One of the most technical and rewarding pieces of singletrack in the UK

One of the most technical and rewarding pieces of singletrack in the UK. Want to try it yourself? Read on.

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Looking at the stats (13km / 8 miles), this route may appear a bit paltry. But this is the Lake District, and eight miles along Lakeland trails can be a real workout.

This route takes in arguably the Lake District’s finest lake before sending you off round the back of tourist-free nowhere. Then it’s a return to Ullswater via an arduous up, then an adrenaline-tastic down, from the head of the Boredale Valley.

The main ingredient of the ride is the famous Lakeside singletrack alongside the east shore of Ullswater. Although it’s (sort of) alongside a lake, the singletrack is very rarely flat.

It’s actually much more like riding along a sawtooth blade, and it’s as much of an extreme trials-like climbing challenge as it is a test of descending skill and nerve. You’ll be constantly working your body and bike. Hustle, hustle, hustle! Some people bemoan its lack of obvious flow, but more seasoned riders relish the all-round crazy challenge.

There are debates over which is the best way to ride the Ullswater singletrack: north-to-south or south-to-north.

There are reasons to do it in either direction, but south-to-north means you get the rocky madness descent to Silver Point, passing between the east flank of Silver Crag and the hulk of Birk Fell. Then you can round things off with a final descent back down to Ullswater from Boredale Hause — big scenery, big rocks, skinny trail, finish line in sight all the way.