A circular route leaving from Gargrave (can be tweaked to leave from Skipton). Makes for a nice day out with some dramatic scenery passing through gritstone and limestone country.
There is normally free parking on the road available at the start of the route but for those wishing to change into their best lycra it might be more appropriate to park a little further from the A65, out of view of houses. The route is mainly on quiet country roads but utilises the A65 on the way back. A short diversion can be made through Otterburn between Hellifield and Coniston Cold for those wishing to avoid traffic as much as possible. An even longer diversion could be made to avoid the A65 completely, taking the road from Settle to Airton and thus back to Gargrave. However, this would involve adding a significant amount of ascent to the route! The route is generally pleasantly undulating on valley roads but involves one steep climb up onto the moor at Halton Gill. There is invariably a headwind on the moor (no matter what direction you ride in!) and you can expect to feel the cold. A water and windproof layer is essential.
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Distance: 39.82 miles (64 km)
Total ascent: 780m
Steepest Gradient: 11% (1 in 9)
Time: 3:30 – 5 hours (Road biking)
Mostly quiet country roads but some riding on the A65 between Settle and Skipton.
Road surfacing is generally OK but may become muddy with farm traffic at times. If there has been snowfall or if ice on the roads is expected then it would be advisable to avoid this route. The road between Halton Gill and Settle is most likely not thoroughly gritted and would be treacherous to say the least!
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Peak District & Yorkshire Dales – Met Office: Yorkshire Dales
Very good train links to Skipton from Leeds. Generally the trains between Skipton and Leeds have excellent bike facilities. If tiring there is an option to shorten the ride by taking the train from Settle.
List any printed guidebooks that describe this route. Links can be written as http://www.example.com
OS Explorer OL2 (1:25,000), OS Explorer OL30 (1:25,000), OS Explorer OL41 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Dark Peak (1:40,000), OS Landranger 103 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 98 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Find more Listings near this route Tourist info:
Skipton (01756 792809); Malham (01969 652380); Barnoldswick (01282 666 704)
by Will Hunt