Whinlatter Forest Park Mountain Bike Trail Centre

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4.3 (28)
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Whinlatter Forest Park, Whinlatter Pass, Braithwaite, CA12 5TW
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Whinlatter Forest Park mountain bike trail centre near Keswick in Cumbria in the Lake District has two purpose-built mountain bike trails: the red Altura trail and the blue Quercus trail.

Whinlatter Forest Park rises to 790 metres above sea level and is England's only mountain forest so the views of the Lake District and into Scotland as you ride are pretty spectacular. 

There is always a level of new development in hand.

The Altura Trail

  • The Altura trail is graded red and is 19 kilometres long (including 15 kilometres of new singletrack).  The trail has been built for experienced riders with good off-road skills and a reasonable level of fitness.
  • It has challenging singletrack sections and popular features like berms, jumps, rock gardens, skinnies, corkscrews and table tops. There are also great views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite and the surrounding fells.
  • It is split into a North Loop and a South Loop and part of the benefit of Whinlatter is that you can conveniently mix and match sections e.g. do the blue Quercus then the Altura South Loop for variety. 

The Quercus Trail

  • The Quercus trail has a 7.5km option and a shorter 3.5 km option. It consists of flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps and wide gradual climbs with technical features. The trail starts downhill with sweeping intricate bends, then climbs up and bends and twists its way until riders come face to face with the Big Wall, a double banked bend within the forest. After climbing up through oak woodland, the trail crosses a bridge and into the darker conifer forest. The trail finishes with the hollow sound of a raised boardwalk over a bog and through the forest.

Trail Map

  • You can find a copy of the trail map here

History

  • The trails were built by trail builders Clixbys with funding support from the North West Regional Development Agency who not only helped fund the trail but also the redevelopment of the car park at the Visitor Centre.  
  • The Altura is the longest purpose-built mountain bike trail in the Lake District and took nine months to build. It was largely constructed using material that had been sourced from the forest. 
  • The Quercus Trail is named after the Latin for Oak (Quercus Petraea) because the furthest loop of the trail runs through the Masmill Oak Woodland.

Cycling Clubs and Groups

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Photos

First ever ride at Whinlatter

Map

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User reviews

28 reviews

 
(10)
 
(17)
 
(1)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.5  (28)
Trail Variety 
 
4.1  (28)
Skills Development 
 
4.1  (28)
Trail Quality  
 
4.4  (28)
Facilities 
 
4.5  (28)
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Ratings
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
Comments
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Excellent trail
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
Located at the top of the lakes, Whinlatter is bloody miles away from everything (ie the south) but what it lacks in ease of access it makes up for in quality riding.
Whinlatter is a "proper" mountain trail - its steep, rocky, cold, wet, fast, rooty, techy, and then covers it all with epic views over the Scottish hills on one side and the lakes on the other. The quality of the trails are simply outstanding. Having ridden at the blown out braking bumps of Cannock a few weeks prior, this was like another world. Yes, the climbs are tough, and possibly it could do with a few more options (either black lines or additional red routes) but the downhills more than make up for it. The climb for the south side trail was brutal, but the descent was one of the best I've ridden in recent memory. FWIW I rode a 29er XC bike and was in no way under biked despite the rocky nature of start of the final downhill.
I'd definatley go back if I was in the area again.
Cafe / changing facilities were good, the only downside was the cost of parking which increases every 20 mins(!) after 2 hours.

User Review

Good Points
Great quality trail
Tough climb
Epic views
Decent cake
Bad Points
Parking costs
Miles away from civilisation
Would you recommend?
Yes
O
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Whinny
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Awesome place to ride

User Review

Good Points
Great all round trails
Bad Points
Could do with some new trails
Would you recommend?
Yes
MJ
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Whinlatter
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
5.0
Grand places, some great local trails too.

User Review

Good Points
Bike shop, cafe.
Trails great.
Easy access
Bad Points
Done it dozens of times, it would be nice to introduce some new sections.
Would you recommend?
Yes
A
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Pristine!
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Both the north and south trails have a brilliant descent. It must be the best maintained forest or trail centre have ever been to. It's beautiful scenery, varied woodland, there isn't a pothole on the fire roads, it's just perfect, as are the trails. The car park is high tech, reg recognition so no dicking with tickets. The visitor centre is also mega.

User Review

Good Points
Good descents! Well maintained.
Bad Points
None
Would you recommend?
Yes
AH
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
Some of the best downhill I've done. I always say it's similar to glentress for the trails. You go up then come down with a smile. Usually busy when I've been. The variety of trails is a bit lacking but still a great place for a ride.

User Review

Good Points
Superb downhill
Great views of the lakes
Bad Points
Not much variety
Usually very busy
Would you recommend?
Yes
A
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Whinlatter Altura red
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Haven't tried blue route but wife and kids love it.

User Review

Good Points
North and south loops start from trail centre so can have a break between them. Both similar in being climb to top via fire road and singletrack then descend in one go. Both brilliant fun, well made and have jaw dropping views. About 5 miles long each, climbs are hard enough. Good cafe and bike shop.
Bad Points
None really.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Great trail centre
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
All good - go there and enjoy :)

User Review

Good Points
Great variety of features on the trails - a real mix of rocky/foresty/open hillside/jumps/tough climbs/the whole lot. Plenty of height in gained, so a good workout and plenty of fun in the descents. Good choice of trails - Blue, north & south Red loop and any combination of them (incl. the local favourite, the 'Purple': most of the Blue, followed by the south Red loop). Awesome views, great cafe and Cyclewise bike shop right next to the car park. Enjoy.
Bad Points
Hmm trail always has puddles on it, so your feet are going to get wet, even in dry weather, but hey, it's called the Lake District for a reason. Car parking isn't cheap, but the money goes back into the facilities and you don't pay anything to ride the trails, so suck it up ;)
Would you recommend?
Yes
MH
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A grand day out
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Fun for all levels of mountainbiker

User Review

Good Points
This is one of the best trail centres in the England. The two loops that make up the red are both very manageable in terms of distance and both reward you with a pretty satisfying descent. The trails are well maintained and feature a good amount of variety, especially considering that they are essentially surfaced trails designed to be ridden year round. The views from the top are pretty epic too. The cafe is great and it's a pleasure to sit out on the decking on a sunny day, enjoying the view over the forest with a coffee and a cake. The blue trail is also really enjoyable. Having dragged my S.O. into this sport, she rates it as a very good trail. I have only used the bike shop once. Having lost a brake bolt, they sorted me out with a new one for free. Can't really ask for more than that.
Bad Points
It's been said by others, but parking is steep. If you are going up with a few in a vehicle then it's ok I guess, and if some of that money finds its way to the trails then I am happy.
Would you recommend?
Yes
PW
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
(Updated: November 06, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
The views from the tops of the 2 red routes are really stunning and well worth the climbs; the trail is also good as it is basically 2 distinct and seperate trails; both start from the car park but one goes north and the other south,The North loop has a fair amount of forest road on the way to top, but has excellent varied ride from there, combining tricky rock n roots with some flowing trail and ending in a spectacular zig zag down very steep slope back to car park.the Southern loop is similar length-6 miles-with less road uphill and great n varied downhill; starts off very rocky, then rocky but flowing, and then a fantastic flowing n jumping section that has big  big grin factor 

User Review

Good Points
views from the tops are absolutely stunning
good variety of trail-free flowing,rocky,rooty
Southern loop has biggest grin factor but easier; northern loop more varied and trickier
very good facilities
Bad Points
can get crowded in car park but never seems crowded on trail
£8 to park all day but then worth it and it goes on maintaining the trails
Would you recommend?
Yes
B
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
5.0
Good variety for most skill levels and hence good for families with different abilities.

User Review

Good Points
Views from the top of the red trails.
Bad Points
No skills area
Would you recommend?
Yes
J
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