Cycling in North Cumbria
Photos © Dave Willis
If you fancy cycling through quiet, rolling, lush countryside, then the area of Cumbria around Hall Hills is ideal. Head off in any direction from Hall Hills and you will find yourself on quiet country lanes, passing green fields, woods, and crossing narrow stone bridges over streams.
In most cases the cycling is relaxing, with only short dips into valleys and then brief climbs out again. However, if you want something more challenging, you can head off to Caldbeck and see the road rise like a wall in front of you. From the top, before you drop down into Caldbeck, you have a magnificent view all the way to the Solway Firth and the Scottish Borders in the north, and the Lakes fells to your south.
Hall Hills is keen on cycling and offers guests secure lockable indoor storage for bikes, a hose to wash bikes and ample tools for bike repairs. Assistance with route planning in the Cumbria area is available if needed. If you don't have your own bike with you, you can hire one from Keswick Mountain Bikes, which supply helmets, toolkits and spare tubes with their hire bikes.
Cycling coast to coast
Hall Hills is close to some of the sea-to-sea (C2C or coast-to-coast, if you like) routes across northern England. For more details see the c2c-guide.co.uk website. Of the different routes, Hall Hills is closest to the reivers route, and for more info on this see the reivers-route.co.uk website.
Cycling in the Ullswater area
There are a number of cycling routes in the Ullswater area, which is a short drive to the south of Hall Hills, and the closest of the Lake District lakes. There is one particularly challenging loop of Ullswater. There is another route to the north west of Ullswater. A third option is to try the route to the east of Ullswater starting from Glenridding and going along the Boredale bridleway.
Cycling in the Keswick area
The route to Keswick from Hall Hills is also a nice one to cycle, going past Heskett Newmarket and then through Mungrisedale. Along part of the way this follows one of the c2c routes to avoid the busier roads. There is a special cycle lane to Threlkeld to enable you to avoid the A66, and then you can cross over and take the old road that goes past the Castlerigg neolithic stone circle before dropping down into Keswick.
Heading out of Keswick the most obvious route if you want something that stays out of the rough is to cycle around Derwentwater, stopping off at Grange in Borrowdale for a scone with jam and cream, and a pot of tea.
Cyclists looking for something more challenging near Keswick can set off to cycle up and down Latrigg, which is the low hill immediately to the north of Keswick. Just behind Latrigg is the much higher Skiddaw. Getting a bike up Skiddaw involves a lot of pushing, but the descent of Skiddaw afterwards is described by Jason Thomas as "the longest, maddest DH in the UK, no argument."
Cycling in the Whinlatter Forest Park
By driving further to the west through Keswick you can get to Whinlatter - home to a number of outdoor and adventure activities. There are a number of organised and popular cycle trails in the Whinlatter area. To find out more download the PDF brochure about the Altura and Quercus mtb trails at Whinlatter.
Cycling along Hadrian's Wall
Heading in a different direction, to the north of Hall Hills, out past Carlisle, you can cycle beside the route of Hadrian's Wall. See this description of Hadrian's Cycleway.
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