It’s Easter 2017 and the bridges on the Keswick C2C route are nowhere near being rebuilt after the floods of December 2015. That means that your C2C map and guide book will not be correct.
There is a tendency for cyclists to think you can always get a bike through a closed road. Not this time. Don’t even think about it. This is what you will get to:
There are signposts for the amended route, but they are not always clear. So here is
Your guide to cycling the C2C from Keswick as far as Threlkeld
The main road through Keswick will lead you to these traffic lights, where it is very easy to miss the small C2C sign telling you to turn left immediately afterwards. TURN LEFT!
You will cycle between two parks and come to the Keswick Leisure Pool at the far end as the road bends right. Again, it is very easy to miss the small sign that takes you left up the ramp and around the back of the swimming pool.
Behind the pool you will see much more obvious signage to the right on the old Keswick Railway Path.
Keswick Railway Path
Before long you will see your first warning that the route has been changed:
Keep on the track until you come to a fork and take the right fork. This is where your route will deviate from your map or guide book, though you might find it shown as an alternative route.
Go through the gate at the top of the rise BUT TAKE GREAT CARE. This is the main road out of Keswick towards Ambleside and Windermere and also towards Penrith. It can therefore be busy. In particular the cars coming down the hill may be going too fast for the 30mph limit.
Cycling past Castlerigg Stone Circle
You will need to cross over and cycle or push up to the junction around the corner. Go left.
After about 30 metres, turn right on to Eleven Trees Road. Again take great care.
You are now at the start of a long, long hill, quite steep in places. You might want to take your time. You may well have a reward at the top. Opposite the entrance to Castlerigg Stone Circle, there is often an icecream van parked!
It is well worth hopping off your bike to look at the stone circle. It’s an atmospheric place, even with quite a few tourists.
Now the road drops past the Keswick Climbing Wall and the signposting becomes clearer. You will take a right.
And another right.
But ignore the C2C sign for the Old Coach Road.
You are nearly at the A66 now, which you will need to cross or go under to reach Threlkeld to rejoin the original C2C route.
The C2C into Threlkeld
There is a route that will take you left under the A66, but it is muddy and rubbly in places, and there is work going on there. So my advice is to ignore that as you will see the A66 itself only 100 metres ahead. There is a central island to help you cross, but again TAKE GREAT CARE. The A66 can be very busy.