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Duration
4 Riding Days
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    Fitness Grade - 2 - 3
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Fitness Grade
2 - 3
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    Suitable Bike - Hybrid / Touring
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Suitable Bike
Hybrid / Touring / Gravel Bike
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    Skills Grade - A
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Skills Grade
A
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    Navigation - Self Guided
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Navigation
Self Guided

The Lake District North to South Full Itinerary 


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The Cycling - Introduction

Make the most out of your time in the Lake District national park, with this unique route, which takes in the many kilometres of cycleway and small back roads, linking the main market towns, river valleys, low mountain passes and coastal paths; this tour has them all.

Highlights

• Experience many of the Lake District’s attractions
• Ride at your own pace
• Visit quaint hamlets and overnight in thriving market towns
• Train accessible, so no need for a car
• 18-62km daily cycle distances. 18-62km daily cycle distances

If you want to find out more about the cycle holiday, the route or anything else about The Lake District please just give us a call and speak to one of our team.

Contact us to find out more or reserve your space:
Email: admin@cycleactive.com
Call: + 44 (0)1768 840400


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Day 1 - Arrival in Penrith 
 
This tour starts in the market town of Penrith, which is known as the gateway to the Lake District, due to its great transport links. Located on the M6 motorway, along with the main train line from London Euston or Manchester airport, accessing Penrith could not be easier. You are free to check into your accommodation mid-afternoon onwards, with a couple of impressive castles within cycling distance if you choose to explore the local area. This tour starts in the market town of Penrith, which is known as the gateway to the Lake District, due to its great transport links. Located on the M6 motorway, along with the main train line from London Euston or Manchester airport, accessing Penrith could not be easier. You are free to check into your accommodation mid-afternoon onwards, with a couple of impressive castles within cycling distance if you choose to explore the local area. There is ample free parking available in the town if you choose to leave your car for the duration of the tour. 
 
Cycling: optional 19km (12miles)
Ascent: 270m (884ft)

 

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Day 2 – Penrith – Derwent water - Keswick
 
After a hearty English breakfast, today you are set to pedal westward towards Keswick, in the shadow of Blencathra a mountain known for its saddleback profile.  Utilising various cycle routes, you head though small villages such as Greystoke and Threkeld, both having great tea rooms for a mid-morning coffee. 
 
Following the course of the river Greta, you soon arrive in the thriving town of Keswick, where you can explore the town, sampling one of the great café for lunch before you head out on your lap of Derwent water. This stunningly beautiful lake is in the Borrowdale valley and has plenty of sights to take in, such as Lodore falls, the Bowder stone, along with epic views of Skiddaw towering 931 meters above Keswick. 
 
After a hearty English breakfast, today you are set to pedal westward towards Keswick, in the shadow of Blencathra a mountain known for its saddleback profile.  Utilising various cycle routes, you head though small villages such as Greystoke and Threkeld, both having great tea rooms for a mid-morning coffee. 
 
Following the course of the river Greta, you soon arrive in the thriving town of Keswick, where you can explore the town, sampling one of the great café for lunch before you head out on your lap of Derwent water. This stunningly beautiful lake is in the Borrowdale valley and has plenty of sights to take in, such as Lodore falls, the Bowder stone, along with epic views of Skiddaw towering 931 meters above Keswick. 
 
After checking into your accommodation, don’t forget to sample a few of the locally brewed beers in one of the many pubs.
 
Cycling: 48 km (29 miles)
Ascent: 850m (2800 ft)
Meals included: Breakfast 

 

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Day 3 - Keswick – 3 Lakes – Ambleside

After a short warm up on Keswick’s disused railway you soon climb up to the bronze age, Castlerigg Stone Circle  and its panoramic north lakes views. Turning south into St John’s in the Vale, you now head towards Thirlmere reservoir’s dam, it’s peaceful lake side road and then up over Dunmail Raise, into the South lakes. The home of the 18th century poet, William Wordsworth, Grasmere, is next on the cards, with its many coffee shops and world-famous ginger bread.

The journey then takes you into Great Langdale, which is the heart of the mountaineering community in the Lakes and it’s two iconic pubs (Old and new Dungeon Ghyll). Many an adventure has been planned from theses locations and a pint of the local brew is well deserved. Gravel cycleways and quiet backroads then take you into Ambleside, where you are spending a few nights.
   

Cycling: 51 km (32 miles)
Ascent: 1100m (3600 ft)
Meals included: Breakfast

 

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Day 4 - Ambleside – Coniston – Hawkshead – Ambleside

As you are staying another night in Ambleside there are options for today, along with a possible day off the bike consisting of a late breakfast, Spa therapies, ferry rides and a movie! Ambleside has it all. A ride to Hawkshead is a great half day option, with its traffic free cycleway making the return pedal a true pleasure.

Choose a week in May and you may be treated to the bluebell extravaganza of Pull Woods, on the shores of Lake Windermere.  If your legs are feeling strong then a lap of Coniston water is in order, taking in many a cycleway along with the history of Donald Campbell’s water speed record attempt.

Cycling: 18 km (11 miles) or 55 km (34 miles)
Ascent: 330m (1100 ft) or 1060m (3500 ft)
Meals included: Breakfast
 

 

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Day 5 - Ambleside – Grange over sands – Kendal

Today’s day on the bike, takes you south along the length of Lake Windermere and onwards to the coast at Grange- over-Sands, before turning inland towards the old market town of Kendal. Utilising further traffic free cycleway and quiet back roads, the 18km’s of the longest lake in England, Windermere, are a pleasure and if you are after a shorter pedal then you can use the ferry mid-way down the west shore. 

Looking out over the sand flats of Morecambe Bay, is a perfect time to sample the locally baked pies, before following the course of the river Kent into Kendal.  Kendal with its thriving Brewery Arts Centre, is a great place to spend your final night in the Lake District, reminiscing on the truly stunning journey which you have just carried out.

Cycling: 35 km (22 miles) or 62 km (39 miles)
Ascent: 700m (2300 ft) or 1000m (3300 ft)
Meals included: Breakfast
 

 

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Day 6 - Onward Travel

After checking out of your accommodation you will have time to explore Kendal castle’s ruins, while on route to the train station. As part of the tour package we included a train transfer for Oxenholm the Lake District, back to Penrith, if you need to collect your car.

If you wish to start your onward journey from here, then this is also possible, either taking your bike with you ,or leaving our hire bike at the accommodation.

Cycling: N/a
Ascent: N/a
Meals included: Breakfast
 

Hostels  

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Guest Houses 

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Lakeland Hotels 

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FURTHER INFORMATION
 

Choosing the Right Holiday
At CycleActive we carefully grade our trips according to both the level of fitness you need and the level of bike handling skill you require. We also offer personal advice to anyone who needs it, by email or on the phone, to ensure that you find a holiday suitable for your abilities and desires.

Fitness grade 2-3.
This means you need to be a moderately fit cyclist, but as it is self-guided, with the only time constraint being day light hours, you are free to pedal at your own pace. The Lake District is not flat, so you must be willing to pedal up and enjoy the downs.  

Skill grade A.
The route follows backroads and well graded gravel cycleways, so you do not need to be experienced at off road riding, but your bike does need to be comfortable on gravel surfaces.   
  
Geography & Climate
This is a hilly ride through varied terrain and at different times of year it can be warm or very cold and wet (the lakes are there for a reason!) We recommend that you travel with a good variety of cycle clothing to allow for the range of temperatures. A full kit list will be sent to you on booking.

Accommodation
With this tour you can choose the style of accommodation to suit your needs. The Lake District can offer everything from independent youth hostels, to Michelin stared hotels, so there is something for everyone.  
 
Hostels -  Offering clean and comfortable dormitory rooms, along with great breakfasts, hostels offer superb value for money. Bed linen is provided, so you can travel light on the bikes and you can also hire towels if required. This option is ideal for a solo rider not wishing to pay the single supplement associated with guest house accommodation.    
 
Guest houses – The Lake District is renowned for its warm and welcoming guest houses and their knowledgeable owners. Predominantly en-suite, or with private bathrooms, this level of accommodation offers comfort without breaking the bank and a hearty breakfast is always included. 
 
Hotels – if you are looking for something a little special, then the area can certainly offer some amazing experiences in the form of high end hotels, in superb locations. Boasting Spas, Michelin stars, lake side views and much more, there is no better way to relax after a day in the saddle.     
 
Meals
With all our accommodation packages you have breakfasts included and then you get to choose where to buy your lunch and evening meals. The Lake District is full of amazing places to eat, form small independent tea rooms to gourmet restaurants serving the best local produce.    
 
Cycle Support
This trip is self-guided, with no support vehicle, giving you complete control of your time while on tour. You are responsible for your own safety and your own journey from point to point using the supplied OS maping/GPS files. There are ample bike shops along the route and we are always on the end of the phone to answer any questions you may have.   
 
What bike / Cycle rental
If you plan on using your own bike then we recommend a hybrid, gravel or touring bike, with slightly treaded tyres. Road bikes on slick tyres are not suitable due to the long sections on gravel cycleways. With the un-supported nature of this tour you will also need to carry your spare clothes etc. We recommend using two panniers, but a rucksack could also work.    If you choose to hire a bike from us then we offer Hybrid bikes and e-bikes, which are fitted with rear panniers. 
 
Clothing and Equipment
With the tour being unsupported you will need to cycle with your luggage, but due to the use of accommodation and not camping, you can travel light with only spare clothes and a small tool kit. This is cycle touring at its lightest!
 
Pre-travel Information 
On booking we will send you electronic copies of the route, your accommodation and the tour notes. These will also be waiting for you at your first nights’ accommodation, printed and laminated ready for the adventure.
 

Hostel Accommodation

£295pp


 Single occupancy fee: n/a


Any Sunday – Friday
Excluding Christmas period
Full Payment required
upon booking
 
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Guest House B&B's

£395pp


 Single occupancy fee: £150


Any Sunday – Friday
Excluding Christmas period  
£100 deposit with the final balance due 2 months before the tour date
  
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Lakeland Hotels

£795pp


 Single occupancy fee: £440


Any Sunday – Friday
Excluding Christmas period 
£300 deposit with the final balance due 2 months before the tour date
 
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Optional extras
 
Hybrid bike rental:   £120
Electric bike rental:          £180
Helmet rental:   £5
GPS unit rental:   £40
Luggage transfers:   £165
Airport transfer Manchester, 1 way    £235
Airport / Ferry transfer Newcastle, 1 way     £220

 

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