This cycle starts in Ambleside and is looped so you can either cycle up from our Windermere Guest House or drive depending on how keen you are with your cycling! Whichever you decide you will be taking in some splendid views as you drive or cycle along the eastern shore of Lake Windermere up to Ambleside using the A591.
Once you have reached Ambleside, leave the A591 and head towards Clappersgate on the A593. Head onto the B5286 once you’ve passed through Clappersgate and go over Brathay Bridge alongside Brathay Dub. You’ll now be heading in the direction of Hawkshead but be sure to take a left, signposted Wray and its plain sailing from there with the occasional climb that shouldn’t be too tough for any cyclist.
You will arrive at the stunning Wray Castle, a perfect spot to stop for some lunch or a coffee to keep the fire burning before heading onto a few miles of great ascents and descents until you arrive at Colt house. From here you can follow signs to Hawkshead and go onto the B5285. Make your way through Hawkshead and turn left before the bridge signposted Coniston and Hawkshead Hill, staying on the B5285.
At this point you’ll be taking on your toughest climb of the cycle as you head for the summit of High Cross. About half way up there’s a sign marked ‘Hill Top’, but don’t be fooled, you’ve still got a fair bit of peddling to do before High Cross. Take in the incredible view from there and after such a tough climb you might well want to treat yourself to a pint. Either way, at the upcoming crossroads turn right following signs to Barngates, go through Hawkshead Hill and you’ll arrive at the Drunken Duck pub. Grab a rest, a drink and a bite to eat if you like or continue straight on until you get to the B5286 junction, at which point, turn left and retrace your route back to Ambleside.
The ride is little over 10 miles but quite taxing unless you’re a seasoned cyclist, but with some of the best 360 views of any ride in the Lakes, it’s one that can be enjoyed by all and is worth taking time over to take in the scenery!