High Street & Boredale
Stats: 20 miles and 4000 feet of ascent
Start Point: Cow Bridge car park, Patterdale
Nothing accessible en route. You could knock on the door of the Howtown Hotel but my impression is that muddy riders aren’t their core clientele. I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this, though.
This route is so classic that the National Trust should slap a preservation order on it forthwith. It has the lot – big, beefy climbs, grassy ridge-riding and two rollicking descents. You can vary it by coming back on the Ullswater shore path or up the flank of Beda Fell but this version keeps at a reasonably consistent standard of rideability. That said, there will be a spot of portage from the Hayeswater dam, but that’s part of the package with Lakeland riding, right?
The moorland cruising north from High Street is ideal on a clear day, and the descent to Howtown one of the most enjoyable anywhere. If you look at the profile graph above, you’ll see that there’s almost unbroken descent from mile 5 to mile 10 – one of the longest descents you’ll ever do. Boredale Hause is a steady pull up to the final rocky gulch (bike back on shoulders here) and the final triumphant plummet into Patterdale is an excellent finale.
1. Ride south on the A592 for ¼mile and turn left to Hartsop. Through the hamlet, rising gently as tarmac yields to off-road.
2. At a cattle-grid (see picture), take the right hand fork to cross the stream and climb up to the dam. Award yourself a lollipop if you can clean this climb.
3. Cross the dam and shoulder your steed for a long stomp up the slope on your left.
4. Join the good track coming in from your left at 1860′ (570m). Head up and to the right, behind the small dome of The Knott.
5. Head south on the High Street ridge, climbing up to the summit itself. Great views from here.
6. Head back down, but turn right at the big junction towards Kidsty Pike.
7. Don’t go too far towards Kidsty – skirt north to pick up a good track heading NNE. Follow this for several miles, keeping straight as a Roman.
8. After Loadpot Hill, bear NE down to the cross-roads of paths at The Cockpit. Turn back on yourself (to the left) here.
9. Follow a brilliant trail all the way down to Howtown, including a section through a garden, observing the sign marked “Cyclists please walk”
10. At this point, you could drop down the drive to join tarmac and climb over the zigzags of The Hause. Better yet, pick up the bridleway skirting the foot of Steel Knotts. Either way, drop on tarmac into Martindale.
11. Take the road up Boredale. After the farm, this becomes a long, grassy pull, followed by a short but unrideable rocky gully.
12. Whizz down the other side of the hause, bearing slightly left to pick up a shingly track descending steeply and winding anti-clockwise round the flank of the hill.
13. At the bottom, go straight on to Hartsop and back to Cow Bridge.