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Ben Keen, The Adventure Element director and outdoor instructor, April 2017
Derwentwater Independent Hostel is only 4km from where Route 71 of the National Cycle Network passes through Keswick. Route 71 is part of the 225km C2C cycle route from Whitehaven (west coast) to Tynemouth (east coast), and Keswick is 50km along the route from Whitehaven.
We have a secure bike shed and an outdoor tap, as well as plenty of experience of road and off-road cycling. We have several route leaflets at the hostel, including the off-road Borrowdale Bash and Back o'Skiddaw, and you can also download some cycling routes from keswick.org. Just ask us if you want some advice or cycling chat!
The Lake District provides spectacular road cycling with incredible views. We are also very close to the C2C cycle route (it passes through Portinscale and Keswick). Our local favourites:
- Round Derwentwater: a 10 mile circuit passing through Grange and Portinscale. The clockwise direction provides fantastic views of Blencathra and the Skiddaw Range.
- Back o' Skiddaw: Keswick, Bassenthwaite, Uldale (the only significant climb), Caldbeck, Mungrisedale
- The Buttermere Round: a muscle-warming 22 miles, taking in Seatoller, Honister Pass (steep), Buttermere (very pretty), Newlands Pass (steep), Swinside, and Keswick
There are off-road trails to suit every ability. Please make sure that you stay on bridleways and do not alarm walkers and sheep! Here are some suggestions:
- Easy: for a flat, easy, family-friendly cycle, try the Keswick disused railway path, following the course of the River Greta. The path starts at the Keswick Swimming Pool car park and runs for 3 miles to the pretty village of Threlkeld.
- Moderate: the Old Coach Road from St John's in the Vale to Dockray (near Ullswater) is a great way to get across to Aira Force and Ullswater. The wide track is quite rough and steep to begin with, but it soon levels off and you can start to appreciate the wonderful views of Blencathra and, on a clear day, the Pennines in the distance.
- Moderate: the paths either side of the Glenderaterra Beck, with a bridge that allows you to cross the beck, provide a really exciting loop. The path on the west side of the valley is narrow, uneven, and challenging, but the path on the east side is broad and well-surfaced.
- Hard: Stonethwaite to Grasmere via Greenup Edge. Please stick to the bridleways.
- Varied: Whinlatter Forest Park, 6 miles from the hostel, provides the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. The Altura Trail is a red grade 19km trail and is designed for experienced mountain bikers with a higher level of fitness and stamina. There are challenging single track sections and popular features like berms, jumps, rock features, skinnies, cork screws and table tops. www.forestry.gov.uk/alturatrail. In contrast, the family-friendly Quercus Trail is a blue grade 7.5km trail, suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness.
High Terrain Events: sportives, duathlons and triathlons
Monster Miles Cyclo-cross Sportive
Fred Whitton Challenge
Keswick Mountain Festival