Hambleton Hills MTB
Stats: 32 miles and 4034 feet of ascent – this is a biggy of a route
This is Osmotherley – it has everything. Two good pubs, tea shops and cafes with great cake, the cleanest public loos anywhere – officially – and ample parking. Along the way you’ll need to carry plenty of fluids and food, as tea stops are not found without detours. You can however detour down to Swainby, or down to Hawnby – both adding distance.
Parking in Osmotherley village, you are immediately met by what this route is all about – climbing. The route starts with a climb, and finally rolls you down through trees before tarmac leads you back. Along the way you climb and descend on rocky technical tracks, wide fast double tracks and even get in some secret singletrack near Hanwby Moor.
1. From the village, head out towards Hawnby on the road which climbs steeply, twisting its way up to the moor. As the road turns right near Chequers, take the bridleway to the left, which falls across rough and rocky ground down to the Sheepwash – see the picture to the right of the descent!
2. At the road turn right and head along to the cattle grid near trees to the right (Scarth Nick), where a red coloured steel gate leads into trees at the Cleveland Way BW. Follow this BW until it exits onto a narrow lane at Hollin Hill, heading down on tarmac to Huthwaite Green and then onto Scudgale.
3. At Scugdale take the bridleway which climbs steeply (possible bike hike) through Barkers Crag and onto Bilsdale West Moor. This rolls you down to the road at Carlton Bank, where you need to cross over the road and head along the bridleway opposite for a short but worthy detour around the small woodland, then exiting onto the road towards Chop Gate.
4. A further 1.3 miles along the road towards Chop Gate, a track to the right leads to a bridleway, climbing up again to moorland near to Scugdale. Do not return to Scugdale but do take the track as it turns down to Snilesworth Moor and Arnsgill Ridge. This speeds you down to a small hamlet at Low Cote Farm.
5. Take the road down to Locker Low Wood, then the bridleway which climbs across a meadow, before closing down into some secret singletack that finally spits you out near Square Corner.
6. Climb the bridleway onto the Hambleton ridge on steep and rocky ground, eventually eveing out and rolling past the top of the Rag Robin Road. A third of a mile (1/3) past the Rag Robin Road, a gate in the wall to the right leads to a bridleway which is ridden at speed, turning and twisting its way down to the road at Brickshed Cott.
7. Follow the road through Cowesby, turning left, then right then left again before taking the bridleway which cuts the corner at Mill Hill. Do not take the first BW here, which is poor and not worthy of the trip.
8. Follow the road as it climbs to Over Silton, then taking the woodland BW as it climbs then falls steeps down to Thimbleby. At the road head back to Osmotherley for a well earnt rest. My personal recommendation is the Queen Catherine PH…