South-west Lakeland is a veritable treasure trove of top-notch trails just crying out to be ridden. From the rubble-strewn staircase of the Walna Scar Road to the fast-flowing roller-coaster of Low Parkamoor and from the steep forest roads of Grizedale to the sweet, sinuous singletrack of the Dunnerdale Fells, there truly is something here for everybody.
It all kicks off on the forest tracks of Grizedale — a good place to loosen those traffic-jam weary limbs without having to think too hard — and pays back quickly with a superb undulating ribbon that links Heald Brow Pasture with Low Parkamoor. Technicalities make way for mouth-watering vistas as you cruise above the water, but you won’t relax for long as those sharp rocky steps just keep on coming.
The Blawith Fells bring some more singletrack to the party — this little section is sure to put a smile on your face. Then it’s up once again, this time for a long way, though most of it’s on tarmac.
The Dunnerdale Fells take over where Blawith leaves off, and there are few better places to let rip than on the slender veranda that skirts the hills above Stainton Ground and Carter Ground. The pull up the Lickle Valley starts in the same vein but turns into a bit of a slog as it nears the top.
Then it’s the new-look Walna Scar, complete with a flash, even gravel surface all the way to the pass. This is the only way to ride it now — smooth on the up but as rough as ever on the way back down. The rocky gullies and loose boulders will taco your front wheel faster than you can say Speedy Gonzales, but keep on top of it, as this is one of the finest drops in the region. And there’s still the descent to Torver to look forward to.