Kettlewell Killer Loop
Stats: 21.2 miles
Park up at the field adjescent to the bridge and opposite the garage where you can easily imagine moonshine is brewed. It’s cheaper than the National Parks car park and hey – this is Yorkshire. Kettlewell is an excellent village, with loads of cafes and Inns, and a terrific Youth Hostel. The food in ‘The Racehorses Inn’ is terrific, as is ‘The Kings’ and ‘The Blue Bell.’ What the heck – they’re all good.
Let’s be clear – this is a very hard route. Don’t event attempt this if you’re not a strong climber. However, the descents are amongst the best in the Dales, and even the climbs are enjoyable. Just take a look to the left – fantastic tracks! The riding around here is extremely steep and wonderful. So pack a camera, tubes, tools, a map and off you go!
1. Head out of Kettlewell on the lane towards Conistone. This will give you a couple of easy miles on tarmac to warm ready for the climbs.
2. From Conistone, go across the bridge to Kilnsey and off the main road, into the village and to the start of Mastiles Lane. Cycle all the way along Mastiles Lane.
3. At ‘Street Gate, head north east on the bridleway towards Hawkswick Cote. This becomes indistinct as it crosses the moor, but is easy to follow. A rocky and technical descent then leads to smooth tracks as you whizz downhill to the narrow tarmac lane. Turn left to Arncliffe.
Go through the village at turn onto the steep bridleway at Old Cotes. The initial climb from the farm is a real killer and will test the best. However, the views are terrific. The photo on this page is towards the top of this climb.
4. Head over Old Cote Moor, through rough ground which can be tricky in places, before it drops off towards Starbottom. The descent has extremely steep drops to the right – so don’t fall!
It continues through trees, crosses the river and along a narrow tree lined track (see home page) before joining the lane at Starbottom
The Fox and Hounds Inn at Starbottom is superb and a welcome break. Don’t drink too much though, because the final climb awaits…and it’s a killer…again!
5. Head out of the village up the Cam Road, a steep climb on good limestone tracks, as it twists and turns all the way to the top. Matty and I came across a bull at the top of here in 2006!
6. At the Cam Head track junction, take the right hand track which descends at speed back to Kettlewell, Beware of the rocky track halfway down; too fast and it’ll shred your tubes. The track leads into Kettlewell, where you can rejoin the car, pack up the bike and head for a good meal at the pub, sharing stories about how steep the climbs were and how fast you clocked yourself on the way down. This is definitely one of the best routes in all the Dales. A real 3 star classic.