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Sky Rides Local by Caroline Gilbert

A Guest Blog from Caroline Gilbert: 13th April 2014

This week it feels like spring is truly here as Sky Ride Local, free, guided bike rides are back!

Sky Ride LocaWith forty free, guided bike rides to choose from between Easter and October half-term, the routes have all been pre-planned and are guided by friendly British Cycling Ride Leaders, so they’re ideal for all levels of confidence – whether you’re new to cycling, haven’t ventured into the saddle for years or are just looking for a new challenge. What’s more, the ‘easygoing’ rides are all totally traffic-free.

This year’s programme in the South and Central Lake District is a bumper one, with lots of new rides to try, along with the best rides from last year’s programme.

Coming up this weekend on Easter Sunday, it’s the very first Sky Ride Local ride of the year starting at Poppi Red café in Hawkshead.  At 9 miles, our special “Literary Lakes Ride” is perfect Easter weekend entertainment for families and Beatrix Potter fans of all ages.  The bike ride will take in many of the places that helped to inspire the famous Lake District children’s author.  You’ll start the ride with a complimentary drink and cake courtesy of Poppi Red, before cycling past many of the places where Beatrix Potter lived and worked, wrote and painted, creating Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher, and a host of her other famous characters and books.  It’s a perfect ride for if you want to get out on your bike, see some amazing views of the Lake District, and learn more about the local area and Beatrix Potter – and all without pushing yourself too much!  To book your free place visit and select Literary Lakes Ride.

Sky Ride Local CumbriaOther highlights of Sky Ride Local this year include ‘cycling picnic’ rides alongside the shoreline of Coniston, trips on the Bike Boat from  the Lake District Visitor Centre Brockhole, rides to and from National Trust gem, Sizergh Castle, and 3 special rides as part of the Keswick Mountain Festival.  There’s a chance to celebrate all things cycling and take part in a Sky Ride Local ride at the Lake District Summer of Cycling Celebration at Brockhole in July.

Other beautiful routes include the medieval village of Cartmel, the ice-sculptured landscape of the Langdale Valley, the unspoilt countryside of the Lyth Valley and the wildlife haven of Grizedale Forest – watch carefully and you might spot a native red deer!

This is only the second year Sky Ride Local has come to the Lake District National Park, thanks to a partnership between British Cycling, Sky, the GoLakes Travel programme and the National Trust.

It’s completely free to sign up for Sky Ride Local rides online.  There is no limit to the number of rides you can take part in and there are no age restrictions on many of the routes (although some are only suitable for 8years+). Simply book your place on your chosen ride and then turn up at the start point with your bike.  If you don’t have a bike, there are plenty of bike hire companies in the area to choose from.  Whats more, the GoLakes Travel team is hopes to provide low-cost bike hire at the start of each ride, with some including electric bikes for extra ‘oomph’.

To see the full Sky Ride Local 2014 schedule and to book your free place on a Sky Ride Local schedule, visit

Caroline Gilbert


Sky Ride Local in Cumbria
Sky Ride Local in Cumbria