This is a nice neat little loop that can be knocked out quickly if time is of the essence. Starting by the river in Ambleside (near the bridge to the park) go over the cattle grid then take your next left and climb the steep road. It’s a lung buster straight out of the car but it gains you height quickly. It’ll eventually turn into a gated trail that will climb all the way up onto Loughrigg Fell. You’ll know you reached the top just before the little water crossing, then it’s a rapid descent to Skelwith Bridge on some lovely single track.
You can go many places from here but we’re heading over Red Bank road climb (Elterwater) to meet up with the top of Loughrigg Terrace – this was a great descent and so much better in days gone by, it was all natural trail right down to Rydal where you even had to ride, knee deep in the lake, around a rocky outcrop but sadly the bottom half of this trail has been sanitised to the point of it now resembling a road. It’s made it super fast now, ironically, for bikers so please take care as it gets very busy with walkers in summer.
All that’s left to do now is pick up the small back road back to Ambleside.