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Explore Cumbria on two wheels

Get on your bike and head to Cumbria

In September, the Tour of Britain cycle race returns to Cumbria. Last year, when the lycra-clad train navigated the narrow streets and challenging climbs, the county fell head over wheels for cycling. Cumbria is ideal for exploring on two wheels and you don’t need to have calf muscles like Bradley Wiggins to get on your bike. There are plenty of routes ideal for the beginner or a relaxing family day out. Here are just a few to get you started:

 

Orton family cycle ride

Starting point: Market Square, Orton. Length: 11 miles

This gentle ride, designed for all the family, meanders through narrow country lanes in a figure of eight circuit. You will start, finish and find yourself in Orton at the midway point. Notable areas to take a selfie break are the Gamelands Stone Circle and the historic Dame School, which dates back to 1780.


The Torver Trail


Starting point: Coniston Lake Road car park. Length: 6 miles

This is a gentle, mainly off-road route. There used to be a railway station in Coniston. This former Furness Railway branch line closed in 1958 and part of the track bed forms this cycleway. It’s a superb, mainly flat ride for beginners or those who prefer a more gentle bike ride.


Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge on the Langdale Trail

Starting point: Elterwater National Trust car park. Length: 3.2 miles

The scenery on this ride is simply breathtaking. You will be constantly stopping to take some Insta worthy snaps of the glaciated Langdale Valley, the tarns and the waterfalls.

 

 

Cycle Blog 2

Lindale and Bowland Bridge

Starting point: Lindale Stores. Length: 14 miles

This is a longer route but still fairly flat and a great way to see the South Lakes. You will follow the Winster Valley with views of the imposing Whitbarrow Scar. You will also cross the river Winster as part of your cycle ride.


Morecambe Bay Cycleway


This fairly flat, coastal route starts off in Barrow-in-Furness and runs all the way into Lancashire. At 80 miles, it may seem daunting, however you can hop on and off wherever you like. If you are feeling brave, the full distance is achievable by beginners over the course of two or three days. The Morecambe Bay cycleway takes in the market town of Ulverston, the village of Cartmel, famous as the home of sticky toffee pudding and the charming Edwardian seaside resort of Grange-over-Sands.

 

Cycling Blog

Hadrian’s Cycleway National Route

This spectacular route spans 174 miles linking the Irish sea and the North Sea. Several areas of the route are perfect for a beginner’s cycle ride or a family day out. Handily the cycleway is fully signposted throughout.

 

Hadrian's Cycleway
Maryport to Allonby (Hadrian’s Cycleway National Route)

Starting point: The Wace Centre, Maryport. Length: 10 miles

This route mainly avoids roads so traffic is not a worry. Why not pop into the fascinating Senhouse Roman Museum as you are passing? It is situated on cliffs overlooking the Solway Firth and proves an ideal photo opportunity. An ice cream stop in Allonby before the return leg is an absolute must.

Senhouse Roman Museum
Silloth – on – Solway (Hadrian’s Cycleway National Route)

Starting point: RNLI Visitor Centre, Silloth. Length: 7 miles

This route starts in the Victorian seaside resort of Silloth and heads north along the coast with eye-catching views of the Solway Firth and Scottish hills. The inclines are gentle which makes it a perfect day out for beginners.
Sunset
Lowther Castle

The grounds of Lowther Castle are home to a network of cycle trails that run throughout the Lowther Estate. The trails are mainly traffic free, with a few sections of main roads, most of them quiet. Routes cater for all ages and abilities. Signposting is clear with circular routes taking in ancient woodlands, pastures and the River Lowther.


Coniston Water

Starting point: Coniston TIC car park. Length: 17.5 miles

If you are feeling adventurous, the length of this scenic route will prove a challenge the whole family can enjoy. The quieter east side of the lake is one of the most picturesque roads in the Lake District. Under a canopy of trees you will track the lake and join the River Crake to Lowick Bridge. For a shorter ride and a more sedate return you can load the family and the cycles onto the launch at Water Park Jetty.


Windermere West Shore Cycle trail

Starting point: Harrow Slack Car Park, Far Sawrey. Length: 8 miles

This is a glorious ride with constant views of England’s largest lake. You will finish at Wray Castle, which is an ideal place for the kids to play. If the lake is just too tempting you could start the ride at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre and catch the bike boat to the western shore of Windermere.

Windermere

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