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This ride is one for toughies on mountain bikes. It heads off in the direction of the High Furness Fells, initially on a deceptively easy going ride, and then the fun begins as the route takes a turn upwards on a rocky track, locally known as the Mountain Road. On a clear day there are fantastic views of the Coniston Fells and Langdale pikes. The route takes in old quarries around Hodge Close descending to Little Langdale and finally following the River Brathay, crossing it on the Millenium Bridge and the back to Ambleside. New cycle paths are due to open through 2013 so keep a look out for the and use them when available to avoid busy traffic.
|Time/Effort||4 out of 5|
|Navigation||3 out of 5|
|Technicality||4 out of 5|
|OS map||Landranger 97, Explorer OL 7.|
|Refreshments||Cafes at Ambleside, Elterwater, Skelwith Bridge. Pubs at Ambleside,Elterwater, Little Langdale, Skelwith Bridge and the Drunken Duck. Shops at Ambleside, Coniston and Elterwater.|
Ambleside-Clappersgate-Knipe Fold-Hodge Close-Elterwater-Skelwith Bridge-Ambleside
1. From the far end of Rydal Road car park take the cycle path west directly out of the car park, and join the Under Loughrigg Road. Turn left to the A593 Coniston Road. Carefully go diagonally across the road through the gap in the wall opposite onto the cycle track, signed Bowness and Coniston. Continue south west, joining the cycle lane on the A593 through Clappersgate until you reach a stone footbridge on the left.
2. At the bridge turn left following cycle sings for Bowness and Coniston. Turn left after the footbridge, following the cycle sign for Bowness, along a narrow lane to a T junction with the B5286. Avoid this road by using the cycle path to the right of the road, following the Bowness cycle sign. Stay on this path, following the cycle route as it joins and leaves the road again until a T junction. Rejoin the road here and carefully turn right following the sign to Coniston and tarn Hows up a hill. Follow the lane as it climbs to a cross roads at the Drunken Duck. Go straight ahead to Knipe Fold, passing Borwick Lodge to a public byway signed sharp (back) right.
3. Turn right up the initially surfaced byway climbing steeply, through a gate and onto a loose surfaced, walled lane. There is a short, rocky descent at one place where some cyclist may wish to dismount. Follow the byway through to its end with the junction with the A593
4. Go diagonally straight ahead onto a single track road. Take care crossing the main road as visibility is restricted. Follow the narrow road to High Oxen Fell Farm where the tarmac finishes. Go straight ahead through the farm yard and follow the twisting stony bridleway at Hodge Close. Take time to look carefully down to your right, where you will see a deep pool filling an old quarry.
5. Pick up the same route back as our Tarn Hoes and Tilberthwaite ride, there is a challenging section of off road which can be avoided by following the dotted line on the maps to Colwith to take an easier route to Elterwater.