This circular ride around the western end of Wasdale bursts the myth that all mountain biking in the area is hard-core. It has one steep climb that requires pushing, but that aside it's a mixture of high level cruising, a long descent and fast flowing exploration around the valley bottom tracks and lanes.
Nether Wasdale with its two pubs and ample car parking makes the ideal start point allowing a pleasant warm up around the lanes to Wast Water - then the fun starts for real with an outstanding descent from the top of Hollow Moor. As you work round the route don't forget to take in the views, for not only do you get a twist on the classic view towards Scafell Pike, you also get a mighty seascape out across the Irish Sea.
Nether Wasdale and Hollow Moor by Mountain Bike
Start/Finish: Nether Wasdale, GR NY124040
Distance: 19km (11.8 miles)
Time: 3 hours
Height Gain: 420 metres
Terrain: Valley roads, lake side roads, rough bridleway, walled fell track and valley bottom access track.
Maps: OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL7, Harvey's Super Walker Lakeland Central (1:25,000), British Mountain Maps Lake District (1:40,000).
Head east out of Nether Wasdale to a junction, take the left branch, then at the next junction head straight on and follow the road to Wast Water. At the next junction - just after the viewpoint by the lake - turn left and follow the road past Greendale for 3.4km to a bridleway on the right (just before the turning for Yew Tree).
Follow the steep bridleway as it climbs uphill, through a gate and beside the trees. At a bend the bridleway enters a lane and climbs west through the trees. Past the trees the bridleway turns north and exits onto open fell. Head north then west beside a wall to a footbridge.
Cross the footbridge and then enter the walled lane. The lane is rough at first and then undulates through the trees; it then descends in a long run down to the road near Gosforth.
Turn right and head down towards Gosforth. Cross Wellington Bridge and carry straight on for 200 metres. Turn left and follow the bridleway to a T-junction.
Turn left and follow the road for 1km to a bridleway on the left for Hall Bolton. The bridleway dips down to cross the River Bleng then climbs to join the road.
Turn right after 2km, then at the next junction turn right for Nether Wasdale.
Bring your tent along and relax at the National Trust Campsite at Wasdale Head and take in the views and serenity of the beautiful Wasdale valley, home to England's highest mountain, deepest lake and smallest church.