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Troutbeck and Ambleside are linked by an old bridleway that traverses the southern flanks of Wansfell. The high level route makes a superb mountain bike route and is an ideal introduction to mountain biking in the Lake District. In can be accessed from Ambleside by using the A591 (cycle lane) and Holbeck Lane an forms a short loop easily done in a part day or an evening. Terrain Main road, narrow lanes and rocky bridleways.
1 - 2 hours
1. Work your way round the one-way system and head South out of Ambleside on the A591 towards Windermere (making use of the roadside cycle lane). 200m after the Low Wood Hotel is a lane on the left this is Holbeck Lane. Turn onto it and follow it as it climbs North East then East and passes round the top of Briery Close. After a steep climb it eases then turns North East and finally makes a short descent to join Bridge Lane at Town End. Turn left onto Bridge Lane and follow it North for 450m to a junction by the Post Office.
2. The track on the left is Robin Lane; this is the start of the off-road part of the ride. The first bit of Robin Lane is a climb, follow it South West then West, after 600m the gradient eases and it turns North West to a junction. Take the left fork and make the pleasant descent to a beck, cross the beck, make the short climb on the other side then make another descent to Hol Beck. Continue West up hill to High Skelghyll.
3. High Skelghyll marks the start of the best bit of the route, it's a long descent West then North West through Skelghyll Woods down to Old lake Road. It can get quite fast so watch out for walkers, horses and other mountain bikers as it's a popular bit of bridleway. The rocky bits near Stencher Beck can be tricky as you come onto them without warning. Once on the Old Lake Road follow it North to the A591 then work your way round the one-way system back to the Centre of Ambleside.