Mountain Biking in Keswick
Whinlatter Visitors Centre is just five miles from YHA Keswick with some of the best purpose built single track mountain bike trails in the country. The 19km Altura Trail is great for experienced bikers and the 7.5km Quercus Trail suits the less experienced wanting a taste of technical off-roading. These exhilarating single track rides boast some commanding views over Bassenthwaite Lake and beyond to the Irish Sea on a good day. There is ample parking at the Visitors Centre, where you will also find Siskins Café with its large outside veranda seating area, it is a great place to relax after your ride.
The Borrowdale Bash
At 28km is a difficult challenge with some technical sections. The route takes you along Derwent Water before the first climb of the day up to the picturesque Watendlath Tarn and its little hamlet. From here the route crosses an old stone bridge before progressing up an ancient rocky bridleway. At the pass, pause to take in the stunning Borrowdale view as the next 2km descent is technical in nature, leaving no opportunity to look around. At the road turn left to pass through the pretty village of Rosthwaite where the Scafell Hotel and the Flock in Café are both good places to refuel. Follow the road along to Seatoller before taking the track that climbs steeply alongside Honister Pass before turning right to head north along single track towards Castle Crag and Grange. To reach Grange requires negotiating a tricky downhill section over the boulder field below the crag. Grange is a lovely village nestling at the southern end of Derwent Water, complete with a couple of strategic cafes. From here, follow the quiet road along the western edge of the lake before taking the track on the left that contours below Catbells with its magnificent views towards Keswick. The bridleway soon rejoins the road to head on to Portinscale and back to Keswick.
Lonscale Fell & the Glenderaterra Valley
This 18km route is less demanding than the Borrowdale Bash but still has some short technical sections. A nice easy start along the old railway line leads you to the pleasant village of Threlkeld where you take the left turn onto Blease Road. This is a steep climb for 1km before levelling out. Here the road finishes but the track continues over a cattle grid, through fields of sheep where you can still see the scars left from the busy 19th century copper and lead mining. After crossing a number of wooden and stone bridges, the path steepens before you take a sharp left to head south. At this point take a minute to get your breath back and enjoy the beautiful views down Saint Johns In The Vale, as you’ll need all your concentration for the next section. The track spectacularly contours along the side of Lonscale Fell with some rocky sections and large drop offs (caution is advised when cycling along here). Eventually the path climbs up to Latrigg car park before descending steeply towards Spooney Green (be considerate of walkers on this fairly busy bridleway). You then cross a bridge over the A66 before turning left onto Brundholme Road, which leads you back to the Youth Hostel.
Other things to do nearby
A walk up Skiddaw, one of the four 3,000s, rewards you with fantastic views over Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite while Blencathra with its many ridges, including Sharp Edge, is for the more adventurous
From YHA Keswick there is a cycle route to suit everyone, whether you’re looking for a gentle ride following the River Greta along an old railway track to tackling the famous 112 mile Fred Whitton cha
The C2C route is a 225km route traversing Northern England from Whitehaven or Workington on the West coast to Tynemouth or Sunderland on the east.
For an accessible road-side route try Little Chamonix for an entry level climb.
Within a three mile radius of Keswick you can try canoeing, sailing and kayaking, all available on Derwentwater.
With its large collection of exhibits, the museum is a fascinating place to discover old Keswick and the Lake District. See the museum website.
Stuffed with puzzles, gadgets and curiosities The Puzzling Place is guaranteed to have something to amuse, entertain or puzzle you.
There are fantastic crags, climbing and bouldering in the area, just make sure you look across the valley to get the best views from the top!
Offering multi-activity courses in everything from ghyll scrambling and zip-wires to raft-building and waterrollerz.
Enter through a graphite mine replica and follow the path of pencil making from the reign of Elizabeth 1st to the present day.
One of the most beautifully located theatres in England, hosting film and literary festivals throughout the year.
Cruise the lake stopping at the lakeshore jetties where you can change boats, or enjoy the 50 minute trip around Derwentwater.
Daily launches around the lake stopping at Keswick, Nichol End, Hawes End, Low Brandlehow,, High Brandlehow, Lodore and Ashness Gate.
Climb one of the hills right next to the bunkhouse to make the most of the beautiful landscape and see the world from a different perspective.
Experience the thrill of two wheels. See the world from a different angle, get the excitement of speed and learn how to handle your bike on the rough stuff while staying in control
Try one of our courses and explore all of the fantastic crags, climbing and bouldering in the area.