Muker to Askrigg
Stats: 17 miles and 2125 feet of ascent
Muker has a lovely little pub, but for more facilities, get along to Reeth. Nearby Grinton Youth Hostel is great, but I’d recommend the accommodation at the Dales Mountain Bike Centre, where Stuart and company will look after you and your bike.
This route is one of those rides you will come back to time after time. When the weather is good this could simply be one of the finest upland routes in the country. Thigh burning inclines and fast tarmac descents lead you into stunning Yorkshire Dales villages. Views to die for and you could take on the moors without seeing a car. Trust me, you will enjoy this one!
1. Park up at the car park just by the bridge in Muker Village. Remember this is a loop route and you could just as easily park up and start anywhere around the loop including Askrigg. Personally I find the anti-clockwise route the best way round as it provides some interesting climbs but more importantly the longest descents.
2. After a bike and kit check follow the B6270 west out of the village towards Thwaites.
3. Turn left onto Cliffe Gate Road and continue up the hill. You are faced with superb quality two lane tarmac. Take in the views as you go and it might help to take your mind off your legs.
4. This lane continues into the valley with the valley bottom far down on your left – very much alpine like at this point.
5. Start to descend into fast tarmac. Again take in the views, now on your right.
6. Follow the lane past Simonstone Hall and Hardraw Force on your right.
This tall, stunning waterfall is famous for being filmed in the Robin Hood Film ‘Prince of Thieves’, where Kevin Costner swam naked and is worthy of a look at some point. The waterfall not Kevin Costner!
7. At the lane end turn left towards Askrigg. You will gradually reach the outskirts of Askrigg and before long reach the market square. Take a break and refuel here as more climbing is in front of you.
8. Follow the road through the market square and when it bends round to the right follow the sign for Muker which is straight on. This is Moor lane. Start climbing again. Keep left onto Cross Top.
9. Simply follow this lane which is single track tarmac but still good quality right over the moor top. Couple of cattle grids to cross
10. This route concludes with a long drop into Muker. Fast with some great cornering to take on at speed. Turn left at the B6270 and back to the car in Muker.