‘See More’ with the new Lakes & Dales Loop
An iconic cycling route taking in a range of scenic landscapes across Cumbria has been officially unveiled this March, taking in everything from the rolling green valleys and towering peaks of the Lake District to the hidden treasures of Morecambe Bay.
The 190 mile Lakes and Dales Loop is a significantly revised and revitalised version of the former Cumbria Cycleway, which was opened back in 1980, but over the next 15 years, it became too busy with traffic to be actively promoted as a recreational cycleway.
The new look circular cycle route ties together two National Parks – the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales – to offer a distinctly different journey for people to make on two wheels. It uses quieter lanes and is aimed at a wider range of cycling abilities, so although it may attract hard ‘challenge’ riders, it is suitable for experienced leisure cyclists as well.
There’s no need to tackle the entire 190 mile loop in one go, with plenty of shorter sections along this diverse circular route providing the chance to get off the beaten track and experience a range of spectacular landscapes, distinctive heritage and rich culture.
You could follow the northern boundary of the Lake District National Park to explore the edge of the imposing Northern Fells. To the west, why not take to the open road from Eskdale Green across Birker Fell, before enjoying the splendid isolation and majestic beauty of Dunnerdale.
The 25 mile stretch east from the foodie paradise of Cartmel to the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale takes in some impressive views over Morecambe Bay. Or head north from Kirkby Lonsdale towards the village of Orton. Scenic highlights along the way include Barbondale and the spectacular landscape stretching towards the imposing Howgill Fells.
Of course, there no set rules about how – or where – to enjoy the Lakes and Dales Loop. It offers a new way to explore Cumbria’s rich and diverse landscape on two wheels, so gear up for an iconic Cumbrian experience not to be missed.