National Route 71 of the National Cycle Network runs from Whitehaven and Workington on the Cumbrian coast to Kirby Knowle in Yorkshire to join National Route 65. The route is fully open and signed in both directions. The route here is described in three sections:
1. Whitehaven or Workington to Penrith
The northern strand of National Route 71 begins by the coast at Workington and, heading east via Cockermouth, meets the southern strand of National Route 71 at Thornthwaite. The southern strand leaves from Moor Row - after following National Route 72 south from Whitehaven for a short stretch on a disused railway line - heading past Loweswater to Thornthwaite via a long, traffic-free section that takes you to the edge of the Lake District. Both strands also utilise traffic-free forest tracks in the immediate area of Thornthwaite but from here east the route follows mainly on-road routes to Little Blencow, where it joins National Route 7 into Penrith. However, Keswick to Threlkeld of National Route 71 is traffic-free on a disused railway line.
2. Penrith to Appleby-in-Westmorland
National Route 71 leaves National Route 7 at Penrith and continues to Appleby on-road via Great Strickland and Morland.
3. Appleby-in-Westmorland to Kirby Knowle
National Route 71 meets National Route 68 at the western outskirts of Appleby and joins it heading south. It then joins National Route 70 through Kirkby Stephen to the northern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Here is where National Route 71 begins again and continues on-road via Northallerton to Kirby Knowle where it meets National Route 65.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.