Ripon & The Dales
Stats: 41 miles and 990 feet of ascent
Ripon has ample accommodation and cafes. Along the route, try Pateley Bridge for a stop, with excellent choices of Inn food, cafes, and two fine butchers’ for pies. The deli on the main street makes excellent sandwiches.
The best Dales villages and pubs, a steep and painful mountain climb with views to long for; a fast downhill section which would stand its own against anything in the Alps and long flat sections where speed is demanded.
1. From Ripon head out towards Thirsk / Masham along North Street to the Clock Tower junction. Turn left at these lights onto the A6108, heading eventually reaching West Tanfield, then turning left at the mini roundabout beside the Bruce Arms towards Masham. The road climbs and dips gradually before reaching Masham. There are loads of Cafes and Pubs in Masham. The Kings Arms is great, but leave the beer ’til later.
2. Go through Masham staying on the Leyburn road, however turning left just before leaving Masham, heading through Fearby and Healey and on towards Leighton Reservoir. There are some serious hills both down and up from here on in.
3. After some great moorland scenes and a deep dip and rise after the reservoir, the road eventually drops down Trapping Hill and Lane and into Lofthouse village, turning left at the junction and on towards Pateley Bridge. If you want a brew, detour to Howstean Gorge for a cuppa at the cafe.
4. At Pateley Bridge go up the High Street, continuing straight as the road bends to the right. You may wish to grab a mug of tea at Pateley before tackling this climb. It’s a renowned twisting narrow lane that keeps on climbing. If a brew is taken, check out the cafe opposite the Bewerley Road at the bottom of Pateley Bridge. Once refreshed, you should now be climbing steeply towards Dallowgill and Kirkby Malzeard.
5. At Missies Lane, turn left towards Laverton signed 1/2 mile. Once in the village turn right at the next junction, with the old stone chapel opposite. Passing a red telephone box, the village houses eventually run out, and a narrow lane is seen on the left just before a road sign indicating 7’6″ narrow width. Take this junction left towards Kirkby Malzeard. At the next junction (opposite the graveyard) turn left and ride into Kirkby Malzeard.
6. At Kirkby Malzeard turn right opposite the village cross and continue through the village towards Ripon. Eventually a junction is reached (T) with Kirkby lane. Turn right and follow this road all the way back to Ripon.
7. Kirkby Road leads right into the centre of town and a welcome finish