Bill Jackson has given us full details of his ride next Sunday. Here's hoping for decent weather...
Starting from Ambleside Rugby Club GR373038 at 10.00 am. Please park at the north end of the car park, car share if you can. Free parking by kind permission of Ambleside Rugby Club.
The ride leaves Ambleside, over Rothay Bridge and on to Clappersgate, Lake Windermere to our left (1) here turning left and heading out towards Hawkshead, but again left at Outgate to take the road to Low Wray, and Wray Castle. The Castle is now open and has a cafe, it is a chance to see inside, so we could make a stop here, if riders would like this. Leaving here we head through High Wray with views over Blelham Tarn (2) and on to Colthouse and Hawkshead, Esthwaite Water (3). We can make a coffee stop here, but don't eat too many cakes because we have a big climb ahead up Skinner Lane and old Hawkshead Hill to Tarn Hows.(4) If anybody wants to avoid the steep climb from the top of Hawkshead Hill to Tarn Hows they can do so, by continuing on the B5285, we will meet up at the bus stop outside Hollands very nice cafe for lunch in Coniston. Coniston Water to our left. (5). The bus stop is covered in and has a seat for those with a picnic. The ride leaves Coniston on the A593 heading north through Yewdale and soon passes Yew Tree Tarn (6) before a steep climb to the top of Oxenfell, descending, we take the left turn for Colwith and on to Elterwater (7). There is another opportunity at the Colwith turn to shorten, by continuing on the main road to Ambleside, this would miss out the Elterwater and Grasmere loop. At Elterwater, there is a choice of route to Skelwith Bridge, The most scenic is to follow route 37 alongside the River Brathay, but it is unsurfaced and shares with walkers, even so, I would recommend this, most tyres seem ok with the surface and it is a beautiful stretch to cycle. At Skelwith Bridge we meet up with anybody who opted for the main tarmac road. (The route can be shortened here by taking the main road back to Ambleside and missing out the Grasmere loop.) Leaving Skelwith we turn left at Ellers and start the climb up Loughrigg Fell, soon turning right to follow the loop around Loughrigg Tarn (8) again, this bit is unsurfaced but ok for most tyres. Soon to join the narrow road and continue on over Red Bank to Grasmere (9) over White Moss and down to Rydal (10). We then turn right over Pelter Bridge and continue on the quite road under Loughrigg Fell back to the start.
Many of you have done this ride with me in the past, but for the benefit of riders new to it, it is never a quick ride and is always ridden at a leisurely pace with plenty of stops, it is very hilly with at least one 25% also two very steep 25% descents from Tarn Hows and Red Bank, which should be treated with great caution depending on the weather and traffic. All we need now is a nice crisp day with some Autumn colours.