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Lake District

Cycling in Lake District

Bike Touring

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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
02:46
22.9 mi
Difficult
02:32
22.2 mi
Intermediate
02:40
23.8 mi
Difficult
05:29
50.4 mi
Difficult
05:28
45.8 mi
Intermediate
01:51
14.5 mi
Intermediate
02:17
20.6 mi
Intermediate
01:53
18.2 mi
Difficult
03:11
26.6 mi
Intermediate
02:22
23.8 mi
Difficult
03:56
30.4 mi
Difficult
02:22
16.3 mi
Difficult
01:46
10.8 mi
Difficult
03:05
27.7 mi
Difficult
02:30
22.0 mi
Difficult
01:11
6.87 mi
Difficult
01:57
18.5 mi
Difficult
03:17
21.0 mi
Difficult
05:23
49.3 mi
Difficult
05:06
45.8 mi

Top 20 cycling routes in Lake District

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Difficult
    02:46
    22.9 mi
    8.3 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,925 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.
    View
    2
    Difficult
    02:32
    22.2 mi
    8.8 mph
    2,225 ft
    2,225 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    02:40
    23.8 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.
    View
    4
    Difficult
    05:29
    50.4 mi
    9.2 mph
    3,900 ft
    3,900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Difficult
    05:28
    45.8 mi
    8.4 mph
    4,175 ft
    4,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    01:51
    14.5 mi
    7.9 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    02:17
    20.6 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    01:53
    18.2 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Difficult
    03:11
    26.6 mi
    8.4 mph
    2,900 ft
    2,900 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    02:22
    23.8 mi
    10.0 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Difficult
    03:56
    30.4 mi
    7.7 mph
    4,100 ft
    4,100 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Difficult
    02:22
    16.3 mi
    6.9 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Difficult
    01:46
    10.8 mi
    6.1 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Difficult
    03:05
    27.7 mi
    9.0 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Difficult
    02:30
    22.0 mi
    8.8 mph
    2,225 ft
    2,225 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Difficult
    01:11
    6.87 mi
    5.8 mph
    925 ft
    950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    View
    17
    Difficult
    01:57
    18.5 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,225 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    View
    18
    Difficult
    03:17
    21.0 mi
    6.4 mph
    2,850 ft
    2,850 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    View
    19
    Difficult
    05:23
    49.3 mi
    9.2 mph
    3,950 ft
    3,950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    View
    20
    Difficult
    05:06
    45.8 mi
    9.0 mph
    3,925 ft
    3,925 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    View

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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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