Stats: 18 miles 2035 feet of ascent
This is a ride into the wild, so take some stuff with you. However, once back at
Kirkbymoorside, there are ample pubs and cafes to choose from, with good clean toilets in the car park as well. We chose the Penny Bank Cafe, which is superb – a great pot of tea and the best bacon butties anywhere.
This route has a lot of everything, including a section of moorland singletrack that is amongst the best in the UK – yep. I know that’s a big statement, but ride it and see. The route itself starts off with some easy riding and some woodland downhilling, followed by a long climb along Rudland Rigg, before turning off on singletrack to Low Row. A meander back along tracks and lanes brings you back into the heart of Kirkbymoorside with wide grins.
1. From the car park in Kirkby Moorside head up the hill to Castlegate before then turning off onto Park Street. This climbs steadily, joining a tarmaced bridleway, which eventually turns off to the left onto a track alongside woodland.
2. After a short distance a track to the right descends at speed through the trees, then levelling out before a further speedy descent takes you down to the river level. A steep and somewhat slippy climb then leads you back uphill, before the woodland is exited, then crossing meadows to the lane which leads to Gillamoor.
3. Ride through Gillamoor on the road towards Hutton le Hole. This initially climbs before heading downhill. As the road bends around, a bridleway is signed to the left which takes you past Faddell Rigg. Follow this, climbing steadily, passing the BW junction and keeping the woodland to your left, heading towards the road between Gillamoor and Rudland Rigg.
4. On exiting the bridleway turn right and pedal uphill towards Rudland Rigg, eventually leaving the tarmac for a good stony moorland track that continues to climb, with expansive views in all directions.
5. Climb steadily on the doubletrack for just under 3 miles, passing a trig point to the left. At a point 1/3 of a mile before a clear track junction there is a indistict track (BW) to the right. This descends on sweet singletrack via West Gill to towards Low Mill. It’s one of the best sections of singletrack you’ll ever find: technical, twisting and downward.
6. At Low Mill take the tarmac road which initially climbs in the direction of Gillamoor. After 1 mile a track (BW) leads off on the left to Cross Farm. Be careful here NOT to take the obvious descending track, but stick to the right hand side of the small farmhouse and follow the flowing track across rough meadowland, which eventually becomes a rocky double track, spitting you out at speed onto the Gillamoor Road once more. Head into Gillamoor.
7. At Gillamoor take the road through the village towards Kirkby Moorside. As this bends sharply right (end of the village) a road leads off straight ahead (Woodhead Field Lane) – take this. This eventually becomes a bridleway that rolls you through trees right into Kirkby Moorside and the finish.