Back o’ Skiddaw 70km Sportive

Open for all sportive enthusiasts looking for something shorter and occasionally furious on the climbs!
Category: Cycle
Event Grade: Moderate

Route Description

The Back o’ Skiddaw 70km Sportive takes you on a fantastic circuit to the quieter side of the Lake District National Park, and provides an exhilarating, occasionally hilly and beautifully scenic route without having to negotiate the big Lakeland mountain passes. First up on these quieter roads are the tranquil villages at the foot of Blencathra; Threlkeld, Scales and Mungrisdale. With the route heading anticlockwise out of Keswick, the mountains are always nearby on your left shoulder. Greystoke, the setting for Tarzan and other movies, is undulating, expansive and the roads take you far from the madding crowd. Onwards towards the halfway feed station at Millhouse, and at the Back o’ Skiddaw lie the villages of Hesket Newmarket and Caldbeck, with historic pubs, quaint cafes and idyllic cottages. Riding around the Caldbeck and Uldale Fells, the going feels remote - the open moorland brings great views, and the mighty Skiddaw comes into sight once again. Descending down and along the roads back towards Keswick, with a café and toilets at Mirehouse, (Dodd Woods). Then you head through Applethwaite. It’s just a few miles to go from here and you can become reacquainted with Keswick and all the family fun and action back at the Mountain Festival in Crow Park. So, that’s 70 kilometres and 650 metres of climbing. A good honest day or faster half-day’s ride. At a sedate pace, you can take this outing easy. At a faster pace, you can give yourself a real workout. Either way, the Back o’ Skiddaw Sportive is likely to take you into new territory.

The good news… we’ve identified an equally fantastic route out of town. It initially stays South of the A66 and passes the amazing Castlerigg Stone Circle. We’ll cross the A66 near Threlkeld at a well-managed crossing point. Marshals will ask you to dismount, and go across the A66 on foot. You can remount on the other side. Thanks to Highways England and Keir for the assistance in this.


It is possible that events and courses at KMF may need to be amended at short notice due to weather issues, water levels, road conditions or road works.

By nature, many of these factors are not possible to know well in advance. For each event there are a number of alternative options available which can be implemented at short notice. The organisers and race directors will always have athlete and spectator safety as the highest priority, and within that context will seek to provide the best possible experience.  All sporting events would be impacted if the KMF Festival Village has to be closed. In this instance, as long as circumstances allow, all starts and finishes would be relocated to Lake Road and Lakeside Car Park and the events operated as smoothly as possible.

There are numerous route options available as a contingency for the sportive, depending upon the reason for the re-routing. We would re-mark and re-marshal the course in any scenario.


"Back O’ Skiddaw - what a great day! The organisation was 1st class. The route? Well that couldn’t have been bettered, with a bit of everything thrown into one loop. It will give something for every type of road cyclist. All in all the best fun I’ve had on the bike in a very long time!” Rob Hayles, Track World Champion and Olympic medallist​

The Back o’ Skiddaw 70km Sportive is graded as 2 (out of a possible 5) in the British Cycling sportive grading system, which makes for a moderately hilly half-day road ride, in Lakeland speak! The ride has approximately 650 metres of ascent, with an expected completion time of between 2.5 and 5 hours.

The course is fully tarmac, and ranges from steeply undulating narrow single track, gated farm roads, to the quieter B and A roads in the area. If you are new to sportives, then this is a great place to start. It has something for everyone, with pleasant and quiet open roads in abundance as well as spectacular scenery.

What’s included?

FREE photograph, electronic chip timing, 1 x feed station, event t-shirt and 1 FREE concert ticket!

What’s great about this event?

  • 650 meters of climbing
  • The course is fully tarmac with pleasant and quiet open roads in abundance
  • Iconic scenery taking you on a fantastic circuit to the quieter side of the Lake District National Park
  • Start and finish at Crow Park taking in a fantastic Festival atmosphere where your friends and family can watch!

Finishers List 2017


Saturday June 09 2018 at 10:30 am
Not available

PRICES£37 Individual


The Festival Village is located adjacent to The Theatre By The Lake close to Derwentwater.

Address: Lakeside
CA12 5DJ


Please note: event timings are subject to change 


Further Information will be published soon, if you have entered this event you will be sent an email notification. 


*All tickets subject to a booking fee. 


KMF Events

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No 4 Vencourt Place
W6 9NU



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