Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Catch it at the right time, and the bridleway that hugs Ullswater’s eastern shore is one of the finest in the country – a scintillating blend of rock and roll technical and mouth-watering scenery, that entertains as much as it challenges. But timing is everything, and this is a very popular tourist area, so don’t even think about it on a busy bank-holiday weekend.
The trail forms the centrepiece of this short but sharp figure of eight from Pooley Bridge that really does have a little of everything. There are two main ascents; the first is steep but well-surfaced and rideable, climbing straight from the village onto the bracken-covered flanks of Loadpot Hill; but it’s the second, longer climb that will get most people puffing – starting with an impossibly steep assault on the 400m saddle of Boredale Hause; and then a long, strength-sapping singletrack traverse onto the narrow neck of Beda Fell.
What goes up must come down, and this outing’s not without its downhill interest too – particularly the sweet little drop from Loadpot to Howtown, early on; and, of course, the well-earned plummet from Beda Fell towards the end of the ride. There are plenty of steep and stony drops on the Ullswater trail too, if this isn’t enough for you.
Either loop can be reversed if you fancy a bit of variety; or the road section could be left out altogether by returning on the same tracks that you used on the outward leg.