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, and several keen cyclists on our staff. You can download some cycling routes from, and just ask us if you want some advice or cycling chat! 

The Keswick to Threlkeld cycle trail on the old railway is the best off road trail for families.


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.) The closest time trial course to the hostel is L1010 (10 miles, flat). Some local route suggestions, all starting from the hostel:

  • 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! There is also a relatively new BMX/mountain bike track in Fitz Park in Keswick, with berm corners, step-ups, rollers, doubles, triples, and more challenging jumps.

  • 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. In contrast, the family-friendly Quercus Trail is a blue grade 7.5km trail, suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness.  

Bike hire

Keswick Mountain Bikes: Tel 017687 75202 

Cyclewise Whinlatter: Tel: 017687 78711. Shops in Whinlatter and Cockermouth.

Cycling events

High Terrain Events: sportives, duathlons and triathlons

Jennings River Ride, raising money for the Cumbria Community Foundation

Monster Miles Cyclo-cross Sportive in October

Fred Whitton Challenge in May


Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
© 2013 Derwentwater Independent Hostel. All rights reserved. Registered charity: 1145368