This is an easy mountain bike run along the Western shore of Lake Windermere. Starting at Harrow Slack and ending at Wray Castle, the route is entirely traffic free and offers some absolutely stunning views across the lake. At just under 7 miles it's a great ride for cyclists of all ages and abilities that we thoroughly recommend!
The best way to get to the starting point, Harrow Slack car park, from the Hawksmoor Guest House is to take the ferry across Lake Windermere, which leaves from a pier just South of Bowness. Feel free to ask how to find to the ferry at our reception desk, we'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Once you arrive on the Western shore you'll find yourself at Harrow Slack car park, it's right next to the queue for the ferry. From the car park turn left and follow the tarmac section where you'll often see people picnicking. After 1km the road becomes a track after a cattle grid and open gate.
A Ride through the Woods
Next you'll find yourself riding into the woods for 2.2km on a wide and stony trail. This section of the route has a number of steep & short climbs and descents that can easily be ridden at a sensible speed with due care. However, groups with young or inexperienced riders may need to walk through some very brief sections of the track. Also, keep and eye out for the parts of the path that have eroded, creating small trenches either side of the track.
Soon you'll reach Belle Grange and a sign post indicating a left turn off onto a bridleway. However, continue on ahead and stay right on the main track heading onwards to High Wray. From this point the track is smooth and flat, making it an easy ride. Do keep an eye on your speed though, as you'll encounter walkers around the corner.
After approximately 500m you'll arrive at Red Nab car park. Ride on through the car park and follow the signs to Wray Castle. Look out for a rather low wooden barrier as you set of from this point! This section of the ride is along the shore of Lake Windermere, so prepare yourself for some great views. Continue along the lakeside track for 1.6km until it turns away from the lake and goes uphill for 500m. The part of the route is sign posted 'The Castle Gatehouse'. Continue on the Castle drive to reach Wray Castle.
Enjoy a Picnic by the Lakeside
It's around this point of the ride you may want to pause and walk down to the lake shore where you'll find some really beautiful spots for a picnic. Don't forget that here at the Hawksmoor B&B in Windermere we're able to provide packed lunches on request.
From Wray Castle you can take the same route back Harrow Slack car park and ride the ferry back over to Bowness. However, if you're feeling up for it then you could even continue onwards to the village of Hawkshead.
This ride along the shore of Lake Windermere is a nice and simple route, perfect for groups with younger members or as a warm up for some more challenging rides during your stay in the Lake District. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us at the Hawksmoor if you're looking for accommodation close to popular cycling routes in Windermere. We have great facilities for cyclists, including a secure bike shed monitored by CCTV and a drying room for all your muddy gear.
Posted by Hawksmoor Admin