Stats: 15 miles and 1318 feet of ascent
Ample village pubs in the area to choose from, together with the nearby cafe at the National Park Visitor Centre at Aysgarth down the road.
On the way back, stop off at Castle Bolton for tea and cake.
The fact that we did this route in winds of between 30 and 40 mph on the fells, on a early January day should convince all of you that this is indeed a route for all seasons. It traverses the hills of splendid Wensleydale, peaking over into Swaledale, before an epic descent of Peatmoor Lane.
This and the ‘Carpeby *’ route would make an excellent trip north for anyone. Two huts along the route provide excellent halts for a butty and flask (you’ll have to carry I’m afraid). The tracks are a mix of sandy grit, rock and meadowland.
1. Park at the far end of Preston Under Scar, then climbing up the road between Pasture Wood and Condenser Wood. At the cross roads, go straight over and onto the well surfaced double track that leads up and onto the high moorland meadows and escarpment. Albeit climbing, this is a steady gradient which allows you time to relax and enjoy the views, as you roll along.
2. Join the tarmac above Hargill Lane, turning right and uphill towards the Apedale Road some 400 yards ahead and to the left. Cycle onto the Apedale Road and then roll down, heading towards the hut at the track junction, then turning left and climbing back towards Wensleydale.
3. This track climbs and then rolls down before climbing again to the Greenhaw shooting Hut above Wensleydale – toilets at the back and some tables and chairs make this a great spot to stop and rest. Then the real fun begins, on a fast and twisting rocky descent – speed is your friend here – all the way down via Peatmoor Lane towards Thoralby. However…do not descent all the way! At the bridleway junction left, take this track (BW) and cycle across good moorland meadows towards Castle Bolton, finally speeding down to the Castle for tea and cake.
4. Follow East Lane, crossing the tarmac at Sissy Bank and back to Preston Under Scar.