An Epic Motorcycle Ride through the Lake District, UK

High angle shot of a Keswick lake district

Few things match the thrill of exploring the open road on a motorcycle, especially when that road takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes the UK has to offer. The Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is renowned for its picturesque scenery, charming villages, and winding roads that seem tailor-made for a motorcycle adventure. Join me as I recount an unforgettable ride through this beautiful region, covering approximately 70 miles of spectacular routes.

The Journey Begins: Setting Off from Keswick

Our journey starts in the quaint town of Keswick, nestled between the shores of Derwentwater and the majestic Skiddaw mountain. Keswick is a popular base for exploring the Lake District, offering a perfect blend of local culture, history, and natural beauty. After a hearty breakfast at a local café, I gear up, ensuring my bike is ready for the day ahead. The morning air is crisp and invigorating, promising an exciting ride.

Distance: Keswick to Borrowdale Valley (8 miles)

Through Borrowdale Valley: Scenic Splendor

Leaving Keswick, I head south along the B5289, entering the serene Borrowdale Valley. This stretch is a motorcyclist’s dream, with smooth tarmac and gentle curves that invite you to lean into each turn. The valley is flanked by lush green hills and dotted with quaint stone cottages, creating a postcard-perfect landscape.

Stopping briefly at the iconic Ashness Bridge, I take a moment to soak in the view of Derwentwater and the surrounding fells. This spot is a favorite among photographers, and it’s easy to see why. After snapping a few pictures, I continue on, feeling a growing sense of adventure.

Distance: Borrowdale Valley to Honister Pass (6 miles)

The Challenging Honister Pass

Aerial view of Honister Pass, a mountain pass with a road winding along Gatesgarthdale Beck mountain stream. Cumbria, the Lake District, England.

As I approach the Honister Pass, the terrain becomes more rugged and dramatic. Known for its steep gradients and narrow lanes, the pass is a true test of riding skill and nerve. The ascent is exhilarating, with tight hairpin bends and sheer drops that demand full attention. At the summit, I’m rewarded with breathtaking views of the valley below and the peaks beyond.

The descent towards Buttermere is equally thrilling, offering a mix of technical riding and stunning scenery. I make a stop at the Honister Slate Mine, a fascinating historical site where you can learn about the region’s slate mining heritage. After a brief exploration, it’s back on the bike, heading towards the tranquil waters of Buttermere.

Distance: Honister Pass to Buttermere (4 miles)

Buttermere and Crummock Water: Tranquil Beauty

Riding alongside Buttermere and Crummock Water, I’m struck by the serene beauty of these lakes. The reflections of the surrounding hills on the still waters create a mesmerizing effect. This area is less frequented by tourists, offering a peaceful respite from the busier parts of the Lake District.

I pause for a picnic lunch by the lakeside, savoring the quiet and the stunning views. There’s something profoundly relaxing about being surrounded by nature, far from the hustle and bustle of daily life. After lunch, I take a leisurely stroll around Buttermere before gearing up for the next leg of the journey.

Distance: Buttermere to Whinlatter Pass (10 miles)

Over Whinlatter Pass to Cockermouth

Pink morning skies over Keswick

Refreshed and reenergized, I continue west towards Whinlatter Pass. This road, known for its sweeping bends and smooth surface, is another highlight for motorcyclists. The ride through Whinlatter Forest Park is a sensory delight, with the scent of pine trees and the sound of birdsong accompanying the ride.

Descending into the historic market town of Cockermouth, I take a moment to explore its charming streets and visit the birthplace of the poet William Wordsworth. The town’s Georgian architecture and vibrant atmosphere make it a delightful stop.

Distance: Whinlatter Pass to Cockermouth (8 miles)

Returning to Keswick: The Final Stretch

As the day begins to wane, I make my way back to Keswick via the A66. The golden hour light casts a warm glow over the landscape, creating a perfect end to an incredible day. Arriving back in Keswick, I reflect on the journey over a well-deserved dinner at a local pub, sharing stories with fellow riders and locals.

Distance: Cockermouth to Keswick (14 miles)


A motorcycle ride through the Lake District offers a unique way to experience one of the UK’s most beautiful regions. The combination of challenging roads, stunning scenery, and the freedom of the open road makes for an unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newcomer looking for a memorable journey, the Lake District has something to offer everyone. So, gear up, hit the road, and discover the magic of this extraordinary landscape for yourself.

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