The Brathay 262 is an ultra distance cycling event that involves 10 laps of Windermere, England's largest lake, in 24 hours.
Brathay 262 was the brain child of Paul Sutherland (pictured during the event, right). He ran the Brathay 10in10 in 2015, raising over £3000 to help vulnerable children and young people. Paul said “There’s a massive interest in top end cycling events that are technically challenging and take place in stunning settings. A circuit around Windermere ticks all these boxes. Over 10 laps the total ascent is 19,500 feet, the equivalent to cycling up Mount Kilimanjaro, and the distance travelled is 262 miles, equal to a journey from London to Kendal."
Entries to the Brathay 262 are £125 including all meals and accommodation for the duration of the event. For those coming from further afield we recommend booking accommodation for the Friday night. Participants also make a commitment to raise £500 in support of Brathay Trust. Places are limited on this event so we are unfortunately unable to guarantee every applicant a place.Apply Now
Hours of cycling across the 2016 team
Accent per lap in feet
Calories burnt per rider
A 26.2 mile anti-clockwise circuit of Windermere, taking in Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside along the way. Ride and repeat again....and again....and again....until 10 laps and 262 miles have been covered!
The course is a mix of quiet B class roads, with plenty of twists, turns and hills, and wider A class roads with more traffic. Dedicated cycle paths and lanes occur on some of the route up the east side of the lake.
There are breathtaking views of the Lake Distict fells and woodland all round.Download Route GPX File
Each lap starts and finishes at the entrance to Brathay Hall on the B5286. Riders will pass through the event centre on each lap. This makes it a great spot for a little bit of support and encouragement as riders pull in for food, drinks and bike maintenance. When the miles really start to tell some riders might take longer breaks and even snatch a few minutes sleep!
The event team will be based here and will have the latest leader positions as the event progresses and live updates from the course.
Hawkshead is a truly historic and wonderfully picturesque village characterised by its cluster of whitewashed houses, archways and alleyways, courtyards and squares. Brathay 262 skirts the pedestrianised centre of the village sticking to the roads and spectators can support the riders while enjoying the hospitality of the village’s cafes, shops and pubs.
Whilst not the biggest climb a cyclist has ever done it certainly will begin to take its toll after 200+ miles. Each lap of the lake includes 1,400ft (430m) of ascent. This does of course mean that there is also 1,400ft of downhill! Mile 7 sees riders experiencing the longest ascent of the course – known locally as ‘The Devil’s Gallop’. The section of the course involves a steady climb of 200ft over a half mile (15%) – with the welcome respite of a gentle downhill to follow.
As the laps start to accumulate this will be a point on the course that many riders fear, and where some added support and encouragement will be appreciated.
Newby Bridge, while not quite half way round each lap, feels like a significant milestone on the course. This is where riders cross the River Leven as it flows out of Windermere, follow the A590 for a short distance, and then start the journey back up the east side of the lake.
The Swan Hotel provides the ideal location for spectators to cheer riders past the river side terrace. And if they’re lucky, riders might also glimpse one of the steam trains on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.
Bowness-on-Windermere is the Lake District’s most popular destination and is about halfway along the east shore of Windermere. It is a thriving tourist centre for much of the year, being the nearest accessible point on the lake from the railway station at Windermere. This is where riders will be carried along by the support of the crowds who come out to enjoy the atmosphere set against the stunning scenery. There is a ferry just south of Bowness taking cars, cyclists and foot passengers across the width of the lake to Sawrey and Hawkshead, giving spectators the opportunity support the race at Hawkshead and Bowness.
Low Wood Bay
Set on the A591 this lake front marina and hotel is 2 miles from Ambleside. At this point riders emerge from a tree lined section of the course to be rewarded with views over the lake to the Langdale Pikes. More significantly they will get a glimpse of Brathay Hall across the lake and the end of another lap of Windermere will be within touching distance!
The Adventure Cycle Festival is coming to Brathay 2-4 June for a weekend of adventure themed goodness. Further event details, including its star speaker, have been announced.
You can now keep up with Brathay Cycling content on the @BrathayCycling Facebook page.
Take a look to find out what our past 10in10 runners are up to.
Bike Bible partner signs up to support Brathay Cycling event
In 2016 Sonja Foster became the first person to complete both the Brathay 10in10 and Brathay 262 in one year.
For 2017 Brathay Cycling will be working with Bike Bible to get even more cyclists involved with Brathay Cycling events in June.
When planning your training program you need to decide: Are you completing, competing or conquering? It's important to be realistic - set an impossible aim and you’ll soon lose motivation.