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Yorkshire Dales Bikepacking Trip - April 2024

All week I was watching the weather forecast with some trepidation ahead of our April 2024 Yorkshire Dales bikepacking trip. With Storm Kathleen looking to make this trip a windy one, I picked a shorter, circular route to ride over 3 days.

This 106 mile gravel bike route used a combination of small country lanes, cycleways and bridleways (including sections of the Pennine Bridleway and Dales Way). 

Day 1

Starting on the outskirts of Skipton around Friday lunchtime, our target for the afternoon's ride was to get to Redmire where our first nights accommodation was booked. 

Following the boundary of the Bolton Abbey estate, the route soon became more remote as we wound our way to Gouthwaite Reservoir and then to the impressive Scar House reservoir. After this point, the route gradually descended into the low lying hamlets and villages of Carlton and Wensley and we made our way to the Redmire Village Pub.

Luckily for us we arrived at the pub just after 6pm and in time for happy hour! We enjoyed a couple of pints of local IPA and a hearty evening meal. 

We'd booked accommodation in the pub which was comfortable with good amenities and secure bike storage.

Day 2

We set off on our bikes at just before 8am and were greeted with an immediate uphill climb out of Redmire, up and over Apedale. The route soon got us onto a remote bridleway which passed up to Whitaside Moor - great cycling on the gravel bikes with a steady climb and long sweeping downhill sections. After passing a bothy and abandoned mine works we dropped down to the outskirts of Grinton and followed a quiet country lane all the way to Askrigg where we stopped for a bacon bap and coffee.

Out of Askrigg the route climbs up the old roman road to Drumaldrace (614m) for around 3km before following a long ridge line and eventually dropping down towards the Ribblehead Viaduct.

The wind by this point was really picking up (40+mph) and at times it was hard enough to keep control of our front wheels! We passed a few small groups of walkers making their way along the Pennine Way with big rucksacks (I was pleased to be on two wheels and didn't envy them). 

With the Riddlehead Viaduct on the horizon our 2nd nights accommodation was within touching distance - The Station Inn. Battered by the wind and with tired legs we spent a good few hours lingering by the fire in the Inn and refreshed ourselves with beer and food. Again, this was another great spot to spend the night - secure bike storage, hearty food and friendly fellow guests to wile away the evening. 

Day 3

Our aim today was to loop back down to Skipton (aiming for around a 2pm finish). Today's route used larger sections of the Pennine Bridleway which was a delight to ride, particularly the section between Langcliffe and Malham. After a coffee in Malham, we got our heads down to ride the final section along the road to make good time for the finish.

All in all, a great few days exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park and it certainly wet the appetite for returning to cycle the Pennine Bridleway!


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