Nan Bield Pass - Kentmere
A classic route, attempted by both locals and visitors. Not for the beginner though as there is a big hike up and a techy, but awesome, ride down. You will be rewarded, after carrying your bike up a rocky path that seems to go on forever from Small Water, with amazing views across the hills and a totally fantastic descent off Nan Bield (watch out for walkers, this is a popular route for them too). Expect alpine type hairpin bends, super fast stony singletrack, badly placed ruts and lots of breath holding as you fly down numerous rocky and techy bits. Definitely one to tick off the list.
Helvellyn - Glenridding
If you want some epic views then this is the ride for you. Helvellyn is the third highest peak in the Lake District, and probably one of the most visited by walkers, but don’t let this put you off, you are in for a treat. The route is a good mix of steep and gentle riding, rocky and technical bits, swooping singletrack and some fast descents. It can be quite a challenging ride, but well worth it if you have the skills (or bags of confidence!) to tackle it. You won’t be disappointed.
Claife Heights - from Windermere
This is a typical Lake District mountain biking route, plenty of uphill, but that just makes the coffee and cake taste better at the end (or at Hawkshead if you can’t wait that long). The start of the ride is on the ferry from Windermere where you then head to Sawrey (up the first of the hills). With quite a mix of terrain and views you will never get bored as you pass by meadows, ride through woodland and descend rocky tracks to a lake shore. You even pass through Grizedale Forest, where there are some great trails if you want to add a bit more fun into your ride before you head back on the ferry.
Three Rivers - Staveley
For anyone who lives locally this is frequent route and also makes a fantastic night ride. It’s fun, relatively easy riding but still with enough techy bits to make it worthwhile doing again and again. Starting from Staveley there is a small road section before you hit Green Quarter but then the fun begins. The ride has everything from smooth grassy fast bits, rutted muddy bits, rocky and technical, hard trails, a few big uphills and some splashing through water (hence, three rivers). If you only wanted a really short ride you could head back along the road about half way round when you reach Kentmere Hall, but few do. Instead you carry on with a long and steady climb (with a few bits of proper puffing steep sections) then you are mostly on one long and amazing undulating descent that will have you smiling all the way back to Staveley. This is simply a really good ride out, it’s got everything that mountain biking is about. Enjoy!