A 190 mile cycle route taking in two National Parks and some of the most scenic landscapes across Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales is officially unveiled today, Tuesday 8 March.
The new-look Lakes and Dales Loop is a significantly revised and revitalised version of the former Cumbria Cycleway, which was opened in 1980 but, over the next 15 years, became too busy with traffic to be actively promoted as a recreational cycleway.
The on-road circular route will appeal to a range of cycling interests and abilities, and has been brought to life with new signage and branding – supported by the ‘See More Cumbria and the Lake District’ sustainable travel programme, along with contributions from Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council.
The Lakes and Dales Loop uses quieter lanes, following the boundary of the Lake District National Park on its north, west and south sides. It then completes the loop by linking the Lune and Eden Valleys to the east, and passing through the new extensions into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Today’s launch event will see a group of cyclists from across Cumbria come together to ride a short stretch of the route in the Orton area, to mark its official opening.
Nicola Parker, Programme Manager for See More, says, “The Lakes and Dales Loop has the potential to be an internationally recognised cycle route, offering both experienced leisure cyclists and ‘hard challenge’ riders the chance to experience an array of spectacular landscapes, distinctive heritage and rich culture. This diverse circular route ties together two popular visitor destinations – the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales – to offer a distinctly different journey for people to make on two wheels.”
The suggested start and finish point at Penrith is also easily accessible for cyclists travelling to Cumbria on the train via the West Coast mainline.
A downloadable map of the full 190 mile route is available at: www.lakesdalesloop.co.uk