Cycle Routes in and around Keswick

Cycle Routes in and around Keswick 

Whether you have brought your own bike with you on holiday, or you fancy hiring one during your stay

There are some lovely cycle routes in the area suitable for all ages


The Old Railway Line

Keswick - Threlkeld and Castlerigg Stone Circle 

Start/Finish: Keswick Leisure Pool (GR NY270237) 

Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Grade: Short - Easy. Relatively flat cycling on smooth tracks with no route-finding challenges. Suitable for all bikes. 

Refreshments: Keswick, Threlkeld 

Parking: Car parking available at the Old Railway Station.

Until the 1960s, Keswick had its own railway station and a daily rail service. 

These days, the Old Railway Line has been turned into a popular car-free walking and cycling route between Keswick and Threlkeld. 

The route includes beautiful wooded river scenes which open out into dramatic views of the surrounding fells with easy access to the historic landscape of the area. 

Follow the route extension to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of Britain’s most iconic monuments in an inspirational setting.

Swinside Circuit

Start/Finish: Lakeland Pedlar (GR NY266235) 

Distance: 8 miles (13km) 

Grade: Easy - Short. Suitable for all bikes 

Refreshments: Keswick 

Parking: Car parking is available in Keswick at Otley Road and Bell Close car parks.

This short 8 mile road route uses country lanes to the south west of Keswick on a circular ride around Swinside Fell. The route is on country lanes which can sometimes be busy during peak periods. 

Swinside Cycle Route

Borrowdale & Buttermere from Keswick 

27 miles 

A circular route that takes in the beautiful valleys of Borrowdale and Buttermere and the dramatic passes of Honister and Whinlatter.

The route starts in the centre of Keswick. Take the B5289 out of the town all the way along the Borrowdale Valley enjoying great views over Derwent Water with the Jaws of Borrowdale ahead. 

Soon you’ll start climbing up Honister – it is very tough at first but levels off. The descent is worth the effort, but do take a photo at the top. The village of Buttermere awaits at the bottom with all you’ll need for refreshment. And then head on along Crummock Water, and through Lorton village to take on Whinlatter Pass.

See if you can beat the Tour of Britain pros as you head up from the west, and then its a steep sweeping descent into Keswick and home.

Get your Route Here

Keswick - Cockermouth 

34 miles 

If the three big peaks are too much, but you want a challenge (and tea and cakes along the way) then this is the one for you. It starts near Central Car Park but can be anywhere in Keswick. Go out along the A66 (there is a cyclepath) to Braithwaite before turning left to go up the Newlands Valley. The valley is a steady rise up, with some sharp bits. And save something for the final climb which is steep. Then it is a quick descent down into Buttermere (take care going down as it is steep), where you can reward your efforts with tea, cake and icecream.

Carry on along the beautiful shores of Crummock and hopefully the wind will be behind you are you travel up the Lorton Valley to the pleasant town of Cockermouth. Rest your legs for a while, as you take in the shops before heading west to Bassenthwaite Lake and back to Keswick along the A591.

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Cycle Trails at Whinlatter Forest

Whinlatter Forest is home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District

Whinlatter Cycling Trails

Quercus Trail

A flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous riders.

Trail Length - 

Short: 2 miles (3.5 km)

Long: 4.6 miles (7.5 km)

Find Out More

Gorse Trail 

A waymarked 10km route, sticking mostly to well-surfaced forest roads, and takes you to the best parts of the forest.

Trail Length - 10km / 6.2 miles

Is this grade for you?

Suitable for cyclists in good health. Gradients can vary. Surfaces may be uneven or potholed in places. Look out for vehicles & other users.

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Red Mountain Bike Trail 

Built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina.

Trail Length - 12 miles (19 km)

Find Out More

Mountain Bike Orienteering

An orienteering challenge which explores the forest by using a combination of forest roads and parts of the Quercus mountain bike trail.

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If you haven't brought your bike on holiday with you, or you don't own one, but you want to get out on the trails? 

No problem, there are plenty of places you can hire a bike for you and the whole family. 


Based at the Whinlatter Forest Trail Head, near Keswick

Hire Quality Hardtail, Full Suspension Mountain Bikes and Electric Bikes at Whinlatter Forest and ride amazing MTB trails at one of the UK’s leading trail centres.

Bike hire is available for either 3 hours or the full day

To book a hire bike - 

Find Out More Here

Whinlatter Bikes 

Located in Keswick Town Centre 

On the roundabout near the co-op 

Hire bikes in the shop or choose your bike online 

From e-bikes to mountain bikes and all the in-between

Find Out More

E-Venture Bikes 

Located in Elliot Park, Keswick

Near Booths 

For all your e-bike needs from road, mountain, trekking, and trailers 

Find Out More


133 Main Street, Keswick

Next to the River Greta 

They also have stores at Ings (near Windermere) and Grizedale forest

Hire an extensive range of bikes for your adventures 

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Cafe HNW

Cafe HNW is a Cycle friendly cafe in a park setting.

It is a great place to get the little ones learning how to ride a bike in an enclosed, safe setting 

With a Cycle repair station, a pump and all the tools you may require, bike racks, free water bottle refills, charging station, and it is somewhere to grab a snack or lunch.

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Keswick BMX Track

Keswick BMX pump track is located in Fitz Park, Keswick and designed for use by mountain bikes and BMX bike riders from beginners to advanced, with berm corners, step-ups, rollers, doubles, triples and more challenging jumps for the experienced rider.

For more sustainable travel options during your stay in The Lake District check out our Travel by Bus Blog 

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