Stats: 23miles, 2585 feet of ascent
There’s the obvious cafe at Bolton Abbey; a tea stop at Linton if required; but best by far would be the cafe at Storiths, just off the A59.
This is a ride that weaves its way around lower Wharfdale and the surrounding area, using roads where necessary to get to the best tracks. This route has some great descents – especially the one above Skyreholme down to Appletreewick – a hidden gem. The tracks across the moor are a mix of single and double, with a testing climb to get to the main plateau.
1. Ben R and I started this route by Barden Bridge, but the choice is all yours. From Barden Bridge take the road towards Appletreewick, turning right at the junction and climbing past the Skyreholme turn, all the way up towards the B6265.
2. As the climb evens out, a bridleway to the left through a farm gate leads along an easy track, past farm buildings to a gated narrow track. Follow this as it speeds up, descending rapidly as it twists and turns over rocks down to the Appletreewick road.
On meeting the road turn right, then right towards Hartlington a short way along, followed almost immediately by a left turn along the lane towards Hebden.
3. Just before the sharp bend right a bridleway sign in the field to the left signs you towards ‘Thorpe’ – take this route, exiting along the lane towards Linton.
4. Travel through Linton, taking the bridleway through a tree lined lane to the right as you exit the village. This track falls down towards the road, which is crossed onto the bridleway opposite.
5. Travel along this double track, eventually passing through a steel gate and travelling across a rougher track which takes you to the far left corner, down and across a stream, before taking a small gate onto a narrow grass lane to Cracoe.
6. Cross over the tarmac road and slightly left (opposite) is the bridleway to Rylstone and ‘Manor House’. This bridleway eventually steepens considerably, becoming rocky as you pass Rylstone Cross on the crag to the left, eventually evening out on the moor top.
7. Traverse the moor, dropping down at speed to the bridleway/ road junction signed on OS maps as ‘Halton Moor’, turning left for a short ride on tarmac before taking the bridleway to the right which crosses ‘Middle Hare Head’ before dropping at speed down through trees to Bolton Abbey.
8. Take the road back to Barden Tower and Barden Bridge, where a summer ice cream van awaits you.