North East Dales from Bedale
Stats: 29 miles and 1479 feet of ascent
There are opportunities to take on liquids and carbs in Leyburn, Middleham and at Bedale. Middleham has a great tea room just opposite the market cross.
This short loop trundles out of Bedale on the A684, moving from rolling countryside on its way to some steep climbing on the edge of Dales as it nears Leyburn. It’s downhill all the way towards Richard of York’s castle at Middleham, then some undulating lanes all the way back to Bedale – a great morning ride.
1. From Bedale main street take the A684 signed for Leyburn. This main Dales trunk road winds its way along, through rolling countryside that gently undulates, until you reach the village of Akebar, where it really begins to climb. The climb is not so visible, but you will notice it in the legs. Particularly if the winds are blowing in from the west.
2. As you approach Leyburn, a garage on the left hand side sits on the junction of the A6108 signed to Middleham and you finally get the benefit of the early climbing. This road descends steeply, but winds both left and right initially, requiring good awareness and handling skills. The road then opens up and heads towards the imposing bridge that crosses the river.
3. Once over the bridge keep left as the road gradually climbs to Middleham and its ancient Castle – once a royal castle for Richard of York. A superb cafe sits in the market place here.
4. Once refreshed take the A6108 towards Ripon. An easier gradient rolls through superb scenery before the road turns sharp left after East Witton. Another steep climb from Jervaulx Abbey leads to steep woodland protecting you from winds on the right, as you enjoy sweeping views across the Dales to you left.
5. At Masham, stay on the A6108 until it drops down and over the bridge, then along to Low Burton and a junction left with the B6267 signed towards Bedale (5miles).
6. This road gently rolls through the Dales for some 2 miles, before a turning left onto a narrow lane (Phlashetts Lane) signed ‘Well’ climbs gently to the right and taking you along a winding route before sweeping sharply right as it descends steeply into the village of Well. Take care with the descent, as it then sweeps sharply left through the village proper.
7. The road now passes through trees and Thorp Perrow Arboretum before gently rolling back to Bedale and a well earned rest.