Yorkshire Dales Touring Route South
Stats: 106 miles and 5389 feet of ascent
Skipton has it all: accommodation, food stops, bike shops etc. You may want to book a night at the travel lodge for when you return. On route, there are several options. Please feel free to contact us for any advice. Or simply click onto the National Parks accommodation link from this site.
If you’ve quickly glanced at the elevation and the distance to the right, you will have taken a sharp intake of breath, muttered ‘Oh my God’ and quickly turned to another ride. Trust me stick with it. This is one of the finest rides you are likely to come across, and probably one of the best in England in my view. This ride is 106 miles of truly awesome Dales landscapes, some of the quietest roads and plenty of ‘off saddle’ activity to take your mind off your sore bum.
This route can be completed in various ways, so start from where ever you like, take as long as you want and take in as much of the Dales as you want to. It’s a ride for serious sporting riders, and for those wanting a fresh challenge or the keen biker (or groups) looking for a different holiday. My choice is 3, 4 or 5 night stop over. Now this may sound a lot of stops, but remember you are riding through the highest parts of the county of North Yorkshire. In fact over 8000ft of ascent and your thighs may not be your friend any more if you do too much too quickly.
Day 1: Start at the Travel Lodge, Skipton. Ride through following the guide to Grassington through to Pateley Bridge. Stay over in Pateley Bridge (25miles)
Day 2: Start out from Pateley Bridge heading North through Nidderdale. Take a detour to How Stean Gorge it’s worth a visit. Head back on yourself and left into Lofthouse (pub stop) and up the moor towards Masham. Stay over in the superb small town of Masham. At Masham you can take in the Black Sheep Brewery trip.
Day 3: Head out from Masham north west to Middleham and on to Leyburn. From Leyburn follow the road to Wesley and then take the North West lane up to Preston under Cliffe. Looking down you can take in the valley with the majestic Bolton Castle.
At Redmire you have a rest and if time permits take a train ride back along the scenic Wensleydale Railway. Drop down from Redmire and take in Asgarth Falls. A must see, and where Robin was filmed with Kevin Costner.
Over the bridge and turn right towards Bainbridge and Hawes. Your choice of stay over accommodation dependants on the legs; either in the pictureque village of Bainbridge or in Hawes. Bit more in the way of facilities in Hawes.
Day 4/5: Assuming you’ve stayed in Hawes head out South West and into a very different landscape of Widdale. This landscape will continue to change and you ride South. Ride in the shadow of Whernside to your right and Ingleborough to the front of you.
Take a rest at world famous Ribblehead Viaduct, part of the Settle to Carlisle railway. The Station Inn serves cracking food and some great refreshments.
Continue towards Horton in Ribblesdale with Pen-y-Ghent (Hill of Winds) on your left. In Stainforth take the left in the village and start ascending again; probably the last big incline on this route. It will be worth it as you are heading towards Malham Tarn, Malham Cove and Malham village.
From Malham follow the lane south to Conniston Cold and left onto the A65. Follow the A65 into Gargrave. At Gargrave take the right over the bridge and follow the lane to the A59 at Broughton. Turn left at the A59 and head back to Skipton and the start point of the Travel Lodge.
Contact pedalnorth.com for details on where to stay and other tourist activities to take in en-route.