Many individuals visiting the Cumbria and the English Lake District achieve this for the strolling, and it’s little surprise in a panorama that has impressed many well-known artists, authors and poets over the generations. Peaks resembling Scafell Pike, Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Coniston Outdated Man are all in style, as are most of the decrease degree hills such Orrest Head, a private favorite of William Wordworth’s. However the Lakes can be an out of doors playground for a lot of different actions – climbing, fell working and a bunch of watersports to call only a few.
And naturally mountain biking. There are numerous trails within the Lake District that aren’t suited to street bikes however can help you get off the overwhelmed path, discover the surroundings and canopy fairly a little bit of floor in a shorter time that you simply would possibly in any other case by strolling. Over the approaching months, we hope to share a few of these trails with you, and the primary of those is the ‘Three Rivers’ mountain bike path in Kentmere within the southern Lake District.
Ranging from the street that hugs the River Kent to the north of Staveley, a brief drive from Kendal, the route is so referred to as since you make three river crossing throughout the course of the journey. And to tackle this journey, we used the Ridgeback MX4 mountain bike which I’ve talked about in an earlier weblog publish. Constructed with a light-weight alloy body and, Shimano gearing, Suntour suspension forks and Tektro Novela disc brakes, these bikes had been greater than well-equipped sufficient for the terrain that lay forward.
I ought to stress, although, that we’re removed from being mountain biking aficionados so we is not going to be overlaying any routes which are super-technical; as a substitute, they need to be comparatively achievable even by individuals with a low degree of competence (like me!!).
The primary portion of this journey is a gradual ascent by way of open countryside which noticed us climb simply over 500 ft in a little bit over three.5 miles – apart from a brief ascent after simply leaving the street, it by no means actually felt that you simply had been climbing that a lot and so this is able to be manageable even with fairly younger youngsters in tow (however in all probability not toddlers!). The gears on the bike are intuitive and simple to function, so discovering the best gear isn’t actually an excessive amount of of an issue.
The terrain alongside this route consists largely of gravelly trails, with beautiful, open views both aspect and the occasional massive puddle so as to add to the curiosity!
You continue to have to look at the terrain, although – a couple of times I discovered myself in fairly deep ruts that would simply unseat you in the event you didn’t have your wits about you. We truly did this journey in late October – on the tail-end of the varsity half time period – but we encountered only a few different individuals throughout the time we had been out. The occasional walker or fell runner, in addition to a mountain biker who was finding out a puncture. (We stopped to see if we may assist however he appeared to know what he was doing!) Folks usually complain that the Lake District is just too busy however, decide the best location and time of 12 months, even whether it is college holidays, and you’ll nonetheless largely have the place to your self.
Probably the most enjoyable elements of this journey is crossing the tributaries – in locations, these are deep sufficient to get you moist to the ankles, so bear that in thoughts – particularly in the event you’re planning on biking an extended loop, as you would possibly need to take a spare pair of socks with you!
After the third and remaining river crossing, you’re at concerning the highest level of the route and there’s a stunning, lengthy downhill stretch of grassy hillside with stunning views out into the space which are a spotlight of the journey.
This then turns again to gravel as you proceed your descent again in the direction of Staveley…
…earlier than taking you alongside a small stretch of woodland…
…and again out on to the open street the place you possibly can get pleasure from views throughout the Kentmere Valley. For many who want to see the route we adopted in additional element, or obtain it on their telephones in an effort to simply comply with it yourselves, you’ll discover it on my Strava right here.
An everyday hang-out for anybody having fun with actions within the space is the Staveley Mill Yard, the positioning of a former bobbin mill which, along with being house for a complete number of small companies, can be house to the long-established Wilf’s Café the place you possibly can get pleasure from a light-weight lunch or only a espresso and a cake – no matter you’re feeling you’ve earned!
Disclosure: The bikes had been kindly equipped to us by Ridgeback who launched mountain biking to the UK within the early 1980s.