Bridge, you can skirt round the bottom of Windermere on a short cycle path, then get on the A592 back up to Windermere (quite a busy road), or if you fancy yet another challenge, take the right turn at Fell Foot, and go up the climb up Fell Foot Brow to Gummers How (low gear essential), this drops you down to Bowland Bridge, where at the T junction at the end of that road you can go left to Bowness and Windermere again, or go right, into Crossthwaite, Underbarrow, up Scout Scar (another sharp climb), and then directly into Kendal via Beast Banks.

    Sorry, I've gone on a bit, but as it's my manor, I thought I would let you know the options! Whatever you decide to do, enjoy it, being the offical start of summer and all!
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 8,019
    From today, I think I followed pretty much the same route as posted earlier in this thread.

    Not a bad ride at all, the road surface is pretty rough in places but I guess thats due to the amount of traffic it sees on a regular basis.
    Advocate of disc brakes.