Moss Force waterfall, Newlands Haus, Cumbria
Moss Force waterfall at Newlands Hause (333 m.)

Rigg Beck, Newlands Valley, Cumbria
Rigg Beck, Newlands Valley

Ride out from Keswick to Newlands Hause, Buttermere, Honister Hause, Borrowdale with a side trip to Ashness Bridge and up to Watendlath Tarn. I’m not making excuses for staying on the roads, they’re tricky enough just now with flood, washout and wind; knobbly tyres essential. Anyhow the “January Cyclonic Westerly” weather (ie wet and windy) means routes are enjoyable that I would avoid in the tourist season. But a really worthwhile ride for the majestic, magnificent views with water gushing everywhere.

One of the few others on the road, an ex-Enduro rider from Middlesbrough, he used to ride a GasGas 250, did the panning photo of me riding past Moss Force waterfall at Newlands Hause (333 m.), leading to the steep descent (20%) to Buttermere. Thanks mate.
The pass road up to Honister Hause from Buttermere was a Valley of the Waterfalls, cascades from so many crags. With bonus fun: the big kid thrill of splashing through big puddles along with the challenge of keeping the bike on target through the muddy washout and the potholes.
Hail and a sharp wind up at Honister Hause (356 m., +1.2 °C), then steep down (25%) to Seatoller in Borrowdale, as rainy as its reputation. Up again, there’s a memorable view looking out over Derwent Water from Ashness Wood on the single-track road to Watendlath (263 m.) that’s hardly wide enough for the wheelbase of a shiny city SUV.
This works for me even at less than 5°C and despite the wet. Partly because of the style of riding, which is much more muscular than on a head-down sportsbike that you ride like it’s a part of you. And the great gear, which was certainly soak-tested again today. The gym I have been doing seems to have made wrangling the CRF bike less difficult, plus every ride out increases my experience of this style of riding. I wouldn’t want a long ride home in wet gear though.

Buttermere, Cumbria

Swinside, Cumbria
Swinside (20%)

Sourmilk Gill, Buttermere, Cumbria
Sourmilk Gill, Buttermere

Comb Beck waterfalls, Buttermere, Cumbria
Comb Beck waterfalls, Buttermere

Honister Pass and Gatesgarthdale Beck, Cumbria
Honister Pass and Gatesgarthdale Beck

Honister Pass and Gatesgarthdale Beck, Cumbria
Honister Pass (20%) and Gatesgarthdale Beck

Honister Hause, Cumbria
Honister Hause (356 m., +1.2 °C)

Honister Hause, Cumbria
Honister Hause (356 m., +1.2 °C)

Hause Gill, Cumbria
Hause Gill

Seatoller, Cumbria
Seatoller, reputedly the wettest village n England

Derwent Water flood, Cumbria
Derwent Water flood

Watendlath Bridge, Cumbria
Watendlath Bridge

Watendlath Tarn, Cumbria
Watendlath Tarn (263 m.)

Watendlath Farm, Cumbria
Watendlath Farm

Watendlath Farm, Cumbria
Watendlath Tarn (263 m.)

Derwent Water, Cumbria
Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake

Ashness Bridge, Cumbria
Ashness Bridge