Hawkshead Classic Trail

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Hawkshead Classic trail

Distance – 32 km / 20 miles – Approx Time 3 – 5 hours

Terrain – A good mix of bridleway, green lane, forest road and tarmac road with plenty of technical descents and climbs.

Start at Hawkshead, from here head west uphill along Vicarage Lane and onto the bridleway into Grizedale Forest. Turn left along the forest road towards Moor Top Car Park.

Just before Moor Top there is a bridleway marked heading southwest. After approx 5 kilometres the bridleway leaves Grizedale Forest and heads onto Parka Moor.

Continue along this bridleway following the ridge above Coniston Water and  enjoy the views.

Not long after Low Parka Moor House the bridleway becomes a green lane, with an amazing technical descent, heading southwest, down to the village of Nibthwaite. Here you join the main road.

Head south along this road to Nibthwaite Grange, where you turn left onto the road that heads northeast towards High Ickenthwaite. This is a steep tarmac climb, which will terminate after a 1.5 kilometres, where it then becomes a green lane.

Once at the farm gate at High Ickenthwaite, turn left onto the tarmac road and descend to Force Mill Farm. Here turn left again along the tarmac road towards Force Forge, where the road then heads north towards Satterthwaite Village.

Just after the church in Satterthwaite, and where the main road bends to the left, there is a narrow tarmac lane off to your right. This road then meets a ‘T’ junction, where you turn right again and head up a steep tarmac lane back towards the forest.

When the tarmac lane finishes head right and northeast along the bridleway heading up hill over Breasty Haw, before an excellent descent to Dale Park, where the bridleway meets the road.

Turn left along the road for a short distance, where you will see the bridleway to your right, again heading northeast, with another fantastic technical descent towards the main Hawkshead – Newby Bridge road.

Turn left onto the road and follow north towards Esthwaite Water, where you then turn right towards Near Sawrey.

Once in the village of Near Sawrey, turn right along the main road and then left onto the bridleway, which takes you north and up hill past Moss Eccles and Wise Een Tarn, into Claife Forest.

Carry on along the forest road until you come to the bridleway on your left (at Hollin Bank Plantation) this will provide a short descent to the next forest road.

Turn left along this forest road towards Guide Post, and then left onto the Bridleway that descends west to Colthouse.

When you reach Colthouse turn left onto the road and follow back to Hawkshead.


Remember - do not just print this and follow, as the description is a guide to the route. You will need to plot this route on your OS map (Explorer OL7) before you start your ride. Please also remember that these routes may travel through working forests and there will be times when forest operations will leave forest roads closed to the general public. Please remember to adhere to all forest signs for your safety.

Download route description

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