Settle to Wharfdale
The town has excellent facilities, as described elsewhere on the site. The Naked man Café is a must – and you can even keep your clothes on.
Stats: 30.6 miles
Settle has loads of good accommodation options, with some good Youth Hostels also nearby. For a good bite to eat, try ‘The Naked Man’ cafe – excellent freshly made grub. En route, the Tennant Arms at Kilnsey takes some beating, with food to satisfy all appetites.
This is a fantastic route, bringing together some superb elements: the Settle Loop; Mastiles Lane; and Old Cote Moor – a fantastic three course meal. It’s a hard route this one, with some really tough climbs. So make sure that you’re up to it, and take a small tool kit and some fluids with you.
1. From the car park cycle towards Lower Greenfoot, turning left at the junction with Ingfield Lane. Then immediately right and along the stony track (Brockhole Lane) until a gate is reached, leading to Lodge Lane.
2. At Lodge Lane turn left and begin the climbs on good tarmac, all the way to Lodge Farm. At the farm head north east (left) along the bridleway and follow this all the way to the juction with Mitchell Lane and Lambert Lane. Follow Lambert Lane (track) to the tarmac road at High Hill Lane . You will be well warmed up by now, and revelling in the steep climbs.
3. Turn right and then next left, onto the bridleway of Stockdale lane, following this excellent track through spectacular limestone country as it wends its way to the road above Malham Cove. Parts of this track will test climbing skills, as you ascend technical rocky steps.
4. Join the tarmac road, turning left and head north, crossing the cattle grid at Langscar Gate, before turning right onto the bridleway which crosses Dean Moor Hill before dropping down to Malham Tarn. As you meet the road junction, turn left and continue along, turning right at High Trenhouse towards Arncliffe.
After the next junction a gate on the right leads onto a stony track, which eventually joins the paths around Malham Tarn.
5. On passing the boathouse, a rough track to the left should be taken, leading around to Great Close Scar. As the track meets a ‘T’ junction of tracks, turn right, heading to Street Gate and Mastilles Lane. This is one of the best tracks in the Yorkshire Dales, with a final descent into Kilnsey to match anything elsewhere. Nerves of steel are required as you keep off the brakes and choose your line.
6. At Kilnsey treat yourself to a pint and a buttie at the Inn, before taking the road to Hawkswick Cote. Once you reach the caravan park at the ‘S’ bends, take the bridleway to the left, which climbs steeply on rocky terrain, pulling on reserves of energy, before the softer meadow grass is reached –however, it keeps on climbing as you ascend High Cote Moor. Good navigation is required crossing the moor, which eventually meets Gordale Beck to your left, making an excellent cooling source on a hot day.
7. The bridleway doglegs left (south), crossing a small ford before leading you back to Street Gate and a welcome rest by the side of Malham Tarn. Head along the road ahead, crossing the cattle grid before going back along the bridleway to the left again, which crosses towards Dean Moor Hill.
8. This time, at the road, go straight over and onto the track which leads onto the northern section of the Settle Loop, on excellent tracks which wind along, twisting and turning before descending to the road junction above Langcliffe. Go onto the road, then turn left after about 100 yards, following this bridleway as it descends across limestone meadows strewn with rocks which provide interest to the ride, before dropping into Settle and back to the car.