Stats: 20.5 miles and 2885 feet of ascent
The Sun Cottage Cafe in Hawkshead is ideally placed.
A charming tour of the Rusland Valley, better known to mountain bikers heading for the Grizedale centre, returning via the quiet side of Coniston. There’s a maze of lanes so either download our attached GPX file or proceed in a relaxed fashion, not worrying too much if you take the most direct route. This route is easily extended by heading further north at Hawkshead and adding another northern road loop.
1. There are lots of lanes in a complex mesh so rely on signs leading you to Satterthwaite, then Grizedale.
2. From the adventure centre, head north to Hawkshead and a refuel.
3. Just north of Hawkshead, take the left to Brantwood on the B5285.
4. Dropping down on the Coniston side, take the left fork by the well. Skirt round to gain the east bank of Coniston.
5. Pass Brantwood and keep going to the very foot of the lake. This is sacred ground for Ramsonites as Peel Island was the model for Wild Cat Island and Allan Tarn was the basis for the Octopus Lagoon.
6. If you haven’t done enough climbing, you can take the left up Bessy Bank signed to Oxen Park. Our route, however, pleasantly skirts the edge of the National Park around Tottlebank and Bouth, returning over the causeway and a short climb beyond the Rusland to the start.