Cockermouth Loop Tour via Honister Pass

This 35 milecycle ride takes you on a loop circuit via four of the area’s lakes passing through some of the lake districts beautiful  villages and Keswick along the way. The route would suit intermediate cyclists as you will encounter some hills along the route including a severe climb up The Honister Pass, although less able cyclists may choose to walk/rest at certain sections of the route. The route is mainly along ‘B’ roads and country lanes with a small off road/path section near Bassenthwaite Lake.The letters in brackets refer to the points shown on the map

Click to enlarge


Cockermouth is an historic market town  situated on The River Cocker. Much of the centre of the town is of medieval origin substantially rebuilt in Georgian style with some Victorian building. Wordsworth House has been restored and features a working eighteenth century kitchen and children’s bedroom with toys and clothes of the times. Harris Park offers riverside walks and views down over the historic Town. and Cockermouth also has a castle (Norman Ruins).


Starting from the centre of Cockermouth at the top of Station Street by the junction with Main Street (A). Cycle along Station Street B5292 away from Main Street  and after 200 yards TURN LEFT at the traffic lights along Lorton Street (B).

Cycle along Lorton Street which runs onto Victoria Road (B5292) as it crosses the river and keep to the B5292 as it runs on  to Lorton Road and takes you out of Cockermouth and you pass under the A66.  Continue along the B5292 and the road is undulating at this point then after a short distance you will be able to see the beautiful fells of the Lake District in the distance straight ahead of you.

Approximately 2 miles past the A66 the B5292 bears left at this point CARRY STRAIGHT ON along the B5289 (C).  Cycle along the B5289 for two and a half mile then TURN LEFT along the B5289 sign posted for Buttermere (D).


Cycle along the B5289 and after cycling along the tree lined road for a short distance you cycle up a hill and then the road takes you down to Crummock Water on your right as you cycle along and after about 4 miles you reach  Buttermere village with The Bridge Hotel on your right as you enter the village.

Continue along the B5289 through the village and past Buttermere Lake on your right and at the end of Buttermere Lake keep to the B5289 as it bears left and takes you along
towards and up through The Honister Pass. Initially the road takes you along between the fells with a steady climb and after about 2 miles you then start to climb for about 1 mile to the peak of the pass where you will find The Honister Slate Mine which has existed since the 18th century

Honister pass reaches an altitude of 1,167 feet , making it one of the highest in the region,
and also one of the steepest, with gradients of up to 1-in-4 (serious climb !)


The road then takes  you on a descent for about one and a half miles passing through the Seatoller, where the road levels out. Keep to the B5289 and it bears left and takes you through Borrowdale  and Rothwaite with The Scafell Hotel on your Right.

From Rothwaite continue along the B5289 and on the next section you will have some long steady climbs and after  2 miles you pass The Borrowdale Hotel on your right. From here you start to descend and you will be able to see Derwent Water ahead of you in the distance(E).


Continue along the B5289 and the road takes you along the side of Derwent Water for about 3 miles where it brings you to a ‘T’ junction with Main Street in the centre of Keswick (F).

At the junction TURN LEFT along Main Street and after 300 yards continue straight ahead along High Hill A5271(G).

Continue to the end of High Hill where you come to a ‘T’ junction with the A66 where you TURN LKEFT (H).  Cycle along the A66 (there is a cycle lane for you to use )and after 1 mile TURN LEFT off the A66 by Middle Ruddings (I) and bear right along the road which takes you alongside the A66 for a short distance and after 1 mile you pass through the village of Thornthwaite.  Approximately three quarters of a mile past Thornthwaite the road takes you down back to the A66 at this point (J) TURN LEFT ALONG THE PATH which runs alongside the A^^ then takes you up through King’s Wood. About three quarters of a mile along the path through King’s Wood Turn left along the first path on your left  which takes you to Burthwaite Wood and back out onto a country lane.


When you are back on the country cycle for about 1 mile to the end of the lane where you come to a ‘T’ junction (K). At the junction TURN LEFT and cycle along the lane towards  Cockermouth and after one and a quarter miles TURN RIGHT down Strawberry How Road sign posted for Cockermouth.

Continue along the road over the A66 and after one and a quarter miles you come to a ‘T’ junction with Lorton Road B5292 (M). At the junction TURN RIGHT and follow the B5292 back into Cockermouth and after about half a mile you reach the start/end of your cycle ride in the centre of Cockermouth.

In Cockermouth you will find plenty of shops, bars and cafes etc to explore and enjoy.

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