Stats: 22 miles, 2740 feet of ascent
Refreshments and Facilities
Nearby Aysgarth has the Dales National Park Centre, with toilets and a good cafe. The pub at Carpeby is excellent as well and saves a drive after the ride. Parking in Carpeby is easy, with some spaces by the bus stop and more spaces by the hall. If you take a flask and some butties, you can use Greenhaw Hut on the tops for a sheltered stop with a loo and a fireplace! How good is that.
We wanted to put in a route that was ridable all year around on good shooting tracks and that also gave you guys some great climbs and descents. This is it – The Carpeby 8 loop, which is about the shape, not the distance. An epic climb onto the tops, with a hut to shelter and have a brew in, followed by ample points where you can exit and shorten the route if required.
This route has all of that and more. It can be turned into a short ride by exiting down to Cattle Bolton at the first opportunity, or it can be extended further, with a drop down to the Dales MTB Centre at Fremington before heading back over.
Either way, the tracks will remain in good condition all year, and you have the added bonus of Greenhaw Hut (left).
Your cycle climbing skills and fitness will be tested on this ride. There’s lots of climbing from the start. However, what goes up must come down means that there are some great fast descents. If you like, return back along the initial track
There you go – now ride and enjoy.
1. From the village, cycle past the pub on your left and take the next turning left signed ‘Hargill Lane’ which will lead shortly to the track which is Peatmoor Lane. This climbs steeply from the start, twisting and turning on a good surface before opening up after a short while, with the open fells before you. Go through the gate and stay on the track heading upwards to the escarpment.
2. The track mixes between rocky gravel and mine debris as it circumnavigates Great Wegber, to areas of concrete put down to assist shooting parties. Due to the incline, this surface will be welcome as the gradient steepens. In wet weather water will tumble alongside you, escaping from the becks and old mine workings that fill the area.
Keep climbing on, through several ‘false summits’ until you will see a shooting lodge (Greenhaw Hut) ahead and to the right. The hut is usually open and a good spot to take a break and get the flask out. There’s even a fireplace and table and chairs.
3. Continue on the main track over and into Swaledale. Soon after leaving the hut the track descents at speed, allowing you to open up and ride through the turns before crossing Beldon Beck.
4. Rising and falling, the track crosses another beck before eventually coming to a ‘T’ junction – turn right and descend along this straight track through old mine workings. As the track turns sharply left, you will see a red coloured metal field gate and small walkers gate to the right which lead down to Castle Bolton. If you want to cut the ride short – turn through this gate. Otherwise keep on the main track as it turns left and heads into Swaledale and down to Dent’s Houses.
5. At the junction with the Apedale Road, cross straight over and climb on a good surface to Greets Hill and its strange moonscape vista (Grinto How Lead Mines). At Greets Hill continue on the bridleway as it descends through the tricky mining terrain to the Grinton Road.
6. Cycle along the tarmacked road until a signpost and shooting track to the left leads you out onto the moor once again. Take this and ride with ease to Grovebeck lead mines. The track turns and falls down to a track crossroads overlooking Swaledale. Turn right here and follow the track as it traverses the hillside, before climbing slightly towards Whitaside Moor and the Apedale Road.
7. Simply descend the Apedale road on a rocky surface that twists and turns. Opening up the bike, you will need to take care on some turns as loose rock can take the wheel away from you. As you reach the crossroads from earlier in the ride, continue straight ahead to the tarmacked road between Swaledale and Redmire. Descend to Castle Bolton, cycling straight through the village.
8. At the Castle itself, continue straight on, leaving the main road and follow the bridleway as it traverses meadows and drops before re-joining Peatmoor Lane, taking you back to Carpeby. Now – where’s that pub!