Spooky loops in the Lakes, Essex, Lancashire, Surrey and Scotland
Get your freaky ride on with any of these spooky loops available via free GPS download.
Don’t forget to pack garlic and a crucifix in your CamelBak!
The Old Corpse Road from Mardale, Lake District
14km (8.5 miles)
A classic Lakeland zombie trail. Corpse roads provided a practical means for transporting dead bodies, often from remote communities to cemeteries that had burial rights.
Starting off from Swindale Head, park up in the car park and tackle the hardest climb of the day, on bridleway, to the high point of the ride. It’s tough and relentless — 800ft in just over a mile — and you’ll feel like a corpse at the top. It’s a great descent from here though, dropping you into the next valley.
Turn left and cross Swindale Beck to traverse round the side of High Howes, always keeping the beck to your right, before a short descent to the valley bottom. Just as you begin to climb, take the path on your left and you’re on the corpse road proper, from Mardale away to your right, dropping down to Haweswater where you’re heading. It finishes with a great bit of twisty singletrack.
Start point Swindale Head west of Haweswater.
GPS download: bit.ly/mardale
Pendle Hill, Lancashire
30km (18 miles)
The imposing hulk of Pendle Hill dominates the skyline in this area of Lancashire, infamous for its witch trials in the 17th century. Witches were hanged until they were dead. The trial was the Jeremy Kyle Show of its day.
Start point Thornber Wood near Whalley.
Route info: pedalnorth.com
Epping Forest, Essex
25km (15.5 miles)
Reputedly one of the most haunted woodlands in the UK. Legend has it that the spirit of Dick Turpin gallops around the forest come nightfall; see if you can keep up. Former mbr staff writer Andy Waterman is also reputed to prowl these woods at night, cyclo-cross training. Beware!
GPS download: bit.ly/eppingforest
Spooky Woods, Glentress
It had to be done, didn’t it? You can’t have a list of scary trails without the famous section of Glentress. In truth there’s nothing to be afraid of here though, just a series of swooping berms that will have you hollering with joy, not terror.
Start point Glentress visitor centre.
The Graveyard Trail, Surrey Hills
Some say this route is haunted by the ghost of crashed riders, their bones rattling as they ride to their doom. Others say that’s just the sound of your chain bouncing off as you judder down this steep, rooty trail.
Start point Top of Pitch Hill, Surrey.