Goosemire Cottages Blog

Claife Heights mountain bike / walking route

Date: 14th March 2012
Filed under: Things To Do, Top Tips
Tagged: claife heights, cycle route, mountain biking, walking route

Claife Heights is a circular route of approx 10 miles and includes some great forest tracks, a long climb up Base Camp, where you are rewarded with some fantastic views, and then some good downhill sections. You can even pop into the Sawrey hotel for a quick pint before heading back down to the carpark or car ferry.

There are several ways you can start this route, if your staying in self catering accommodation in Bowness on Windermere then you can catch the ferry either as a foot passenger or take the car. As you come off the Ferry look for a turning on your right approx 100 metres up the road which takes you to Harrowslack carpark (grid reference: SD388959). If you dont want to take the ferry (or its closed) you can take the A591 and follow the signs for Hawkshead and then Far Sawrey. As you come down the hill heading for the lake look for the sign for Harrowslack carpark and the lakeshore on your left.

1. Follow the tarmac road with the lakeshore on your right for 3/4 mile until you come to a cattlegrid and the track becomes stoney.

2. Follow this track through the woodland for approx 2 miles (several short accents and decents) until you come to a sign post on the right hand side of the track. Continue straight on this main track towards High Wray. The track will now become fairly smooth and flat.

3. After 500 metres you will come to a tarmac road and Red Nab Carpark.  Go through the car park and pick up the track at the end, which follows the lakeshore. Stay on this track for about 1 mile, until you reach High Wray Bay on your right(SD376005). Go through the gate bearing right and follow it round Eppley Head to Wray Castle. From the west side of Wray Castle, take the main drive which will take you past St Margaret’s Church on your left, bringing you out to the road junction.

4. Turn left heading back up to High Wray and look out for a wide gravel track on your left sign posted - Base Camp (SD372996).  Follow this track uphill and at the fork take the right turn (there’s a gate with numerous padlocks) go through the gate and carry on uphill. After 800 metres turn right, carry on climbing, then straight over at the cross roads.

5. 400 metres from the crossroads turn left up a short stoney climb. The route starts to flatten and then decends first through foresty and then wide open land with some amazing views and several small tarns.

6.  Just after Moss Eccles Tarn go through the gate and onto a walled track. You will come to a forked junction, you can either take the track to the left and keep heading down over the stream at Wilfin Beck,  onto Cuckoo Brow (a tarmaced lane). At the bottom of the lane turn left onto the B5285. Climb past the Sawrey Hotel on your left, and follow the road back down to the car ferry and Harrowslack carpark.



This can be a popular route during the high season for walkers, so mountain bikers make sure to always give way.

For bike sales, hire and route maps the following cycle shops are in the area:

Biketreks at Ambleside: 015394 31245

Ghyllside Cycles also at Ambleside: 015394 33592

Wheelbase at Staveley 01539 821443