A PROGRAMME of free guided bike rides for South Lakeland has been unveiled by a group that promotes cycling.

Sky Ride has got 40 family-friendly routes through the Lake District to choose from, between Easter and October half-term.

Caroline Gilbert, recreation manager for British Cycling in Cumbria, said: “With convenient starting points at the major tourist hubs, the rides avoid busy traffic and, instead, take you along quiet, idyllic tracks and roads.”

It is only the second year Sky Ride Local has come to the Lake District National Park, thanks to a partnership between British Cycling, Sky, the GoLakes Travel programme and the National Trust. Cyclists will be guided by British Cycling Ride Leaders through the routes, covering everywhere from Coniston Water, to Grizedale Forest, the Rusland Valley, and all the way down to Cartmel.

Events include a Beatrix Potter-themed Biking, Bunnies and Boats, a gentle six-mile ride on Easter Sunday, April 20, starting in Hawskhead and taking in beauty spots including Wray Castle and Sawrey.

For more information visit www.goskyride. com/lakes