Cumbria with the Lake District National Park at its center must be one of the nicest places to cycle in England.
Once off the main roads the surfaces are often a bit dubious so care is required but the traffic is very light and usually quite slow. This to my mind makes ‘Cumbria’ one of the great places to road ride in England.
Cycling fit for Cumbria
No matter what the weather, proper cyclist will always enjoy a ride from Ambleside Backpackers hostel. Note I say proper, perhaps I should have said fairly fit!
Without a doubt road cycling in the Lake District requires a bit more stamina than cycling in say Cambridge or the Fens.
For great cycle information and cycle routes click on the underlined bit here to have a look at pedalnorth’s web site, They have routes for all levels of fitness and endurance! (however if you do their great coast to coast mountain bike route, please remember to stop here at AmblesideBackpackers Hostel for the night!)
Fred Whitton and Lakes Round
For the super fit there are events like the Fred Whitton and the Lakes Round which will test most road bikers even when not trying to win. A great way to see alot of the ‘Lake District National Park’ in just 1 day! This years Fred Whitton Challenge Ride was on the 11th May 2014. There will be one next year too no doubt.
If you can not get entered but want to be involved you can volunteer or sponsor the event. Looking to raise £1,000,000.00 this year.
Click here:Fred Whitton Challenge to find out about the Fred Whitton Challenge. You can also do the Fred Whitton Challenge in you own time on your own or with friends as the Four Seasons Challenge. Find the route and get timing cards and stuff -have your own Challenge – info on the Fred Whitton Site link above.
Only for the pretty jolly fit thought!
The hostel is already filling up with riders, don’t leave booking too late. Its a great spectator event too!
However there are so many passes and quiet roads to chose from that as long as your legs can stand it, great circular cycling trips can be planned from the hostel front door.
There are 2 great cycle repair, retail stores in Ambleside, so you should never be left without a fix should your bike catch a cold.
Of course there is a drying room to dry your gear should there have been a spot of rain while you were out.
Scenic and relaxing Cycle Rides.
For the less well endowed in the muscle market there are some really nice quite level routes -some quite long but not too arduous. From the hostel you can cycle down to Waterhead, catch a Lakes Ferry (with your bike too!) across to Wray Castle (National Trust) then follow a cycle route to the road ferry across Windermere where you can either take the ferry to Bowness or if you still have some steam left (walk probably) up the hill and drop down into Far sawrey and on to Hawkshead.
From Hawkshead you can take a quiet back road through Wray and then cycle path back to Ambleside. In common with most cycle paths however the cycle path vanishes and you have to use the road at all the dangerous bits!
There are many other not too taxing or strenuous routes you can ride straight from the hostel.
Sustrans Cycle Routes
Ambleside has not really made it onto the Sustrans cycle routes yet, Perhaps they assume that no one wants to cycle here. However they are most seroiusly wrong. Maybe it is because they do not believe that people can cycle safely on ordinary roads unless they are covered in white lines, warning signs and with pictured of flattened bike every 50m. Opps, am I sounding a bit jaundiced about cycle routes? Just to make it really interesting the cycle route 37 that is supposed to end in Ambleside actually will deliver you to Rydal as the Local Council, Parish Council and ‘village elders’ (if there is such a thing) for some reason will not let cyclists enter the back of the village across a park, with an 8 foot wide tarmac path through it. – So do beware, they might just add another 3 miles to your cycle route to bring you in on the main road from Grasmere -how bonkers is that?
Lands End to John O Groats Cycle Ride
If you would be bold enough to attempt this long distance cycle route from Cornwall to the northern tip of Scotland, (beware! there are not flattened cycles, white lines and warning sign along this cycle route yet) we are just almost exactly mid way on the journey -either starting from the North or from the South. Give or take a mile or so and depending on your route -the 1/2 way point on this very popular cycle ride. Cumbria is most definitely a great county to cycle through as your legs will be up to it by then. There are choices to be made, Keswick and over Dunmail Raise or over Kirkstone pass and along side Ulswater?
So Bookthehoostel, strap the bikes on the car /book the train or bus ticket, (You can hire bikes in Ambleside) and come and have a ball.