Yorkshire Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 22.5 miles is set in the North East corner of the Yorkshire Dales. It starts from Grinton Lodge YHA and circles Arkengarthdale. It contains a great mixture of riding from wide gravel tracks to fast and tight singletrack.
1. From Grinton Lodge YHA (GR048976) turn right and follow the lane all the way down the hill to the junction with the main road (B6270) in Grinton, by the Bridge Inn. Go straight on and cross the bridge. Follow the main road as it bears left, towards Reeth. Go left over the thin stone bridge then right to climb into the middle of Reeth. At the junction at the far corner of the village square follow the main road left (GR038993).
2. Climb out of Reeth and stay on the main road to Healaugh, the next village. In the middle of the village, where the road bears left, take the first junction on the right (GR017990), one before the junction with the telephone box. Follow the thin lane between the houses to a gate. Go through the gate and climb out of the valley on the steep, winding lane. It is pretty evil but it doesn't last too long. The gradient reduces significantly and eventually comes to a junction by a house (GR012995).
3. Go straight on and climb the wide rocky track with the drystone wall on the left. At the next junction a short distance later, where the main trail descends to the left, take the rockier track that climbs to the right. Keep to this track and ride past some sheepfolds to the following four-way junction, just after the end of the wall on the left (GR005999). Take the grassy singletrack on the right that follows the marker posts across the bottom of the sheepfold, ahead on the right. Continue straight on for a while, gradually climbing, until the trail eventually kicks up to the left, becoming loose and rocky. At the top of this short section follow the trail right for a rocky descent to a junction. Turn left and descend a short way to a gate (GR992009).
4. After the gate turn right and climb the lane to a junction at the top (GR993015). Turn hard left on to the wide and rocky track signposted as a bridleway. Follow the track immediately right then on to a much longer left hander. At the next junction ignore the level track on the right and climb left towards the spoil heaps. The track levels off at the spoil heaps and comes to a junction just after (GR987021). Turn right then follow the track 90deg left for a straight, gradual climb to the next group of spoil heaps. At the wide gravelled area in the spoil heaps look for the small cairn that marks a right hand turn in the track. Turn right here then almost immediately turn 90deg left around the back of the spoil heaps to ride a crushed rock track along the ridge of the hill. At the end of the crushed rock track turn right at the three-way junction marked by a few cairns (GR974030).
5. Descend the loose rocky track down through a few of corners. After a sharp left hand bend the trail becomes grassy and rutted and descends to a junction (GR976035). Turn right and follow the wide grassy track across the side of the hill, being careful of the odd muddy hole. The track eventually bears left to a low, straight cutting. Stay high and left of cutting as water drains through it, making it is very soft. At the end of the cutting bear right to rejoin the main track and descend to a wide, open area of earth workings. At the top of the gravelled area, where the main track crosses a line of stones and turns 90 deg left, head right towards the top of the area of gravel on the right. Bear left and ride through the gravel to the dirt track on the opposite side that leads to a lane (GR990038).
6. Turn right and follow the lane down to a junction with a lane on the left, signed for Barnard Castle (GR998033). Turn left and descend to the bottom of the valley. Continue along this lane and climb between the drystone walls. After the drystone walls continue climbing to a wide and rocky bridleway on the right (GR004048). Turn right and follow this track up through a couple of bends, then across the face of the hillside, to a three-way junction on the far end of the ridge (GR009037).
7. Turn left and climb to the top the top of the hill. Not long after the crest the trail splits. Follow the wide gravel track heading left into a gully. Wind down through the gully and take the right hand track where it splits at the bottom. Exit the gully and follow the main track left to climb past a hut on the right. After the hut follow the track as it bears right to a four-way junction (GR025044). Take the track on the right, still wide and rocky, and descend a short way then follow it left. Stay on the main track as it undulates across the top of the hill and eventually bears right for the long descent to Schoolmaster Pasture. Just before reaching the farm buildings go right at a junction and around the corner of the drystone wall. The track bears right, steepens and becomes a bit rockier as it passes the farm before coming to a junction (GR061035).
8. Turn right onto the tarmac then left over the bridge for a short climb. Bear right at the top and descend through Washfold, in the dip, before climbing to a four-way tarmac junction (GR052026). Go straight on and climb past the houses on the right and past a rocky track on the left at Hall Farm in Hurst. Continue straight up through the gates into the old earthworks. Go past the tracks on the right and climb to an S-bend at the top. There is a bridleway marked on the map just before this S-bend but there isn’t anything on the ground. Follow the S-bend to the top of the hill then after the crest take the double track on the left through the heather. This comes out at a gate (GR032021).
9. Go through the gate and follow the grassy singletrack straight on. This opens up and gets progressively faster as it approaches the top of an old quarry. Follow the cairns through the gravel then, after skirting round the left of a small spoil heap, bear right down a short rocky chute for a wide and fast gassy descent. Beware of the ditch halfway down, too much speed and braking on grass could end unhappily. After reaching a rocky track, follow it left for an exposed traverse across the top of the quarry. At the far side of the quarry drop through a tight, rocky right hand turn. Ride across the bottom of the quarry where the trail then becomes grassy before reaching a gate in the drystone wall on the left (GR019024). Go through the gate and descend through a number of bends on the increasingly rocky track that comes out at a gate near Storthwaite Hall at the bottom (GR018021).
10. After the gate turn left and descend to another gate to the right of a farm. Go through the gate into a field and head towards the gap in the next drystone wall, ahead and slightly left. After the gap continue straight on to the edge of the river and a gate in the far corner of the field. After the gate climb the rocky track on the left to Heggs House (GR025018).
11. Follow the marked bridleway left up a short, steep climb to a gate above the back of the house.After the gate climb the grassy track left a short way to the next junction. Turn hard right and climb the singletrack across the face of the hillside to a gate in the drystone wall. Go through the gate for a sinuous section of singletrack dotted with rocks that gradually descends across the face of the hillside. Be careful as there is a bit of exposure on the right, dropping to a drystone wall. At the next junction, with the track down to Castle Farm go straight on, keeping the wall on the right. Stay high at the junction with the footpath that follows shortly after, where the drystone wall drops away slightly (GR032010).
12. The wall soon comes back up to meet the trail. Continue along the trail through a couple of gates and descend to a junction at the river. Climb the rocky track off to the left. This wider track continues traversing the hillside and eventually turns right at a gate in the drystone wall. Don’t go through the gate but continue straight on along the now grassy trail that soon becomes enclosed by drystone walls. After a while, at a three-way junction, follow the track right. The track then turns immediately left and comes to a junction with lane (GR046993).
13. Turn right and descend to the junction in higher Fremington (GR047991). Go straight on then turn left at the next junction a short distance later, to follow the crenulated wall. At the junction at the corner of the wall turn right to continue following the wall. Descend the steep thin lane to a junction at the bottom (GR046989). Turn right to the junction with the B6270. Turn left and follow the main road across the stone bridge to the junction at the Bridge Inn, where the main road turns left (GR046984). Go straight on and climb the lane past the church, then past a junction with a lane on the right. After climbing out of Grinton the lane eventually crosses a cattle grid before coming to a junction with a lane on the right (GR046978). Go left to finish the climb and complete the ride by returning to Grinton Lodge YHA.