Stats: 13.8 miles and 1480 feet of ascent
New Dungeon Ghyll Inns, Three Shires Inn, Chesters by the River (Skelwith Bridge)
In the pantheon of Lakeland passes, Blea Tarn will never be spoken of in the hushed tones reserved for its mighty neighbours, Wrynose and Hardknott. Nevertheless, it makes for a pleasant short loop from the Ambleside area, taking in the manifold charms of Great and Little Langdale. Lakeland is not the easiest terrain in which to make road loops, with so many no-through-road daleheads. Here, the zigzags of Blea Tarn provide the only metalled escape from the magnificent glacial trench of Great Langdale and the Pikes are well admired from its slopes. It can also be extended easily, either along the route, or after a brew back at Ambleside.
1. Head west on the A593, under Nanny Brow.
2. Fork right onto the B5343 at Skelwith Bridge. Follow this all the way up Great Langdale.
3.The road dinks left at the dalehead, confronting the rider with a set of zigzag up the tarn.
4. Whizz down the Little Langdale side and turn left at the acute junction at the bottom at the cattle grid.
5. Go down past Little Langdale Tarn to the T-junction at the bottom, turning right (signed to Ambleside and Coniston) over the bridge.
6. Climb up to the A593 and turn left. This will take you back to Skelwith Bridge and the start.