Stats: 12.4 miles
Reeth has ample facilities for everyone. Nearby is the top-rated Grinton Youth Hostel, but for me you can’t beat the Dales Mountain Bike Centre. Excellent accommodation, advice, and they’ll fix your bike for you as well. Stuart has a wealth of knowledge of the area.
This is one of those routes that you should do as a warm down, before you head off home, having stayed at Swaledale for a weekend of biking. It will leave you with a great big grin on your face, and remind you to come back again for more of the same. It’s only the distance that stops it being classed as a hard route.
1. Head out of the centre and turn right towards Grinton. Go over the bridge and as the road bends to the left, take the junction ahead, climbing the steep tarmac road all the way to the top, to open country and Grinton Youth Hostel.
2. At the Youth Hostel turn right onto the track, which soon crosses another road, and head onto the moor through a gate, keeping on the main bridleway that heads due west, across Harkerside Moor.
This rises and drops, and twists and turns on loose gravel, giving a lovely ride, with fantastic views over towards Reeth.
3. Keep on this main track all the way to a large track junction, near lead mines at Whitaside Moor. Keep left, turning uphill towards ‘Morley’s Folly’ (OS map).
4. Follow this, the ‘Apedale Road’ as it descends at speed, twisting and turning, and testing your braking modulation, all the way to a gate at ‘Dents House’ by some sheepfolds.
Southerners best Google these before setting off! They’re made of stone, very old, about a 1.7 metre in height, and they’re enclosures used for keeping sheep in. How’s that for a clue!
5. Turn left (north) and climb steadily past the line of shooting butts to old lead mining waste at the moor top (Height of Greets).
6. Pick a line through the rocky wasteland down to the the road, crossing it to the track on Cogden Moor, before finally re-joining the tarmac down to Grinton Youth Hostel.
You’ll now be warmed up for the day. Any sensible soul would have a bite to eat back at the Dales Mountain Bike Centre (down the hill you climbed at the start), before heading off for an afternoon ride.
If you’ve got a long drive ahead, then you’ll have finished off your trip with a real 3 star classic. All you now need to do is to plan the next trip.