Thirlmere Reservoir


 of Thirlmere (Steel End car park).

Direction to Start


Recommend parking at Steel End car park (pay and display) at the south end of Thirlmere - west shore (GR 321132).

As alternatives, there are two further car parks (Dob Gill and Armboth) along the west shore of the reservoir.


Route 555 stops at A591 junction to Steel End car park.


6km one way (12km return).

Turn point is a triangular junction at GR 307189 (below Raven Crag).

No steep hills (all manageable to intermediate skiers), but be aware this feels like going uphill in both directions (aka Magic Road).

Southward extension from Steel End car park on surfaced (tarmac) cycle track via Steel End Farm.

Surface/ Designation

Surfaced tarmac road. Medium smoothness, with some rough patches. More suited to classic than skate.

Safety Details

Largely quiet road along west shore of Thirlmere reservoir, not suitable for beginners as there will be occasional passing traffic (using the car parks).

Some slight blind bends and stonewall lined route (so limited run-off).

Autumn storms may cause a lot of tree debris on road.

Best avoided in very high season (July/August afternoons) when traffic will be higher.


Toilets at Dob Gill and Armboth car parks (closed in winter).

Possible ice cream van in summer months.

Pub at Thirlspot on east shore, refreshments in Grasmere (if driving south) or Keswick or Legburthwaite (if heading north).

Other Details

Thirlmere is a ‘designated red squirrel reserve’:

Details by LCCSC
Last updated 21-11-2020