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Find a route

Welcome to the routes pages where you will find a selection of some of the great rides that the Dales has to offer. Each route is available as a PDF file which has OS mapping and a route description, and also as Memory Map (.mmo) and Tracklogs (.gpx) files. Click on a route title to proceed to the its download page.

Many of the routes might be longer than you are used to, but most people find that they can average reasonable speeds in the Dales, meaning you can go that bit further. If you are struggling just concentrate on the cake!

If you have a favourite route that you think should be featured on the site then please contact us.

Circuit of Fountains Fell

Start/finish: Stainforth
Distance: 25 miles (42km)

A long route but on quick surfaces takes you through some fantastic scenery including going past Pen-y-Ghent, the stunning valley of Littondale and Malham Tarn. The two long climbs mean you need to be reasonably fit, but you get to enjoy a great rocky descent to Litton and a final blast back into Stainforth.

Tour of Whernside

Start/finish: Dent village, Ribblehead or Ingleton
Distance:
24 miles (40km)

Although this route is not so well known, it takes you on a cracking ride round Whernside. It is a tougher proposition than many routes in the Yorkshire Dales with two big climbs, considerable technical riding and barely any tarmac.

Tour of Wensleydale

Start/finish: Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre car park. Alternative car parks at Castle Bolton and Askrigg.
Distance: 21 miles (36km)

A mixture of fast stone track and routes over limestone grassland as well as some short sections of tarmac. There is one long climb from Cubeck up onto the Stake Allotments, but the descent to Thoralby is an absolute classic.

Tunnels and bridges

Start/finish: Clapham
Distance: 12 miles (19km)

This route really does have a bit of everything that is best about Dales mountain biking – walled lanes, stone tracks, grassy tracks, rock slabs, fords and old clapper bridges. To add to it all from the top of the route you have one of the best views in the Dales looking out over the limestone pavement of Thieves Moss to Pen-y-Ghent.

Grassington to Malham Moor

Start/finish: Grassington National Park Centre car park
Distance: 10 miles (17km)

This all weather route takes you up a quiet back road up Wharfedale to Kilnsey with its impressive climbing crag. You then start up Mastiles Lane before heading off across Malham Moor on a mixture of grass track and high quality purpose built trail. The final section through the mine workings of Threshfield Moor is a superb descent on a rough gritstone track.

Grassington over Barden Moor

Start/finish: Grassington National Park Centre
Distance: 21 miles (34km)

This route includes the classic crossing of Barden Moor, a great bridleway with heather singletrack, fast stone track, grass sections, and a superb switchback section through the woods. Even better doing the route this way round means a short steep climb leads to a seemingly endless descent all the way to Bolton Abbey. Then there is a chance to refuel before taking to the tarmac on the return journey – the good news is that even the road section is stunning.

Circuit of Dodd Fell

Start/finish: Hawes, Dales Countryside Museum
Distance: 18 miles (30km)

A quiet back road down to Bainbridge gives your legs a chance to warm up before arriving at the Roman road. This is a classic Dales rocky track climbing up onto Wether Fell at a gradient that means you can cycle the lot. A short section of tarmac and then its back down to Hawes and a choice of routes down.

A Grand Day Out (aka Over the Stake)

Start/finish: Horton-in-Ribblesdale or Buckden
Distance: 36 miles (59km)

Don’t be put off by the 60km distance – this is do-able! The route is on good quick stone tracks and minor roads and you should be able to do a reasonable average speed. But it is a day out – pack plenty of food!

Tour of Pen-y-Ghent

Start/finish: Horton-in-Ribblesdale
Distance: 19 miles (27km)

The tour of Pen-y-Ghent is a well known classic for good reason. A great rocky track is followed by a superb moorland crossing on a mixture of purpose built and natural surfaces. A steep rocky climb up Dawson Close takes you onto a lovely track, and then there is the final descent from the shoulder of Pen-y-Ghent before a spin out back to the cafe.

Tour of Ingleborough

Start/finish:Clapham, Ribblehead or Ingleton
Distance:24 miles (40km)

The tour of Ingleborough takes in a full circuit of Yorkshire’s most famous peak.  The first half of the ride is mainly on tarmac following quiet roads, but beyond Ribblehead the tarmac is left behind and the route follows stony tracks and limestone grassland.  This section largely follows the Pennine Bridleway.

Around Gouthwaite Reservoir

Start/finish: Pateley Bridge
Distance: 12 miles (21km)

This is a good introductory route to Dales mountain biking using minor roads and good stone tracks. It takes you along the side of Gouthwaite reservoir, famous for its bird life, on a track and back down the other side on tarmac. A more technical section through some old mine workings then returns you to good stone tracks back to Pateley.

Booze and Crackpot

Start/finish: Reeth
Distance: north loop 10 miles (16km); south loop 15 miles (25km)

Two routes in one. The north loop includes the excellent singletrack section back to Fremington from Langthwaite, whilst the southern loop takes you up the valley bridleways, before a climb through Crackpot leads to a great crossing of Harkerside Moor.

The Edge

Start/finish: Reeth
Distance: 24 miles (40km)

A classic tour of Swaledale taking in some of the best routes in the area. The highlight for most people is likely to be the two great rocky descents dropping from Fremington Edge, and then into Gunnerside Gill.

The Bowderdale Classic

Start/finish: Sedbergh
Distance: 24 miles (39km)

A truly classic trip that should be saved for a good day. The Howgills reach 676m and poor weather would mean good navigation and difficult trail conditions. The description below takes you up the steep way and down Bowderdale valley, often voted one of the best bits of singletrack in the country. Some prefer to go the other way round - the choice is yours.

The Settle Loop

Start/finish: Settle
Distance: 10 miles (16km)

The first section of the Pennine Bridleway to be opened in the Yorkshire Dales, the Settle Loop takes you on a variety of tracks; gravel, natural grassland and rocky limestone sections. It also gives great views out over the southern section of the Dales. It may be a short route but it involves a big climb out of Settle so expect to do some hard work.

A Long Settle Loop

Start/finish: Settle or Malham
Distance: 21 miles (35km)

If you’ve been around the Settle Loop and want to extend it, here is one option. It adds in a section of Mastiles Lane and a loop to Malham past Gordale Scar, before a testing climb up Stockdale Lane and a long descent to Settle taking in an extra off tarmac section.

Tour of Malhamdale

Start/finish: Gargrave
Distance: 18 miles (31km)

A great route through the south of the National Park. After the first warm up section on the road, you hardly see any more tarmac on the ride. Great variety of terrain and tracks, some big climbs and flowing descents make this a top ride.

Tour of Nidderdale

Start/finish: Scar House Resersvoir, Nidderdale
Distance: 15 miles (24km)

An all weather classic with barely any tarmac. Starting at the head of Nidderdale this classic tour takes you up onto stony tracks high above the valley, before dropping down a rubble slope to Bouthwaite. A section through farmland back up the valley, then leads to a climb to Middlesmoor, and the superb descent back to the reservoir.

Brimham Loop

Start/finish: Stif Cycles, Summerbridge
Distance: 11 miles (18km)

This is a ride of great variety. It starts with a tough but short climb up through woods and then follows quick and quiet roads through Brimham Rocks. More off road follows before another road section leads to stunning views of Nidderdale and a final descent along an ancient packhorse route.

Brimham Blast

Start/finish: Stif Cycles, Summerbridge
Distance: 9 miles (14km)

Although this route is short it should not be underestimated. It starts with a warm up on the road gently climbing towards the first of the off-road sections. However after this it becomes an intense ride with spectacular views and challenging uphill and downhill sections on rough bridleways.

Great Greenhow

Start/finish: Pateley Bridge Showground car park
Distance: 25 miles (42km)

A long cross country route with some prolonged climbs and epic views. More about distance than technical terrain, it includes quiet roads, and remote stone tracks.

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