- Mile upon mile of remote moorland singletrack
- Exploring the rugged North Pennine hills
- Fantastic views of Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent
- Riding through the northern heritage towns of Settle, Barnoldswick and Hebden Bridge
- Sampling the thrills of the Cam High Road and Long Lane Track
- A Black Sheep ale and hearty meal at the end of a rewarding day’s cycling
Enjoyed all the days and the fact that we were following an ‘official’ route made it more interesting. A great trip!
Tonight we arrive in Kendal for a chance to get to know your guides and your fellow riders, and to understand what the next few days have in store. Kendal has excellent train connections.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1300m
After breakfast we load up for the transfer (40 min) to Kirky Stephen. Today’s ride is largely within the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park with is iconic limestone scenery, stone-built villages and drystone walls. It’s also home to some of the UK’s best mountain biking as we explore its remote moorland trails.
The riding starts with an easy warm-up alongside the river Eden to Pendragon Castle. We’re soon heading off into the Yorkshire Dales on a long steady climb onto the moortops where we have the first of many fantastic views through the dales and across to the iconic Carlisle to Settle railway. Much of the day we will follow the route of the railway past the Ribblehead Viaduct.
We follow an old road, now moorland bridletrack, for 5 miles, crossing countless streams before a wonderful flowing grassy descent down towards Garsdale station and our first break. Once refreshed we have a short steep road climb before we head back off-road on the locally famous Cam High Road following an old Roman Road to Cam End and a view across the valley to the Ribblehead Viaduct. We then have one more section of undulating bridleway to our final stop near Old-Ing.
After crossing the River Ribble on a beautiful wooden bridge we climb and work our way round the base of Ingleborough, one of Yorkshires ‘3 peaks‘, to our penultimate and probably most technical descent of the day down Long Lane Track. There is one more cheeky climb before our final rolling descent into Austwick and our accommodation.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1400m
After a hearty breakfast we have a short warm-up cycling back through Austwick and on to Feizor before a quick up & over Swarth Moor to the village of Stainforth and an early morning convenience stop.
With just a few warm-up miles in the legs we tackle arguably the toughest climb of the holiday, however the effort will be short lived and the rewards will be worth it. Weather permitting we’ll have a morning break high on the hillside with panoramic views across the Dales. Afterwards we follow a good track through an open grassy hillside and onto a nice gravel tack to complete our descent into Settle.
We have another short road climb out of Settle before joining a hardpack moorland double track which takes us up and over to the village of Long Preston.
The dramatic Dales now more or less behind us we spend the rest of the morning rolling through pretty undulating pastureland. We still manage to pick-up some tasty tracks as we pass through Gisburn Park and on into Lancashire. After lunch the scenery will change yet again as we head into the Northern Pennine hills. Our final cheeky climb for the day up Weets hill on the Pendle way (watch out for witches) will test those tired legs. The reward comes in the form of a long sometimes rough track down towards Barnoldswick – the home of Hope cycle components. We then have just a few more small tracks over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and onto to this evenings accommodation in Kelbrook.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1200m
Our third day’s riding is through the heart of the Lancashire Pennine hills. The scenery is perhaps less dramatic and more rugged, but the quality of the riding doesn’t change. Again we spend most of the day off-road on cleverly sculpted tracks, some of it purpose built for the Pennine Bridleway. After a few hours of good quality riding we find ourselves nestled deep in the valley at Wycoller County Park where we can take a morning break and snap a few photos by the many river crossing in this beautiful hidden gem.
After a break we have a steady climb on good sociable double track back into the hills. The good fun tracks don’t stop as we head over to our lunch stop above Thursden Valley.
After lunch we head down through Thursden Wood on a lovely loamy, switch-backed singletack which is sure to make you smile. Unfortunately, the smile may be short lived when you see that what goes down must go back up in equal measures. A singletrack moorland track will help restore the spirit and possibly inject a little adrenaline as we head back down on more purpose-built tracks. After one steadier climb and flowing descent we meet up with the van for our final afternoon break.
With just 6 miles to go now we can almost smell the coffee & visualise the array of cakes to reward our efforts. But before then we need to work our way past the Gorple Reservoir to pick up our final section of quality cross-country singletrack and a long fast descent into Hebden Bridge to celebrate.
Those travelling by train can depart from Hebden Bridge into Manchester for onward connections. Or you may decide to spend an extra night relaxing & dining in Hebden Bridge before departing.
Hebden Bridge has been voted as “the greatest town in Europe” by The Academy of Urbanism, is officially the best small market town in the UK (winner of the best Small Market Town and People’s Choice categories in the 2016 Great British High Street Awards) and was described in British Airway’s ‘High Life’ magazine as “one of the world’s funkiest towns“.
Much of the cycling takes place on the rugged moorland that is characteristic of the area, with sweeping vistas of remote countryside. The terrain is very varied, but you will encounter natural singletrack, bridleways, vehicle-width tracks and some technical climbs and descents. The trails can be rocky and loose in places. A good level of fitness and bike handling skills is required to get the best out of the trip.
Mountain Biking Grade
Distances of 25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day
For regular mountain bikers who have a good level of fitness
Routes with frequent moderate to difficult technical sections
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
As well as keeping a good level of fitness you are also an experienced biker and enjoy riding more challenging trails. You usually ride most weekends and can cover between 30 and 50 miles over a full 8-9 hour day (with breaks). The routes you choose generally include more challenging 1-2 hour long climbs perhaps with sharp switchbacks and sections of large and loose rocks. You are comfortable riding most trails including sections of technical or exposed singletrack with some testing obstacles such as drop offs and steep downhills. Our grade 4 trips should suit you.
Dates & Prices
Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)
B) Meals as itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Full support service including a guide qualified in First Aid and a back up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike
D) GPX files available upon request
E) Scheduled train station transfers on arrival and departure days
What's not Included
A) Personal clothing and equipment
B) Travel insurance
C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.
D) Bike & helmet hire (available if required)
E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
F) Single room option (may be available if required)
G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres
H) Other optional activities
Nigel, North Yorkshire, UKA great trip!
I was given good advice and description of route from Saddle Skedaddle. Enjoyed all the days and the fact we were following an ‘official’ route made it more interesting. The riding was very varied which was great, making it a great trip!