Buttermere - Scarth Gap Pass - Bowness Knott - Floutern Tarn - Buttermere

Distance 15 miles
Ascent 1000 metres
Altitude (max/min) 445 metres / 100 metres
A nice gentle introduction to mountain biking in the Lake District National Park.

From Buttermere head towards the lake, at the bottom of Sourmilk Gill you will find yourself on the wrong path,  the bridleway is not along the lakeshore but up in Burtness Wood, after crossing the bridge and going through the gate go straight ahead up the stone staircase until you reach the bridleway. Turn left and continue through Burtness Wood coming out of the wood below Burtness Combe and the waterfalls, well worth a stop and a picture. Continue along the lake until you reach Peggy's Bridge, here you will turn right up Scarth Gap. This is a long slog, you can have a rest part way up at Wax Knott to take in the view, and consider future adventures up to High Crag and beyond (look at your map, this is not for the faint hearted). 

Off you go again up to the top of Scarth Gap, it is worth descending a little towards Ennerdale for the better views. That's it the hard work is over, all you have to do know is descend to the valley, and follow the bridleway back westwards along the valley floor towards Ennerdale Water and Bowness Knott. Now head up the road to Whins Farm where you turn right on to the bridleway for Floutern Tarn - that's the only section of tarmac for today. What follows is a long gentle climb, the last climb of the day, between Banna Fell and Great Borne to Floutern Tarn, it is worth taking a breather here and enjoying the view and get your bearings. You will head down in to Mosedale then bear right along the side of Gale Fell, you are heading for Buttermere not Loweswater. Care should be taken on the descent in to Mosedale even though it is all grass, Mosedale itself can be a bit wet, head alongside Gale Fell until you reach Black Beck. You have to cross this on to the northern side of Black Beck then continue your descent to Scale Beck. If you want to see Scale Force (the highest waterfall in the Lake District) then you can walk to it up Scale Beck. When you reach Scale Knott cross Scale Beck then ride on to Scale Bridge, turn left here and back to Buttermere.

Buttermere Routes