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Lake District

Cycling in Lake District

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Photo: Andi Campbell-Jones (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Unleashing your bicycle and cycling in the Lake District is an experience that will not only be unforgettable, but you’ll want to come back time and time again. One of the most beloved and phenomenal landscapes in the UK, exploring the Lakes on two wheels is a pure, unadulterated joy. 

Cycle routes in the Lake District can be exceptionally challenging but you can always focus on the natural beauty rather than the burning sensation in your thighs. The views and descents are more than worth the effort, especially if you cross a high pass and stream down towards the next lake, as it glistens in the afternoon sun. 

Luckily for your legs, you’ll find more than enough gentle, even flat, bike trails in the Lake District. Circling the vast and magnificent lakes under the watchful gaze of the fells is a prime way to enjoy leg-friendly rides.

Difficult
02:39
23.1 mi
Difficult
01:47
10.5 mi
Intermediate
01:58
18.6 mi
Difficult
01:39
15.5 mi
Difficult
03:59
35.6 mi
Difficult
01:56
17.1 mi
Intermediate
01:45
12.5 mi
Difficult
03:26
21.9 mi
Difficult
02:53
22.6 mi
Intermediate
02:06
20.0 mi
Difficult
05:22
50.2 mi
Difficult
05:48
52.5 mi
Intermediate
02:41
26.6 mi
Intermediate
00:42
4.33 mi
Intermediate
01:15
8.91 mi
Difficult
02:54
28.5 mi
Difficult
04:18
34.9 mi
Difficult
03:25
32.0 mi
Difficult
02:40
19.7 mi
Difficult
02:10
15.2 mi

Top 20 cycling routes in Lake District

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Forests, fells and falls

Talking about cycling in the Lake District tends to make cyclists go gooey on the inside with a distant, dreamy look in their eyes. It takes a special kind of place to repeatedly present large, mountainous obstacles in a cyclist’s path and yet still endear them, and the Lakes certainly do that. 

Cycle paths, tracks and lanes all come together to make adventuring here by bike an absolute pleasure. How does pedaling through oak woodlands and pine forests with glimpses of vast lakes sound to you? Do you fancy a steady ascent to fantastic viewpoints across exquisite valleys? They’re everywhere here. 

Cycle routes in the Lake District are famed for blending water and eye-watering heights. There are abundant ways to appreciate the Lake District’s intrinsic connection between land and water. Ride around exquisite lakes, along forested shorelines and past crashing waterfalls. Or climb skywards to look down upon sparkling meres and feel the immense calm of the views. 

Explore for a day, a week or a lifetime

Bike rides in the Lake District are endlessly flexible so you can go for an hour-long spin, spend the whole day exploring or plan a multi-day adventure from valley to valley. A hub of outdoor activity, it’s easy to find accommodation, pubs and food shops throughout the national park. This makes it easy to take off into the wilds for a few days, each night resting your head in a different town. 

Plan, prepare and pedal

Being a mountainous region, the Lake District is partial to changeable weather. You can thank its regular rain for the lush, verdant valleys and stunning waterfalls as well as its dramatic skies and ample inspiration for generations of photographers. 

Summers are warm, sometimes hot and dry, but often see sporadic rain that can jump out at you when you’re least expecting it. The shoulder seasons are mild and variable and the region sees frequent snow in winter. 

Preparing to ride in the Lake District means carrying appropriate clothes that can cope with dry and wet weather as well as temperature changes arising from climbs and descents. Taking enough snacks and water is also key to staying fuelled on often challenging routes. Lastly, don’t underestimate the difficulty of hilly trails as even short tracks can be exhausting.

Lake District's best cycling routes on the map

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