Beautiful Autumn morning
Beautiful Autumn morning

With a Sunday to myself, and beautiful weather, I headed down to Wensleydale for a 20km circuit along the north bank of the River Ure, and back via Apedale. I’d done this a couple of years ago, and the scenery is fantastic.

Looking south from the castle
Looking south from the castle

The ride starts at Castle Bolton and winds through pasture land for 10km, relatively flat, mostly grassy, but with odd bits of excitement thrown in.

Last part of the Wensleydale bridleway

When the bridleway ends above Askrigg, the route turns right on a steep road climb. There’s a little reward in a descent on the road at Whitaside Moor, before the route turns off road and the climbing begins again through the mine workings to Apedale Head.


It turns out this part of my route was shared with the ‘Ard Rock Timetrial, and the guys on the course seemed to be enjoying themselves. I’m pretty glad that when I did the ‘Ard Rock Enduro earlier this year they didn’t bring us up here – it would certainly be a challenge to race this route.

The view over Swaledale
The view over Swaledale

At Apedale Head I stop to put on my knee and elbow pads, as I know the descent, while fun, could punish a careless move. The skills gods are kind, however, and the descent is enormous fun (and fast).

Before I reach the road, it’s time to turn right and climb the hill for a final descent to Castle Bolton.

Once back at the car, it would have been rude not to pop into the castle café for their club sandwich and a local beer. Nice!

Strava log: https://www.strava.com/activities/401465458


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