Grizedale Forest is a great place for safe, family cycling.There are many way-marked cycle trails throughout the forest, ranging from easy to strenuous. A map can be obtained from the centre to enable you to choose which route would suit you best (depending on how fit youare!!)
These trails can also be walked. Make sure you follow the same coloured posts throughout your walk.
Equipment: Obviously it can be wet, so good waterproofs, good shoes/boots and whatever else you waer whilst cycling.
You can hire bikes at the centre and you will be supplied with a helmet.
I looked on in amazement every time a fell runner passed us during our hikes in the mountains. Here we were struggling to walk the fells while these guys sailed passed us making it look easy.
Fell running (which as it's name suggest involves running up and down mountains) is a popular activity in the lake district and I remember reading about some of the records which have been set. It’s thanks to Bob Graham who bagged 42 fells in 24 hours back in 1932 that the sport developed and many people have since attempted to emulate his run. Many have since exceeded it - the current record is a mind boggling 77 fells in 24 hours. And there I was thinking we had done well to climb 11 or so in 4 days!
A 10.5-mile classic circular route from Ambleside, which we've done in summer 2011, taking in the following peaks: Nab Scar - Heron Pike - Great Rigg - Fairfield - Hart Crag - Dove Crag - High Pike
Starting from Rydal Hall, you first have to navigate your way through the Hall's buildings on to the open fells, from where a zigzag path leads up to Nab Scar, the first peak of the walk. This is where you gain a big chunk of the total height gain that you will have to make, so you may just as well take it easy (ish). From there, the path to Heron Pike, Great Rigg and Fairfield is very obvious. Indeed, we used the map only to figure out how high/close we were.
At the top of Fairfield you have to be quite cautious as there are several paths. To make for Hart Crag, you have to bear south east and then east. Also, remember the shape of the Horseshoe as you walk up as it helps to make sure you don't get onto a completely different ridge from Fairfield's flat summit.
The path to Hart Crag is quite rocky, and this was by far the most difficult terrain we've encountered on the walk - but it does get easier towards Dove Crag and then easier still on return to Ambleside.
Equipment: A map and a compass are a must, and you have to know how to use the compass in case it's foggy at the summit of Fairfield. Also, windproof/waterproof clothes as you can still experience all the seasons of the year in a day, despite it not being Scotland.
Finally, a first aid kit, a fully charged mobile phone and all provisions as there are not refreshment points after you leave Ambleside.
Whatever your chosen activity whilst in the lake district, if you need new gear buy it here, there is an excellent selection of outdoor shops, and they are all staffed by people who are up the mountains on an almost daily basis, so they know what they are talking about, they will give good , knowledgable and reliable advice, why buy in london from some guy who probably only gets away once every three months like yourself when you can buy from local guys who really know their stuff.
Like the guys riding past us on barrow fell-whilst we were struggling to walk it! (enlarge the picture-the blue jackets are the guys on bikes! : ) )
Equipment: Obviously the one exception to this rule is boots-if you are gonna buy new walking boots then leave them till next trip to use them (after you have broken them in)