Back o' Skiddaw loop, Lake District by Cicerone Publishing

Back o' Skiddaw loop, Lake District by Cicerone Publishing

Cicerone Publishing

Walking, trekking and cycling guide publisher Cicerone guides us on an anti-clockwise circuit of the Northern Fells, first following the C2C cycle trail as far as Scales before heading around the Back o’ Skiddaw.

This compact and easily accessible corner of the North West is packed with the best of everything that England has to offer, including cycling. All of the land is over 914m (3,000 feet) with England’s highest summits, the largest and deepest lakes and rare wildlife such as red squirrels, nesting osprey and a solitary golden eagle all to hand.

For this route, follow the blue waymarker signs that lead to the C2C cycleway (NCR71) from Keswick town centre. Here the trail follows the course of the old Keswick to Penrith railway line, so it is gentle pedalling despite steadily gaining height. Follow the C2C trail through Threlkeld and out the other side all the way to Scales. Turn left alongside the White Horse Inn and follow this to its end in Mungrisdale.

Ride on through Bowscale and Mosedale. After Caldbeck Common, cross Carrock Beck and climb around the eastern flank of Carrock Fell to Calebreck before a pleasant descent into Hesket Newmarket. Leave the village and head towards Fellside and Branthwaite.

Just after Branthwaite head northwards to a T junction on the B5299 and follow directions for Keswick. Near the summit of Aughertree Fell, follow signs for Orthwaite and Mirkholme, via Longlands, Chapelhouse Reservoir and Over Water. Follow the cycle route all the way to Keswick.

Just before Keswick, turn right towards Bassenthwaite and enjoy some of the northern shore of Bassenthwaite Lake before following the A591 towards Keswick, via a quieter road through Millbeck and Applethwaite.

Download GPX file of route 
Level of ride 
Beginner cyclist
Type of bike