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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.

Intermediate
02:14
13.8 mi
Difficult
02:30
17.4 mi
Intermediate
01:35
9.76 mi
Difficult
01:13
7.22 mi
Intermediate
01:45
16.6 mi
Difficult
05:45
52.4 mi
Intermediate
01:59
19.6 mi
Intermediate
01:33
9.69 mi
Difficult
05:08
45.6 mi
Difficult
02:52
27.8 mi
Difficult
02:45
17.0 mi
Difficult
02:31
18.2 mi
Difficult
03:42
32.9 mi
Difficult
02:07
18.8 mi
Difficult
02:10
19.6 mi
Difficult
04:05
38.0 mi
Difficult
05:13
49.4 mi
Intermediate
01:47
17.5 mi
Intermediate
01:38
14.2 mi
Difficult
04:01
37.5 mi

Top 20 cycling routes in Lake District

    1
    Intermediate
    02:14
    13.8 mi
    6.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,300 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    2
    Difficult
    02:30
    17.4 mi
    7.0 mph
    2,075 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    01:35
    9.76 mi
    6.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    4
    Difficult
    01:13
    7.22 mi
    5.9 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    5
    Intermediate
    01:45
    16.6 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    6
    Difficult
    05:45
    52.4 mi
    9.1 mph
    4,175 ft
    4,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    7
    Intermediate
    01:59
    19.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Intermediate
    01:33
    9.69 mi
    6.3 mph
    775 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.
    9
    Difficult
    05:08
    45.6 mi
    8.9 mph
    4,575 ft
    4,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    10
    Difficult
    02:52
    27.8 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,500 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.
    11
    Difficult
    02:45
    17.0 mi
    6.2 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    12
    Difficult
    02:31
    18.2 mi
    7.2 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    13
    Difficult
    03:42
    32.9 mi
    8.9 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    14
    Difficult
    02:07
    18.8 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    15
    Difficult
    02:10
    19.6 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    16
    Difficult
    04:05
    38.0 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,825 ft
    2,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    17
    Difficult
    05:13
    49.4 mi
    9.5 mph
    3,550 ft
    3,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    18
    Intermediate
    01:47
    17.5 mi
    9.8 mph
    950 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    19
    Intermediate
    01:38
    14.2 mi
    8.6 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.
    20
    Difficult
    04:01
    37.5 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

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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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