Cycling in and around Keswick

Cycling is a great way to get around and explore the area. It can also be a fun activity for the whole family, though the terrain is likely to be a lot tougher than at home. Enjoy the dramatic scenery on rides on our country lanes and tracks or try the technical cycle trails up in Whinlatter Forest. Family friendly cycling is also well catered for with off road cycle trails and tracks. Read on for some great ideas for all levels.

Whinlatter Forest

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(c) Cyclewise

If you're looking for off-road cycling trails Whinlatter Forest, just outside Keswick, is home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. The Altura Trail is designed for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina. The trail takes riders up to an altitude of 500m above Keswick giving great views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Skiddaw and Helvellyn. The Quercus Trail is a flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous riders. A gentler alternative is the Gorse Cycle Trail, though being England's only mountain forest there isn't too much flat ground, so it still demands a good standard of fitness. This 10km route sticks to well-surfaced forest roads and explores quieter corners of Whinlatter. It's ideal for mountain and hybrid bikes as well as electric mountain bikes with long gradual climbs and descents.

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Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail

The re-opening of the trail between Keswick and Threlkeld last December after the 2015 floods was welcomed by both locals and visitors alike. The smooth-surfaced trail, on the former railway line, is a 10km out and back off-road route with gentle gradients. Being a multi-user trail it is great for the whole family with cyclists, runners, push-chairs, walkers and mobility scooters all sharing the space. As well as linking Keswick and Threlkeld the route is part of the 137 mile C2C route from the West to the East Coast. The trail starts from just beyond Keswick Leisure Centre close to Fitz Park where there is a pay and display car park.

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Bike Hire and Cycling Courses

Cyclewise Bike Hire & Shop is based up at Whinlatter Forest and is the perfect location from which to enjoy the amazing graded mountain bike trails situated amidst the beautiful forest setting. They have both mountain and electric bikes to choose from. Cyclewise also has a team of expert coaches offering a wide range of Mountain Bike Courses. Their Family / Group Mountain Bike Skills sessions will show you when and how to control your speed, how to handle corners and pick the correct lines on the trails as well as teaching you the correct body position for riding on descents and technical climbs.

Fitz Park

The pump track in Keswick Park is a very popular destination for riders from beginners through to advanced. There are step-ups, rollers, doubles, triples as well as more challenging jumps. For younger riders, just learning to ride a bike or  not yet confident to go on the road, the perimeter path, which runs all way around the park, makes a great circuit. 

Downloadable Bike routes

Download our 'Biking around Keswick' - 5 do-in-a-day rides on country lanes and off-road tracks. The Swinside Circuit is a  short 8 mile road route which uses country lanes to the south west of Keswick on a circular ride around Swinside Fell whilst the Skiddaw loop explores some of the wilder corners of the Northern Fells.

When booking accommodation on our website look for for the Cyclists Welcome logo. This highlights accommodation providers who are all set up to welcome cyclists with facilities such as a secured covered area for bikes and information on local cycle routes. If you have any specific requirements please check at the time of booking.

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We hope you have enjoyed this short guide to biking in and around Keswick. For more information visit our cycling page.

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