December Windermere Guest House Cycle: Lyth Valley – Damsons & Daffodils

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South Lakeland is one of the most idyllic and quietest parts of rural England and thus it is one of the best places to explore by bike. Nowhere is too far from our Windermere Guest House especially if you’re on your bike so we’re always on hand to give you advice on places to cycle to.

The Lake District has something for every cyclist to enjoy, from challenging off-road mountain biking routes to gentle country lanes so whatever it is you’re after you can count on the Lakes to provide for you. There are plenty of winding road cycling with stunning views which is ideal for a gentle spin or a great journey. There are plenty of safe and enjoyable family rides for all ages and abilities as well.

On this Lyth Valley journey you will wind your way between rocky knolls and small woods. The town, famous for its damson orchards, is just a short way south of our Windermere Guest House accessible south via the A5074 towards Levens and onto Sizergh Castle. The ride starts by the gates of the magnificent Sizergh Castle – itself a place well worth visiting – and takes in enclosed wooded landscapes, flat open farmland, open straight roads and pretty orchards set amongst rocky outcrops. A steep detour provides a spectacular view over south Cumbria and the Lakeland fells as well as the perfect place for a picnic; the view definitely makes the climb worthwhile! Attractive at any time of year but the wild daffodils and damson blossom in Spring make this an especially beautiful ride during the Spring and Summer months.

The distance of the cycle is a short 13 miles but if you cycle directly from our Windermere Guest House it is an extra 10 miles on top. The cycle is moderate in difficulty but if you do choose to take on the optional detour, the steep climb can be quite tough for unseasoned cyclists. If you need any refreshments en route you can find pubs in Sizergh, Levens, Underbarrow and Brigsteer.

The Route:

From Sizergh Castle pass the Strickland Arms and turn left immediately. You will come to a T on a steep hill, turn right and cycle uphill. Follow this direction into Levens taking care on the hill.

Once in Levens, bear right at the town’s Post Office, then follow the sign marked Grange.You will come to a sharp right marked route 20 and take this. From here, turn left at the bottom of a short hill over a bridge onto flat farmland. Take the next right to Brigsteer, entering village up another short hill. Brigsteer is a quaint and lovely village which you must keep left in, joining the main road at an angled junction. Take the very next right you come to which will bring you out at another T junction. Turn left here – signed Crosthwaite and Bowland Bridge – and continue to Underbarrow via a steep and bendy hill.

Once in Underbarrow take the first right – signed Crook – and continue to Underbarrow Church where splendid drifts of wild daffodils carpet the churchyard in spring. Fron here, return towards the village, taking a right fork into Mill Lane and turning right onto the main road.

Keep an eye out for a sign for Milnthorpe and Levens on the left and take this. Your next sign will be for Brigsteer and if you keep left back into this village you can head to the Wheatsheaf Pub if you fancy a tipple before moving on.

For the detour to Helsington viewpoint continue uphill and approximately 300m past the Wheatsheaf take third track on the right. Follow the bridleway past houses and through gate onto open farmland and diagonally uphill to stone track at top. Take a left towards Helsington Church and you can’t miss the viewpoint with its spectacular views! Once through, retrace route to Wheatsheaf or continue past the church to rejoin the road and turn left downhill towards Brigsteer.

Follow the sign for Levens and from here you can either enjoy the town of Levens or return to your Windermere Guest House after a cracking day out.