Discover the Lake District

(9 customer reviews)

Ride info

Days: 3 (Wed-Fri)
Style: XC / Big country
Level: 8

MTB Ride Level 8


3 nights B&B
17th century inn
Ensuite rooms
Bike store & charging


Day 1: 16 mi | 26 km
Day 2: 19 mi | 31 km
Day 3: 12 mi | 19 km


Day 1: 2,590 ft | 790 m
Day 2: 2,940 ft | 895 m
Day 3: 2,950 ft | 900 m

Discover the Lake District

(9 customer reviews)

11-14 June 2024
from £150
from £450 (non-residential) £560 (B&B)

Click HERE if  you want a ‘private trip‘.

Discover the magic of the Lake District and the best natural mountain biking in the UK on our three-day MTB trip.

Booking more than one room? Select occupancy and room type for your first room, add to basket, then repeat.

Each year we strive to bring you the very best classic mountain biking in the UK. Successfully launched in 2022 our Lake District MTB trip showcased the magic of the Lakes. And it’s BACK for 2024!

Our passionate big-mountain specialists and British Cycling Level 3 leaders Sean and Liz will be your hosts for three truly epic rides in the South Lakes.

The perfect four-star location

The base for this Lake District MTB trip will be the fabulous four-star 17th century Queens Head Inn, at the heart of the idyllic village of Hawkshead. This comfortable, award-winning hotel provides off-street parking and secure bike storage.

From the front door of the Queens Head, Liz and Sean will introduce you to the world class natural mountain biking the Lake District is famous for. Hawkshead is also home to many superb pubs and eateries, serving hearty, locally sourced culinary delights that will be there for us to sample each night.

Escaping the crowds 

For decades the Lake District has been very popular for all types of visitors and adventure-seekers. When England’s largest national park received ‘World Heritage Site’ status in 2017, the region – and its impressive trail network – was put firmly on the map. We believe in low-impact mountain biking, on quieter trails, which is why we have planned this trip around weekday riding, escaping the weekend crowds.

Lake District MTB Trips

Day One: Grizedale and beyond
  • Duration: 3-5 hours *
  • Distance: 16 mi | 26 km *
  • Elevation gain: 2,590 ft | 790 m *
  • Technical Grade: Experienced intermediate (minimum)
    • See ‘Is this for me tab’
    • Any questions, please contact us

After breakfast we ride from our hotel through the quaint, narrow lanes of Hawkshead, from which our first bridleway takes us up into the fringes of the famous Grizedale Forest. From here, our warm-up continues on gradually undulating fire-roads as we make our way towards the breathtaking views across Coniston Water. 

A short fast drop takes us to Low Parkamoor before we link over to the first of our significant world class two-kilometre natural descents, with rocky singletrack, slabby rollers and flat-out corners. More great trails await as we head through central Grizedale. The diverse nature of this loop continues as we take in the sheer beauty of Claife Heights and its many tarns (small lakes). The final section links us over to one last two-kilometre descent – ticking all the boxes as it brings us back to Hawkshead and a beer or an ice cream. We’ll have earned it!! 

Day Two: Loughrigg Terrace
  • Duration: 5-7 hours ride time *
  • Distance: 19 m | 31 km *
  • Elevation gain: 2,940 ft | 895 m *
  • Technical Grade: Experienced intermediate (minimum)
    • See ‘Is this for me tab’
    • Any questions, please contact us

Any mountain biking trip to the Lakes is not complete without ticking off this all-time classic ride. Once again we ride from the front door of our hotel to enjoy vast beauty and panoramic mountainous views. 

First up (Yes, it is an up!) is the rugged Iron Keld plantation, leading to a Cumbria Way descent that  brings us through an old quarry on super fun slatey chutes to Hodge Close. Next up is a remote and stunning journey from High Tilberthwaite to Little Langdale and onto the nadgery, raw descent through Sawrey’s Woods and the quarries at Elterwater. Last but not least we arrive at Loughrigg Terrace as it flanks and contours its way down past Rydal Water. 

After another epic day we return to Hawkshead via the quiet lanes and cycle paths from Ambleside.

Day Three: The Old Man of Coniston
  • Duration: 3-5 hours ride time *
  • Distance: 12 mi | 19 km *
  • Elevation gain: 2,950 ft | 900 m *
  • Technical Grade: Experienced intermediate (minimum)
    • See ‘Is this for me tab’
    • Any questions, please contact us

The final day before we travel home has to feature a famous Lakeland pass and big mountain experience to wrap up this truly memorable trip. 

After a fifteen minute drive from Hawkshead we park up in Torver at the perfect finishing place, another delectable country pub. From here we’ll head out to the Dunnderdale Fells to a lesser-known sliver of prime remote Lake District singletrack down to Seathwaite. While here we will probably enjoy a café stop before climbing up the famous ‘Walna Scar’ pack horse trail to top out at 604 metres (1,981 ft). We will be directly below the Old Man of Coniston, a Lakes giant at 803 metres (2,634 ft). There’s no better way to wrap up three days of the best natural mountain biking than enjoying one of the best UK mountain biking descents with the whole of the southern Lakes as the backdrop!

* for each day the distances and elevation gain could be dynamically adapted to suit the weather and the overall riding level of the group. Our rides will be sociable and relaxed. This is big country and we appreciate we need to look after our legs, therefore to maximise the smiles we will take all day if required to pace ourselves.

Lake District MTB Trips marmalade mtb


Details of your Lake District MTB trip

We have carefully crafted this three day trip aimed at strong intermediate riders – to provide you with the very best format and team to discover the awesome Lake District mountain biking. Mix this all together with the friendly, sociable Marmalade magic we’re famous for and you have the perfect recipe for an unbeatable experience and lifelong memories.

Full details of our 2024 Lake District MTB trips are below, along with additional information on the other tabs. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Dates:
    • 11 – 14 June 2024
      • Ride days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • Places available: 8 (max.)
    • 1:8 ratio of riders to fully qualified British Cycling Level 3 MTB Leaders
  • Total price per person: (incl. VAT)
    • Without accommodation = £450
      • We can advise on local campsites and other accommodation providers
    • Standard twin room (shared) = £560
      • See further twin room information and options below
    • Standard double room (single occupancy) = £700
    • Standard double (couples) = £560
    • Classic double (single occupancy) = £720
    • Classic double (couples) = £570
    • Superior twin room (shared) = £585
      • See further twin room information and options below
    • Superior double room (single occupancy) = £750
    • Superior double room (couples) = £585
  • Twin room options:
    • Available for friends who are happy to share
  • Payment (booking 60 days or more before trip)
    • £150pp deposit on booking, by credit/debit card
    • Balance due 60 days before trip, by bank payment
    • Subject to our standard Terms and Conditions
  • Payment (booking less than 60 days before trip)
    • Full balance payable on booking, by credit/debit card

What’s included:

  • 3 nights bed and breakfast at the amazing Queenshead, Hawkshead
    • Bed and breakfast: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night
      • Single or shared occupancy en-suite rooms available (see above)
      • Additional pre- and post-trip nights available by booking direct with the Queens Head.
  • 3 fully guided days by Liz Peacock and Sean Howell our British Cycling qualified Level 3 MTB leaders and coaches

What’s not included:

  • Evening meals and drinks
  • Travel to and from our accommodation for the start and end of our trip
  • Personal health, activity and holiday insurance
    • The above is a requirement for your participation on this trip
  • Bike hire (options available – please contact us)
  • Bike spares

To read the full terms and conditions please visit them here. Thank you.

  • You will be at least a strong and experienced intermediate rider with a minimum of 2-3 years regular mountain biking experience
  • The above experience would include example routes and locations that you have successfully ridden such as:
    • Jacobs ladder in the Peak District
    • The Trans Cambrian Way and the Elan Valley
    • The Gap in the Brecon Beacons
    • Technical red trails with some black features in places like Bike Park Wales, Afan and Coed-y-Brenin
  • You will have confident in your bike handling skills and not be phased by steep, technical and long trails that would be graded predominantly red with some black sections
  • The trails will include features such as roots, small to medium committing roll-able drop-offs and slopes with loose rocks of varying sizes
    • Your professional Level 3 MTB leaders will dynamically manage the group and individuals during each day. There will not be any pressure to ride features or sections above your riding ability on the day
  • You have your own suitable full suspension modern ‘all mountain’ / ‘trail’ mountain bike
    • 120 mm of suspension travel with modern and aggressive geometry is the bare minimal for this trip
    • 140-160 mm of suspension travel on an ‘all-mountain’ / ‘trail’ bike would be perfect
    • Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this 3 day trip
  • The ride does contain many undulating and moderately steep, technical and long climbs
  • You have the personal fitness to ride for at least 6-8 hours on consecutive days at a social and comfortable pace
  • You are aged 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on this ride
  • If this sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, then please do contact us for further discussion

Equipment, kit, clothing and anything else

  • You have your own suitable full suspension modern ‘all mountain’ / ‘trail’ mountain bike *
    • 120 mm of suspension travel with modern and aggressive geometry is the bare minimal for this trip
    • 140-160 mm of suspension travel on an ‘all-mountain’ / ‘trail’ bike would be perfect
  • Helmet *
  • Personal health, activity and holiday insurance *
  • Gloves and glasses
  • Knee and elbow pads if this is what you usually ride with
  • Hydration backpack (min. 2 liters) *
  • x2 spare inner tubes
  • Spare rear mech hanger specific for your bike
  • x2 spokes specific to your bike wheels
  • Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
  • Clothing & shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the ride days
  • Padded cycling shorts for comfort
  • Personal choice of drink and ride snacks *

* without these you will not be able to take part in the guided ride. Our guides carry an extensive kit to assist with trail-side repairs

9 reviews for Discover the Lake District

  1. Richard Mason

    My second time on the Lakes trip and just as good as the last time. Hawkshead is a great location for some fantastic MTB trails and the mid week timing meant it was all quiet. Liz was a fantastic trip leader and made sure everyone enjoyed every second.

  2. graham.robins1

    Thanks Liz for a superb guided trip in the Lakes. As always a very well organised trip and lots of fun.
    Lake District offers beautiful scenery and excellent trails, finishing with ice cream and beer.
    Great food and company. Full marks to for another great marmalade trip.

  3. John czogalik

    Fantastic Adventure on a mountain bike loved every minute thanks Guys five Stars as aways

  4. Gaynor Thorpe

    Just back from a superb trip with Marmalade in the Lakes with Liz. The lakes offers amazing scenery, awesome descents, and even some good climbs

    Liz works hard to ensure everyone gets the most from the trip and creates a cracking atmosphere amongst the riders

    You can tell that a huge amount of work has gone into setting up the trips, as it runs so smoothly. All you have to do is turn up, ride and enjoy the trails as endless smiles await from the varying terrain.

    The set up of the trips just keeps you wanting to come back for more!! See you soon

  5. Jonathan Blackmore

    Just back from brilliant 3 days riding with Liz.

  6. Richard Mason

    Another fantastic trip from Sean, Liz and the Marmalade team, with everything faultlessly planned. Hawkshead is a lovely, picturesque place to stay, the Queens Head a great hotel and even an ice cream parlour for that after ride refresh. The mid week timing was perfect for quieter trails and also allowed a couple of extra days tacked on to the end for some more hiking/cycling, to make the most of the journey up. And the mountainbiking – must be some of the best in the UK with all the best of the lakes scenery and some awesome trails. I’ll definitely be booking up again for next year.

  7. Nicky

    My third trip with Marmalade, and the best yet. Three very different rides, each with a wide variety of natural bridleways; techy, fast, rocky, forest – something for everyone
    Sean and Liz were as encouraging and relaxed as ever, and yet the trip has been planned to perfection, from routes around fallen trees , to the best refreshment stops.
    The Lakes are looking amazing this time of year , will be booking again!

  8. Mark W

    I’ve just returned home from the 2022 “Discover the Lake District trip.” What a fantastic three days!
    You always know when booking on a Marmalade MTB event that it will be good, but this one passed all my expectations.
    The trip was a midweek one, which meant we had the usually really busy Lake District trails virtually to ourselves, enabling us to enjoy the beauty of the fells even more.
    The midweek timing also meant we were able to stay at the fantastic Queens Head in Hawkshead, the rooms were superb, the staff couldn’t do enough for us and there was plenty of good wholesome food for a group of very happy mountain bikers.
    Then, of course there was the riding. Yes you can turn up on your own with a guide book and go ride some trails yourself, I have. Believe me though, this is a special place and it needs the local knowledge of Sean and Liz from Marmalade MTB to provide rides that do the trails and scenery justice! All three days rate in my list of top ten rides. Just superb!

  9. John czogalik

    Thanks Sean and Liz for a fantastic 3 days riding in the Lakes, I loved every minute of it. Nothing else left to say except I can’t wait for my next trip!

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