Which mountain biking trails in the Lake District are best for intermediate riders?

The Lake District, an enchanting region in North West England, is an absolute haven for mountain biking enthusiasts. Known for its diverse landscape, the area is sprinkled with towering peaks, shimmering lakes, and verdant forests, all of which create a picturesque backdrop for biking. But if you all are intermediate riders and planning a biking expedition in this region, surely you'd wonder: which trails should you pick for the optimal experience? Well, you're in the right place! We've got you covered with a comprehensive guide to some of the best mountain biking trails in the Lake District ideal for intermediate riders. So, strap on your helmets and let's hit the road!

The Grizedale Forest Loop

Embarking on this trail, you'll quickly understand why Grizedale Forest is one of the most popular spots in the Lake District for biking. This 16-mile loop takes you deep into the heart of the forest, where you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature. Though the ride does include some challenging ascents, they're rewarded with thrilling downhill descents and panoramic views over the forest. The trails are well-marked, so there's no need to worry about getting lost among the towering trees.

The Grizedale Forest Loop is a perfect blend of technical riding and scenic beauty, making it a fantastic choice for intermediate riders seeking a good balance of challenge and enjoyment.

The Borrowdale Bash

Next on our list is Borrowdale Bash, a classic Lake District biking route that covers around 18 miles. This ride takes you on a journey through some of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District, offering spectacular views of Derwentwater and Skiddaw along the route.

The Borrowdale Bash is relatively technical with several steep climbs and rocky descents, which are sure to test your skills. However, it remains accessible for intermediate riders who are up for a bit of a challenge. The route also features an array of charming villages where you can rest, refuel, and soak up some local culture.

The Kentmere Round

The Kentmere Round, a 20-mile trail, is another popular choice among mountain bikers in the Lake District. This trail takes you up into the hills, where you'll be treated to sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. It's a challenging route with a mix of steep ascents and technical descents, but the stunning scenery makes every hard-earned pedal stroke worth it.

The trail takes you along narrow country lanes, rocky paths, and forest roads, providing a good variety of terrain to keep you engaged throughout the day. The Kentmere Round is a great choice for those who want a challenging, yet rewarding ride in the Lake District.

The High Street Roman Road Loop

Named after the Roman road which forms part of the trail, the High Street Roman Road Loop is a 22-mile route that offers a thrilling ride up into the high fells of the Lake District. The climb up to the High Street might be a gruelling task, but the unforgettable view from the top and the exhilarating descent that follows make it all worthwhile.

This loop is not for the faint-hearted, with a rugged and rocky terrain that can be challenging to navigate. However, for intermediate bikers who are looking for a ride that pushes their limits while offering a dose of history and spectacular views, this trail is a must-try.

The Claife Heights and Windermere Lake Loop

Last but not least, the Claife Heights and Windermere Lake Loop is a less challenging but equally enjoyable ride for intermediate riders. This 15-mile route offers a varied terrain that includes forest trails, country lanes, and open fields. The highlight of this loop is, without a doubt, the breathtaking views over Windermere Lake, the largest lake in England.

This route provides a gentler pace, making it a great choice for those who simply want to enjoy a leisurely ride through some of the Lake District's most beautiful scenery. Despite being less demanding, the Claife Heights and Windermere Lake Loop still offers enough variety and challenge to keep intermediate riders entertained.

So, there you have it. A carefully curated collection of some of the best mountain biking trails in the Lake District for intermediate riders. Whether you're in search of nerve-tingling descents, challenging climbs, or simply breathtaking views, the Lake District has got it all. So, it's time to don your biking gear and hit these trails for an unforgettable cycling adventure!

The Whinlatter Pass

The Whinlatter Pass is a 12-mile mountain biking route that has become increasingly popular among intermediate riders. It's located in the beautiful Whinlatter Forest, which is England's only true mountain forest and boasts some of the Lake District's most stunning views. This route is definitely not for the faint-hearted as it entails several steep climbs and speedy descents, but the thrill of the ride counters any challenge that comes your way.

The trail begins and ends at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, making it convenient for riders to access facilities before and after their ride. Throughout the ride, you'll have the chance to explore the forest's dense woodland, cross babbling brooks, and eventually ascend to breathtaking views of Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater, and Keswick. The Whinlatter Pass also hosts a variety of wildlife, so don't be surprised if you come across red squirrels, roe deer or even an osprey if you're lucky!

This trail is an excellent test of your riding skills and fitness required for an intermediate mountain biker. The descents are thrillingly fast and the climbs are tough, but once you reach the top, the views are absolutely worth it.

The Garburn Pass

If you're an intermediate rider seeking a more arduous challenge, consider tackling the Garburn Pass. As one of the Lake District's oldest and most well-known trails, this 12-mile route will test your advanced riding skills with its technical rock sections and steep ascents.

Starting from Troutbeck, the trail takes you through a mix of challenging rocky paths and smoother lanes. The trail's highlight is the old bridleway that ascends up the Garburn Pass - the climb is steep and challenging but the descent on the other side is an exhilarating reward.

The Garburn Pass offers not just an adrenaline rush, but also an amazing natural beauty. You'll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding fells, tranquil valleys, and the glistening waters of Windermere Lake. It's a ride that combines the best of the Lake District's landscape - the biking distance, ascents and descents are perfectly balanced with the breathtaking views.


The Lake District is an absolute gem for mountain biking, with trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. For intermediate bikers, the region offers a wide range of routes that strike the perfect balance between challenge and enjoyment. Whether it's the tranquil ambiance of the Grizedale Forest or the technical paths of the Garburn Pass, there's a trail for every rider. Each route offers not just a good fitness test, but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the Lake District. So, don your gear, pump up your tires, and prepare for an unforgettable mountain bike adventure in the Lake District. No matter which route you choose, you're guaranteed a thrilling bike ride and views that will take your breath away.