Boroughbridge & Aldwark
Stats: 38 miles and 895 feet of ascent
Parking and cafes abound in Boroughbridge, and along the route; park either by the river or behind the High Street.
Flat – simply that. This is a great little ride around the Vale of York, on roads that will allow you to open things up and enjoy the views of the North Yorks Moors in the distance, before heading for home, where it rolls a bit more as you look towards the Dales, then heading back to Boroughbridge.
1. Head out of Boroughbridge via the canal roundabout, taking the road towards Milby and Helperby. After less than a quarter mile, a turning to the right should be taken. Stay on this flat and fast stretch of road all the way to the junction with Thornton Bridge. At that junction turn right signed ‘Helperby’.
2. At Helperby a T junction is reached opposite ‘The Oak Tree Inn’ – turn right and cycle through this large Georgian village, continuing on along the flat lane that winds through delightful countryside, all the way to Flawith. Once through this small hamlet a turning right into a very narrow lane is signed for ‘Aldwark’.
3. Aldwark takes you back towards the River Ouse, twisting along the narrow lane, and exiting right onto the road to Aldwark Bridge. Rattle across the wooden planks of this private toll bridge, then turning right again and cycling through Great Ouseburn.
4. At the junction with the B6265 turn right towards Boroughbridge. This is a fast road, so be careful to look out for cars travelling at high speed. Thankfully, we’ll be turning off it very soon.
5. A short and easy climb leads soon to a turning left, signed for ‘Marton’. Take this and climb Gallaber lane steadily to Marton Cum Grafton village, passing two crossroads on route to the A168 (Old A1). Turn left onto the A168 and then turn right towards Arkendale some 400 yards along, crossing over the A1M on a narrow, winding lane.
6. This lane winds along hedgerows to the small hamlet of Arkendale. Passing the church on your left, turn right just by the Blue Bell Inn, signed to ‘Staveley’ and ‘Copgrove’. A short distance after leaving the village, cross the busy A6055 with care, then cycling through Staveley, turning right after the church, signed for ‘Copgrove’. Whilst still reasonably flat, the roads begin to roll slightly more now, adding interest to tired legs.
7. At Copgrove, a small church is seen on the right, where the road bends sharply left towards Burton Leonard, then dipping down and crossing over ‘Robert beck’ a small stream with a delightful bridge. Shortly after crossing the bridge, turn right signed for Ripon.
8. This delightful lane rises at first, before easing off and taking you through Bishop Monkton on route to Ripon (6 miles). We will shortly retrace part of the route, to Bishop Monkton on our ride back to Boroughbridge.
9. For now though, stay on this lane until it reaches the A61 Ripon Bypass, turning right and riding down to the roundabout by Dallamires Lane. At the roundabout, turn right onto Littlethorpe Raod and cycle along this narrow, twisting tree lined lane until it crosses under an old railway bridge and ends at a T-junction with the Bishop Monkton Road once again. Turn left and cycle back to Bishop Monkton.
10. At the small crossroads at Bishop Monkton, turn left towards Roecliffe and Boroughbridge. Once free of Bishop Monkton village, this narrow lane proves to be one of the fastest stretches for cycling in the area, so enjoy!
11. Pass through the village of Roecliffe, and consider stopping at the renowned ‘Crown Inn’. Failing that, continue on and cycle under the A1M and back to your start point at Boroughbridge.
This ride can also be started at Ripon or Helperby – just amend the order of the directions above.