Stats: 9.4 miles
The best place for good facilities is Reeth, with ample accommodation choices and places to eat. Grinton Youth Hostel is superb, but is beaten in my view by the Dales Mountain Bike Centre at Low Fremington. Stuart and company will also fix up your bike for you. If you do stay in the area, keep this for an evening outing. At the end, head for the 18th Century ‘Charles Bathurst Inn’, for an excellent meal. If you fancy a bit more comfort for sleeping, then the rooms at the Inn are great.
A 2 hour ride up and over Swaledale moorlands with steep ascents & descents, starting with a killer climb. Initially on tarmac, as the narrow lane twists and turns, it joins the rough moorland tracks through a gate on the left hand side of the lane near what you hope to be the top.
However, although easing off, it continues to climb until respite is gained with superb views all around. It is an excellent introduction into Swaledale biking. It takes in some superb scenery…if you can catch your breath enough to enjoy it!
Albeit steep, if possible, the climbs are best done in the middle ring. The descents will more than make up for the climbs. Remember that speed is your friend and enjoy what Swaledale has to offer.
1. Start at the pub car park at Langthwaite (grid 99950320) and head down the road to the junction, turning left and up the hill towards the bridleway at grid 02450090.
2. Go over Peat Moor Green to the track junction and head east past St Andrews Cross to the Moresdale Road (track). The steep climbs are rewarded with a terrific descent across the moor that will make your eyes water! Check the brakes before you begin the descent. This is definitely fast and furious – hold on and enjoy!
3. Drop down the goat’s road into Washfold village, going west and through the village onto Hurst, joining the track heading west.
4. Continuing along the bridleway west, towards Langthwaite. This descends Fremington Edge, with a technical rocky section. beware of hidden dangers here. Rocks will spring out at you from within the grassy meadow.
A final sweeping walled lane will lead to a well-earned finish.