Explore the other Cumbria
While most head towards the heart of the Lake District, this route takes a different path and instead joins up with the A686 as it climbs to Alston. This road is popular with local bikers and many know it like the back of their hands – so don’t get baited into following them.
Although it looks fairly innocent on the map, the A686 is a tricky road that has its fair share of blind corners as well as hazards. For example, if it has rained recently rivers of water are known to run across the road, bringing with them loose gravel.
When you reach Alston, which is 300m above sea level, take the A689 towards Carlisle. This is another exciting road to ride with some great views, and while it’s less treacherous than the A686 it still deserves respect. Having made your way around Carlisle, it’s back onto the A6 for a straight run back to Penrith, throwing a smug glance towards the motorists stuck stationary on the M6 that runs alongside.
If you have time, it is worth taking the A66 from Penrith to Keswick and looping around Whinlatter Forest Twisty traffic free roads await you in this part of Cumbria Park on the B5292 and B5289 before returning to Penrith. It’s a small road but worth visiting for the views and glorious countryside.
Everyone loves the lakes but there’s more to Cumbria