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Lakes & Dales Loop
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The successor to the former Cumbria Cycleway, this is a circuit of the Lake District that stays determinedly off the beaten track. You won’t pass Windermere, Keswick, or other tourist mainstays. Rather, this loops round the edge of the Lakes and skirts the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

It’s entirely on-road, so well suited to road bikes as well as tourers. It avoids the highest climbs of the Lakes, so you don’t need to be Olympic fit – it’s more an intermediate-level route.

We’d recommend taking at least four days over its 190 miles, not least because that gives you more time to explore some of the lovely little towns along the way. The eastern flank, which passes through Appleby, Sedbergh, and Kirkby Lonsdale, is particularly appealing.

But the lanes themselves are the main attraction. The Loop includes some of our favourite roads anywhere in Britain: the valley road from Gawthrop to Kirkby Lonsdale, the remote fell crossing to Eskdale, the stark road into Mungrisdale.

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