Ascent: 1955 ft
You can view an online map of this route here.
- Head out over the reservoir dam and turn left up the cobbly climb to a hut. At the hut turn right on to a grassier track, follow this for 1.5km. After two steep valley dips you will climb gradually toward a drystone wall.
- At the wall do not go through the gate, turn 90 degrees left and climb for 200m until you reach another gate in the wall further up. Go through this gate and follow the obvious doubletrack for 4km until you reach another gate. Go through this gate and carry on the same bearing for 1.8km, the track gets rocky as it descends to a stone building. Pass by the building and stick to the track as it bends 90 degrees left and joins the road after 500m.
- Turn left at the road, after 100m turn right on to farm road. After 800m of this track turn right down (initially grassy) double track. Follow this obvious track for 3km until you reach a gate.
- Go through this gate and carry on the same bearing joining another farm road. After 1km turn right and head downhill to Bouthwaite (on a wide and increasingly rubbly track).
- Continue straight on along the tarmac road, cross over the river and meet another road in Ramsgill. Turn left on the road then after 50m turn right on to a gravel road until you reach a white gate on your right (signposted Nidderdale Way). Go through this gate and follow the bridleway signs for 3km through grassy farmland until you join a metalled farm road, follow this for 500m until you reach to a large concrete farmyard.
- Pass through this farmyard and after 100m turn right over the river, as you meet another (bigger) road turn left and the climb up to Middlesmoor. Pass through the village and keep straight on as the tarmac stops and becomes farm road (which in turn becomes rocky track). Stick to this obvious track for 4km to Scar House reservoir with an excellent rocky descent to finish.
Ascent: 2536 ft
You can view an online map of this route here.
- From the car park cycle towards Lower Greenfoot, turning left at the junction with Ingfield Lane. Then immediately right and along the stony track (Brockhole Lane) until a gate is reached, leading to Lodge Lane.
- At Lodge Lane turn left and begin the climbs on good tarmac, all the way to Lodge Farm. At the farm head north east (left) along the bridleway and follow this all the way to the juction with Mitchell Lane and Lambert Lane. Follow Lambert Lane (track) to the tarmac road at High Hill Lane. You will be well warmed up by now, and revelling in the steep climbs.
- Turn right and then next left, onto the bridleway of Stockdale lane, following this excellent track through spectacular limestone country as it wends its way to the road above Malham Cove. Parts of this track will test climbing skills, as you ascend technical rocky steps.
- Join the tarmac road, turning left and head north, crossing the cattle grid at Langscar Gate, before turning right onto the bridleway which crosses Dean Moor Hill before dropping down to Malham Tarn. As you meet the road junction, turn left and continue along, turning right at High Trenhouse towards Arncliffe.
- After the next junction a gate on the right leads onto a stony track, which eventually joins the paths around Malham Tarn.
- On passing the boathouse, a rough track to the left should be taken, leading around to Great Close Scar. As the track meets a ‘T’ junction of tracks, turn right, heading to Street Gate and Mastilles Lane. This is one of the best tracks in the Yorkshire Dales, with a final descent into Kilnsey to match anything elsewhere. Nerves of steel are required as you keep off the brakes and choose your line.
- At Kilnsey treat yourself to a pint and a buttie at the Inn, before taking the road to Hawkswick Cote. Once you reach the caravan park at the ‘S’ bends, take the bridleway to the left, which climbs steeply on rocky terrain, pulling on reserves of energy, before the softer meadow grass is reached –however, it keeps on climbing as you ascend High Cote Moor. Good navigation is required crossing the moor, which eventually meets Gordale Beck to your left, making an excellent cooling source on a hot day.
- The bridleway doglegs left (south), crossing a small ford before leading you back to Street Gate and a welcome rest by the side of Malham Tarn. Head along the road ahead, crossing the cattle grid before going back along the bridleway to the left again, which crosses towards Dean Moor Hill.
- This time, at the road, go straight over and onto the track which leads onto the northern section of the Settle Loop, on excellent tracks which wind along, twisting and turning before descending to the road junction above Langcliffe. Go onto the road, then turn left after about 100 yards, following this bridleway as it descends across limestone meadows strewn with rocks which provide interest to the ride, before dropping into Settle and back to the car.