walking – brathey, tarn hows, little langdale
This ride has lots going for it, a variety of Lake District landscapes, many di erent terrain types, sti climbs sweeping downhills and great refreshment options. There are also endless options to include more trails throughout the route including the Lake District Classic that is Claife Heights. Take your time and make the most of the options available and you are guaranteed a grand day out. Much of the route is o road and some of the o road route is a road (if that makes any sense) so watch out for 4x4s and mototbikes. As always there may be ramblers about with dogs on the loose too. From Langdale an easy start takes you through Elterwater and on a track alongside the river to Skelwith Bridge and on quiet roads to Brathay Pool. Joining another well-made track to Low Wray and towards Outgate through some wonderful pastures with di erent views all the time. Here there is an option to include all or part of Claife Heights. Great refreshment is available at the Outgate Inn (the ale is well kept and the food is homemade) before the climb to and past Knipe Fold which is steep in places but is rewarded by a fantastic fun, sometimes rocky sweeping descent past Tarn Hows (option, take a right here over Iron Keld back to Skelwith Bridge) If this trail does not make you smile then its time give up mountain biking or train harder. Heading towards Hodge Close a steep road climb is well worth the e ort as the track to the head of the old slate quarry is great fun and once the loose slate is negotiated the trail to Little Langdale through the woods is a welcome breather before the brave and foolish tackle the ford.
The Three Shires Inn offers welcome refreshment at this point and as per the Outgate the ale is well kept and the food homemade. One last climb and a fantastic fast descent to Elterwater, past the quarry and you are back at wainwrights where….guess what…the ale is well kept and the food is homemade.
- In Elterwater Village take the track through the car park opposite The Langdale Estate. Follow the track over the footbridge to the end. Turn left at the road, take the next road on the right before the sharp turn and bridge.
- Follow the road keeping left up the hill to a group of houses and a left turn downhill. Follow to Brathay Pool and junction. Take the track on the right and follow it past Skelwith Fold (where it joins the road for a short distance) through a number of gates and across the road.
- Take the track on the right shortly before the track joins the road opposite Low Wray Campsite. Take the bridal path on the right opposite the tarn for some challenging but not too steep climbing and the option to stop at Outgate or continue to Hawkshead joining the road turning left.
- As you approach Hawkshead turn right after the bridge towards Hawkshead Hill and take the next right climbing to a road junction at Knipe Fold where you cross straight over uphill. The road soon turns to a track and climbs steeply. Upon reaching the top (there are two options to turn right over Iron Keld back to Skelwith Bridge but that’s another ride). As you descent and the trail becomes less steep pass Tarn Hows on your left as you sweep down a wonderful trail.
- At the road turn left and at the cross roads go straight ahead climbing up the narrow steep road, pass the right turn and go through the farm joining the track which you follow to Hodge Close. Turn left on to the tarmac for a short distance through some houses then right through a gate downhill.
- Through another gate and over the loose slate (it makes a great noise when you ride over it) past the old quarry remains, keep on this track all the way to the ford and bridge crossing the river at Little Langdale. The ford is the fun way to do it and always worth lming the other bikers on your phone as it can be slippery and cold.
- Once across the river follow the road to the T-junction. You can see the Three Shires Inn on your right for refreshment (Well-kept ale and homemade food). Turn left then take the track on the right after the road attens o . Follow this easy climb and great descent to Elterwater.
- Turn left at the road by the Eltermere Inn and left again just before the bridge (you have just missed the Britannia Inn where you can enjoy some refreshment consisting of well-kept ale and homemade food). Take the track on the right alongside the river and proceed to Wainwrights Inn for some well-earned refreshment.