7 miles cycling - up to 3 hours
A cycle ride for the experienced to enjoy the delights of Grizedale Forest.
Timings: You will need to take the first Cross Lakes Shuttle to Grizedale to do this ride. Take a look at Cross Lakes Experience leaflet including 2011 timetable (PDF)
If you don't want to cycle all of this route, you can catch the bus at Hawkshead, Hawkshead Youth Hostel and Hill Top en route.
Make a day of it: Pick up the Cross Lakes Shuttle at Bowness to Grizedale, enjoy your cycle ride then get the boat back from Ferry House.
Refreshments: available at Grizedale and Hawkshead.
Large version of map: take a look at the Great Walking and Cycling Made Easy leaflet page 2 (PDF)
Starting from the Bus Stop at the Visitor Centre at Grizedale, cycle down the narrow lane, with the high wall to your right, towards the farm. As you cycle past the farm on your right you will see a double field gate into the farmer's field on your left. Turn left through these gates and cycle up the hill in front of you on the farm track. At the top of the hill you will cycle over a cattle grid. You are now in Grizedale Forest. Turn right after crossing the cattle grid and follow the forest road through the grand conifers and pick up the green cycle trail waymarkers. These are green discs with white arrows on square wooden posts.
Stay on this forest road for approximately 1 mile where you will come to a forest road junction - there is a stream near this junction. Keep right at the junction past the forest road to your left. You will start to climb again along the forest road up to another forest road junction. Keep right again and cycle past the forest road off to your left. Not long after cycling past this junction you will see a small tarn to your right. This is Juniper Tarn.
From here continue along the forest road, turning left and then left again at the next two forest road junctions. Head along this forest road and watch the views towards Ambleside unfold. Turn right off the forest road onto a bridleway which will take you into Hawkshead - this is the second track to your right. This bridleway will turn into a tarmac road, keep following it downhill and it will lead you under an archway and into one of Hawkshead’s main squares.
In front of you is Beatrix Potter’s Gallery, turn right here and head past the Queen's Head Pub on your left and The Sun Inn on your right towards the road junction. Bike straight on towards the next road junction where you will again bike straight on and join the main road passing Hawkshead Primary School on your right.
Follow this road past the right turns to Grizedale and then to Dale Park and along to Hawkshead Trout Farm on your left.
Cycle past the trout farm. A minute or so past the trout farm you will see a road off to your left. Turn left here - signed Sawrey - and follow the road around Esthwaite Water, still to your left. This road will meander through woodland and meadows and climb a little up to the village of Near Sawrey. On your way to Near Sawrey and as you leave the view of Esthwaite Water you will see first a road to your right and then a road to your left. Pass both of these and keep cycling for a couple of minutes until you reach a T-junction.
At this junction turn right onto the main Hawkshead to Far Sawrey road - take care! - and cycle along this road, past the Tower Bank Arms Pub and Hill Top. Keep cycling along this road and head towards the village of Far Sawrey where you will see the Sawrey Hotel on your left. Cycle through the village of Far Sawrey and stay on the main road which will start to descend towards Windermere. Follow the road around to Ferry House keeping the lake on your right. After a few more minutes along this road you will see the Cross-Lakes Shuttle and the ferry to the other side of Windermere.