Circuit of Loughrigg, Elterwater, Hodge Close & Ironkeld
- Start - cattle grid immediately opposite humpback bridge from Rothay Park, Ambleside .. Continue along the under Loughrigg Road following River Rothay over the cattle grid. Before the bridge to main road, turn left. Go up the road past the cottages on the left, onto the first offroad track down to a gate. Go through the gates and take the right track towards Rydal Water. Along the side of Rydal Water avoiding drainage gullys where the flat path ends. Ride through the Water if you wish or dismount and climb over the rocks. Go through the stream up the track by the wall. Follow the track through two more streams and keep to the right hand track .. This is tricky all the way up to the seat. Up a rock slab. Continue up track to the top of Loughrigg Terrace taking care crossing the slate bridges on the way. Go through the gate at the end of Loughrigg Terrace and continue up, follow the track that drops slightly before rising steeply up to the top of Red Bank.
- Follow road up and take first turn on the right, through High Close YHA. Go down the tarmac road. On approaching a seat turn left and drop down the track that follows parallel to road joining road 0.5 mile down. Continue straight on avoiding turning off to Chapel Stile.
- On hitting main road, turn right. Follow the road up to Langdale for approximately 1 mile watching for first bridleway sign on left.
- This is the first downhill part after Chapel Stile. Down the rocky bridleway, through the gate and along over Great Langdale Beck. Through another gate and turn right on track up to farmhouse. Skirt around the side of farmhouse and up rocky track which becomes boulders nigh on impossible to ride up. Pass through another gate, along and down to Baysbrown Farm. Watch out for cattle.
- The track then turns to tarmac.
- Until hitting a junction. Turn right up a loose slatey climb, a long hard grind on concrete slabs.
- Pass through the gate up the track continuing past Dale End Farm.
- Continue down to junction, then turn left into main road.
- Then first right before the Three Shires Pub.
- Go down the track to a ford, (cross if you dare!). Turn left onto track out of ford, then bare right up track (not tarmac).
- Up through quarries bearing left over loose slate track up to a tarmac road with bungalow in front.
- Turn left on tarmac road, follow behind houses and then turn right up to gate. Through gate follow track up to High Oxen Fell Farm. Through gate and turn left onto tarmac road. Follow road up to junction with main road.
- Straight across up steep tarmac climb turning right onto bridleway. Along rocky track, up steep loose climb until you arrive at a bridlepath on your left.
- Bridleway signposted Iron Keld through woods
to top of climb through gate. Drop down track, (be wary
of dropoffs!) Follow bridleway down Iron Keld. Past Low
Arnside Farm, through gate, follow track - beware to turn
off track onto marked grassy bridleway. Cycling through
the ford is possible, keep speed up and be way of any
rocks in the stream. This bridleway is a challenging descent
worth all the pain and suffering of climbing through the
forest. Down to main road.
- Turn left and follow road for approx. 0.75 mile. Up the hill along the side of Tongue Intake Plantation.
- Turn right down lane to High Park Farm.
- Turn right over cattlegrid, and right again onto grassy bridgeway, through two gates and into forest and a down tricky track with a couple of dodgy dropoffs, (if at all unsure - walk!) Down to another gate and through stream or over bridge. It is easy to ride through the stream even though it doesn't look it. Up rutty track to the road.
- Turn left, follow road into Elterwater for approx. 0.5mile. Take road to the right at the Britannia Pub. (A good place for a rest!)
- Continue along to the main road and turn right. Go across a cattle grid and take first turn off on the left.
- Follow road up the hill. Take second turn on right past Loughrigg Fold. Ride down the hill past a turn off the right. Approximately 20 metres after this turn left up to Tarn Foot.
- Follow bridleway signs up Loughrigg. To start with the climb is easy then it becomes very rocky and only the most accomplished cyclist can ridge all the way. Once onto Loughrigg the track opens up. Through a stream, up a banking which is tricky, up to the gate and at last you've climbed the last hill, its downhill all the way back to the start. The last 0.5 mile on the tarmac road is steep and can be slippy, be warned you don't want to fall off at the last!
Small Print: No author nor the editor shall bear any responsibility for any mishap, injury, death or other incident or inconvenience suffered whilst riding any of the routes described. Anybody following any such route does so entirely at their own risk. Anybody wishing to ride on footpaths or other non-permitted routes does so entirely by their own risk.