Langdale cycle trail

Cycling trail

This trail through Great Langdale valley runs away from the Pikes on the outward leg, through varied scenery of meadow, woodland, slate quarry and eventually along a riverside path from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge. Here you can stop off for refreshments before heading back up the valley to enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the Langdale Pikes.

Two people cycling through the countryside


Map route for Langdale cycle trail


Stickle Ghyll car park


Exit the car park and turn left along the B5343 for around 100 yards before forking right through the smaller car park opposite the Sticklebarn. Follow the white-on-blue cycle route signs pointing along the wide track towards Ambleside and Elterwater.


Take this byway down the valley until you reach the point where the track turns left up towards the road. Fork right here following the cycle signs to Chapel Stile. Turn right again at the next junction of paths and head over the bridge across the river and straight up through Oak Howe Farm. Around the back of the farm take the path to the left, signposted to Chapel Stile.

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Here's where the uphill section starts. The magnificent view back up the valley towards the Langdale Pikes gives you a good excuse to stop and take a breather before you head through woodland towards Baysbrowne Farm. After passing through the farm keep straight on along the road until you reach a house followed immediately by a cycle path sign to the left. Take this left turn down a bridleway and through Elterwater quarry. Beware of large vehicles as you pass through the quarry.

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As you exit the quarry take the track to the left. This runs down to the riverside where there's a lovely stone seat overlooking Great Langdale Beck. The path then climbs a little until it joins the road down from the quarry. Go down this road and turn left at the T-junction over the bridge into Elterwater village.

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Leave Elterwater village via the car park at the end of the bridge and follow the riverside path signed 'Ambleside, route 37'. The path eventually leaves the crystal-clear river behind and heads off through woodland, reappearing into open meadow at the edge of Elter Water tarn.

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Continue along the path across open meadow where you will soon approach a gate into woodland. Go through the gate and cross the stylish wrought iron bridge known as the Trevor Woodburn Memorial Bridge. Cycle route 37 takes you across the bridge and continues to a short section of the busy A593 to Chesters by the River at Skelwith Bridge. If you prefer to avoid the road then do not cross the memorial bridge, but instead, dismount and push your bike along the path to the left down to Chesters by the River.

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Chesters is the turnaround point for the cycle trail. Simply retrace the route back up the valley taking in the breathtaking views of the Langdale Pikes as you head back towards the Sticklebarn and Stickle Ghyll car park.

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Stickle Ghyll car park

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Langdale cycle trail


A mostly flat route following quiet lanes, bridleways and trails, but with one section of steep climbs and descents which is tackled on both the outward and return journeys. The trail is well maintained and is mostly on compact gravel. Suitable for mountain or hybrid bikes.

Langdale cycle trail

Contact us

Langdale cycle trail

How to get here

Great Langdale, near Ambleside, Cumbria
By road

Take the A593 from Ambleside to Skelwith Bridge, then turn right along the B5343 heading for Great Langdale. You’ll find the Stickle Ghyll National Trust car park on the right-hand side just after the Sticklebarn tavern (approximately 4 miles from Skelwith Bridge on the B5343).

Langdale cycle trail

Facilities and access

  • Refreshment stops: Sticklebarn (start/end point), Brittannia Inn (Elterwater), Maple Tree Cafe (Elterwater), Chesters by the River (Skelwith Bridge)
  • Public toilets at Stickle Ghyll car park and Elterwater village
  • Cycle hire available at Great Langdale National Trust campsite, half a mile further up the valley from Stickle Ghyll car park