Scar House, Nidderdale
Stats: 4.5 miles
This is a nice introduction for the kids…or your mates, if they’ve been lazy sods and never ridden a bike before! Parking at Scar House, you get fantastic views and picnic tables for lunch. Toilets are nearby which, as a parent, I know is handy. Lofthouse is nearby, with a good pub; and How Stean Gorge has a superb little cafe and tea shop, and a superb little camp site.
The track is good and reasonably level, with enough undulation for the odd freewheeling. From Pateley Bridge take the road signed Ramsgill and Lofthouse, all the way through Lofthouse, then turning right and heading along the Yorkshire Water road to the dams. This road follows beautiful scenery, with steep valley sides all around, leading you to the car park at Scar House. Scar House has an excellent track around it, which is a designated Yorkshire Water cycle route and will be a great intro for the kids. Once you reach the dam between Scar House and Angram you can head back along the road to the car park.
1. Cycle out of the car park and across Scar House dam. Climb the loose gravel track (steep) and head left around the reservoir. By a group of trees a series of old buildings are reached.
2. Continue around, past the old farm building on the left, and at the track junction (bridleway) to the right which climbs steeply, turn left along the walled lane and through the sheep folds, looking for a gate on the right.
3. Go through gate into a rough pasture with a wall on the left, through another gate in a fence and follow the well-defined path through a couple more gates, over a stream in the bottom of a Ghyll and on to the northern end of Angram Dam point. At this point you can simply cross the dam and head back along the road the other side. You’ll have already had a good spin. From here follow the tarmac access road along the southern side of Scar House Reservoir through the pedestrian gate and back to the car park at Scar House.
Now take the kids to How Stean Gorge for an ice cream – they’ve earnt it!