Torver Circuit
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Going: Three off-road sections,interspersed with tarmac road. The first section, across Subberthwaite Common, presents no real difficulty, although rutted for a while. The second, passing The Knott, offers a climb which might require pushing for a little while. The descent requires lots of care - big loose stones and sharp corners! The last section, over Torver Low Common, has boggy bits, a couple of streams to splash through, and other slighty awkward bits.
Total distance: 12.5 miles.

    Don’t believe it when somebody tells you that the Lake District is full to bursting point, blocked with cars and people, its footpaths wide eroded highways. Here and there maybe, but not in the empty fells and common land south of Torver, bounded on one side by Coniston Water.

    Our ride this week traces a triangular route, beginning at Blawith, crossing to the Woodland valley, and then following narrow lanes and bridleways to Torver. Set off along the road directly opposite the church at Blawith, which climbs gently towards Subberthwaite Common. This becomes a dirt track at Tottlebank, easily rideable apart from an awkward rutted section. Ignore the left branch to reach the tarmac road that drops steeply down to Woodland, leading over the cattle grid to the right at its foot.

    A branch right leads up a narrow byway through thin woods, until the view suddenly opens up, the Coniston Hills forming a backdrop. Straight ahead is a hill called The Knott, with our track snaking its way along the right flank. Approaching the farm, drop down to the left along the bridleway, to shortly begin the climb. After a steep descent on a loose surface, a muddy lane eventually leads on to a surfaced single-track road. Down on the left are the embankment and a few bridges of the former Coniston railway line.

    Join the main road, and turn right opposite the pub at Torver. If you’ve had enough off-road by now, carry on down Sunny Bank and back along the road to Blawith. If however the spirit of adventure lives on, take the first right a few yards after the junction, signed as a bridleway. You really do need to use your OS (OL6) map now, and trace the route round to Mill Bridge, curving round to your left.

    Keep the mill and stream to your left, and press ahead up the rough track onto Torver Low Common. The way across this tranquil area fades here and there, but the line of pylons marks your general direction all the way. Pass the disused reservoir, and look for a wider track in the distance. At the tarmac road to Stable Harvey farm, bear right for a pleasant downhill back to the road, where a right turn leads back to Blawith.

    Just to the left of the junction is the Brown Howe car park, a lovely spot to relax by the lakeshore after all the exertions. This ride lasts a fairly demanding couple of hours, and the descent from The Knott, with its twists and turns on a bed of shifting stones, requires especial care.

Torver Route.jpg (30629 bytes)

Refreshment Possibilities
    Two pubs at Torver.

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Over The Knott Pict0053.jpg (24339 bytes)

The track which has led from Woodland soon drops away to a farm over to the right. The ride joins a bridleway which continues as the twisting track up the hill.

Descent from The Knott Pict0055.jpg (23269 bytes)

The view from the high point of the track over The Knott, with Walna Scar, Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man forming a backdrop above Broughton Moor.

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Any comments on the cycling pages would be gratefully received!

 Copyright J Chambers 2005. Unauthorised reproduction not allowed. May be printed for personal use only.

 

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