A Cycle Tour Of The Langdales from Riverside Bed & Breakfast, Ambleside
Recovering from a slight knee injury which prevented me from walking in the Fells I decided to take one of the really great cycle rides from Ambleside to my favourite valley, Langdale and to share it with you. Here it is with some pub stops along the way!
Start/Finish Riverside B&B
Distance 18.1 miles (29.2 km)
Grade: Medium Challenge
Time 2.5 – 4 Hours Depending on how thirsty you are
Refreshments: Cafes at Elterwater,Skelwith Bridge. Pubs at Chapel Stile, Elterwater, Langdale, Little Langdale.
1 From Riverside B&B take a right onto Under Loughrigg and follow the road to the A593 Coniston Road. Carefully go diagonally across through the gap in the wall opposite onto the cycle track, signed Bowness and Coniston. Continue Sw, joining the cycle lane on the A593 through Clappersgate. In a little under 0.5km turn Left over a stone footbridge, again following cycle signs for Bowness & Coniston
2 Cross the bridge and then turn R, signed Coniston Route 37, to pass the church. Follow the lane as it heads West alongside the River Brathay. The lane then swings SW and climbs to a junction at Skelwith Fold. Turn R, then after 200m turn R again, and descend to the A593 at Skelwith Bridge.Quick coffee at Chesters
3- Carefully turn L onto the A593 then after 100m turn R signed Coniston Route 37 and join the cycle path. Follow the 37 signs turning R to the foot/cycle bridge over the River Brathay. Cross the bridge then turn L onto the riverside cycle path. As you head along the path and emerge from the trees the peaks of the Langdales come into view. Continue easily along the cycle path and follow it NW up the valley to Elterwater where you can stop at the Britannia Inn for a quick drink
4 Turn L and follow the lane as it climbs gently over to Colwith. Turn R and follow the narrow lane up into Little Langdale. The Three Shires beckons. At the fork 600m after passing Little Langdale Tarn turn R and follow the Blea Tarn road as it climbs steadily N. The road climbs in stages and skirts the flanks of Side Pike to arrive at the top overlooking Langdale.
5 The descent is very steep down into Langdale and there are a number of sharp bends. Once down into Langdale the road eases and becomes wider, (a quick mug o tea and a bowl of chips at Sticklebarn) follow it E along the valley tp Chapel Stile.
6 Continue on the road past Chapel Stile and the Wainrights’ Inn for 800m until a turning on the R for Elterwater. Make the turn and head through the village to the car park. At the car park turn L to join the cycle path signed Ambleside Route 37 and then re-trace your steps back to Riverside B&B.
Make sure to bring your bikes when you next visit Riverside because there are so many great cycle rides from Ambleside to enjoy!
I thought our guests might be interested in some culture in the Ambleside area of the Lakes – yes there is some! So here we go, the Riverside guide to our favourite Ambleside points of interest: for those of you who enjoy a bit of culture!
Top 5 Experiences In The Ambleside Area
1-The estate of a remarkable man
Take a 19th century Steam Gondola across Coniston Water to Brantwood, home of John Ruskin, the writer, artist and social reformer described by Tolstoy as
The house is full of art, objects and stories, while outside a range of trails thread the 250-acre estate. And – overlooking the lake – you’ll find eight unique and beautiful gardens, continuing the horticultural experiments that Ruskin began. The Professor’s Garden was Ruskin’s favourite: it’s dedicated to plants which are good for the body and soul. Much like the Lake District itself, you could say.
2-Storytelling, nature, art and farming
Beatrix Potter was a remarkable woman: a storyteller, artist, naturalist and farmer. Hill Top – at Near Sawry – was the farm she bought in 1905 from the proceeds of her first“little book” – Peter Rabbit – and she used Hill Top itself and the surrounding countryside as inspiration for many of her stories. Full of her favourite things, including original illustrations,the house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk.
3-A poet’s home, in harmony with its setting
While Dove Cottage is the better known, it was Rydal Mount – between Grasmere and Ambleside –where Wordsworth lived for 37 years. It’s an informal place: you’re left to your own devices to tour the house, including the great man’s attic study with its views down to Windermere. The poet was a keen landscape gardener and the four-acre garden is more or less as he planned andplanted it. His aim was that it should be in harmony with its surroundings– and indeed it is a delightful spot, with its fell-side terraces over looking Rydal Water. Next to the garden is Dora’s Field, which William and Mary planted with daffodils in memory of their only surviving daughter Dora,who died of TB aged 43.
4- The hills are alive with the sound of … Lake District Summer Music
An international music festival featuring top artists plus a summer academy for young musicians on the brink of their careers. The focus is on classical and chamber music – but other genres feature too. There are performances in 17 venues across the Lake District– from intimate historic churches at the foot of mountain slopes to solid town halls in Lakeland market towns. There are world-premieres with pre-concert talks by composers and new collaborations between world-famous artists meeting for the first time in the inspiring setting of England’s best known,best-loved landscape.
5-A night of culture in a dramatic setting – Keswick’s modern Theatre by the Lake,
On the shores of Derwent water, was described by the Telegraph as “the most gorgeously situated theatre in England”. There’s a wide-ranging programme from contemporary to classic, and two auditoria – the 400-seater main theatre, and the smaller Studio. You could always start the evening before the performance with a sail across the lake: from the main jetty it’s just 200 yards to your seat in the stalls.
Our holiday let which is next door to Riverside is opening for bookings from May 2017. It has been fully refurbished and looks great. Pictures will be posted soon
Winter refurbishment now complete together with a new en-suite bathroom