This is a great mountain ride in the English Lake District. Hight Street is an old Roman Road at 2710ft where they still have horse races, so I'm told. This elevation may not seem high but when you start at 500ft it is! There is a lot of climbing, much steep with the bike on the back for the ascent to High Street. The flat summit offers fantasic views of the Lake Distict peaks and easy riding. The descent to Kentmere is steep, fast and fun.
This is an amazing ride with only one negative. That being a section of connecting footpath (not bridal path) which you cannot legally ride. It is only 1.3 miles in length and a little frustrating to have to walk in order to not only be legal, but keep our hiking friends on side. The sport gets a bad enough press from a few nutters as it is. But it is such a great ride that this is a minor inconvenience!
1. Arriving at Troutbeck park in one of the lay bys (pull out for our US friends!). OS NY 41400 03142. This is near to a caravan site, Limefitt Park. The bridal path runs through here and is marked. Go right through the site towards the last buildings and you will see a sign near some steps which is the way along the river valley. Turn left here.
2. Follow the trail right along with the river on the left for just over 2 miles past a disussed quarry on the right and over a footbrdge to join with a trail on the left. This trail climbs now!
3. Continue climbing. It seems a long way but is only 1.3 miles (1430 ft) and you will need to shoulder the bike.
4. After this climb the ground flattens (OS NY 43315 09540) and bears east with precipitous drops to the immediate right down to Kentmere. You can see Kentmere reservoir clearly. The downhill is on the left flank of the reservoir.
5. Follow the trail to the summit. The Beacon (looks like a tower) is off to the left. You can make an easy detour to see it if you wish.
5. Along the summit you will see a long dry stone wall. The trail is off to the right of this (OS NY 43965 11083) in a south easterly direction leading to Mardale Ill Bell. This is the section designated as a footpath and you'll have to walk it. It is downhill (610 ft) for 1.3 miles.
6. Arriving at the hause (dip between two mountains)(OS NY 45225 09575) take the trail to the right in a southerly direction to Kentmere village. This is a great technical downhill (1550 ft) steep at the beginning with loose rock.
7. Drop down towards Kentmere. The trail becomes metalled (paved). Take a sharp right, then right again and into the village. There is nothing here so don't bank on replenishing supplies. Follow the road past the church on the right which then turns left at a gate. Follow up to a pretty cottage and on the side of a barn, on the right, is the sign for the final ascent. The Garburn Pass!
8. Garburn is hard! 959 ft of climbing on a loose surface. You'll need to push unless you are super fit!
9. At the top there is a fast downhill (1085 ft) down towards Troutbeck. Make sure you don't go flying by the sharp right, turn here and through the gate towards the caravan site. After about 400yds take a sharp left, 100 yds later and you're are in the site. Head through and back to the car.
Get on the M6 motorway and get off at junction 36. Drive towards Kendal along the A590. Note there is a good bike shop in Staveley (Wheel base). Drive through Windermere and at the small roundabout take a right turn to Troutbeck and the Kirkstone Pass the A592. Drive for 2.5 miles and through Troutbeck village and Limefitt Caravan site is on the right. There is a lay by on the left just past the site. Park here.