Gravel Bike Coast to Coast: Lake District
Riding through the Lakes with Voom Nutrition
The great benefit of this route is that you can step off the train at Ravenglass and start riding. This tiny coastal hamlet is superb, easily accessible by rail and leads you directly into the hills of the Lake District. With Muncaster Castle here too, there’s options for accommodation at the start, and as you ride through Eskdale, there’s the famous Ravenglass miniture railway.
The legendary track of Walna Scar awaits you, as you descend into Coniston and the lake, before Grizedale Forest gives a new style of riding to the route. There’s a few bike hike sections, due to the steep sided valleys and bridleways, but overall,this first section of our U.K. gravel bike coast to coast route has some awesome gravel bike riding sections on dusty trails, with epic views. Get ready to ride Lake District gravel.
Stats 90 km 2,358 metres
Refreshments & Where to Stay
Ravenglass is a small coastal hamlet, but there’s still ample places to stay, with an Inn and Muncaster Castle on hand. At Sedbergh, once again there’s ample choice, from bunkhouse to good quality Inn’s.
This section has steep climbs, a bike hike and epic descents along the way, as well as a few useful tarmac sections that avoid poor trails for the gravel bike and which will help you speed along to better trails. Leaving Ravenglass, you’re immediately onto the Esk Trail gravel track and heading to the hills. It’s a varied route, with gravel, forest tracks and some technical riding sections such as Walna Scar Road. The trails become easier and less technical as you approach the Dales.
- Heading from the sand and sea at tiny but very quaint Ravenglass, cycle along the road, lined by beautiful small cottages, and onto the main roads. Then, climb towards Muncaster Castle, passing the car park for the castle (on the left), before taking the Esk Trail bridleway at the top of the hill, and cycling along the wide gravel path all the way into Easkdale and the Lake District National Park.
- The Esk Trail finally exits onto the road by a Dutch barn and cottages just prior to Forge Bridge. Turn left onto the road and cycle the short distance on tarmac to Forge Bridge, then taking the bridleway to the right of the bridge. Cycle along this bridleway into the valley, as it follows the river. There’s an opportunity at Dalesgarth to cross over and have tea and cake at the famous Dalesgarth Station on the Ravenglass Railway.
- Continuing on the bridleway, it exits onto the road near Wha House Farm and approaching Hardknott Pass. Cycle for approximately 1/2 km, crossing a cattle grid and entering trees, before a bridleway at Jubilee Bridge is signed off to the right. Drop down to the stream and enter the bridleway which then skirts the fells, before climbing steeply to the Dunnerdale Forest.
- When the track eventually exits onto the road, turn left and use to road for a short distance, crossing a small stone bridge, before you reach a junction on the left which is signed to Coniston (unsuitable for motor vehicles). Take this narrow lane, which eventually joins the famed and rocky Walna Sca Road (Bridleway Open to All Traffic), which drops on technical terrain towards Coniston.
- Rest at Coniston, before leaving the village on the cycle track that runs parallel to the road towards Grizedale Forest. Exit the cycle path and cross onto the lane on the far side of Lake Coniston, signed to ‘Brantwood’, before joining the bridleway after 1/3 km that climbs into Grizedale Forest.
- After a jaunt through the forest on excellent tracks, descend from near Moor Top on the bridleway that takes you to Hawkshead. Time now for tea and cake, before heading over the bridleways that take you to the dge of Lake Windermere, then riding along the lake to the ferry.
- Once over the ferry, climb away from Windermere on the A5074 andafter Barker Knott Farm, take the track on the left (green Lane) eastwards.
- Skirt around Gilpin Lake House and on the tracks around Thorneyfield, before joining the bridleway passing Crook Hall Farm.
- At Underbarrow follow the quiet lane into Kendal for a break. Then, take the B6254 Old Hutton road out of Kendal towards Oxenholme. After Oxenholme, turn off left on the quiet lane to Millholme.
- Now take quiet lanes that eventually lead to the bridleway at Aikrigg, then crossing the river and taking the tracks that lead to Sedbergh.
Click below for GPX file & accommodation