7th August 2023
It loops around Pen-y-Ghent, taking in Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Litton. The bridleways on this route are generally decent quality.
Distance: 18.5 miles/
Time: 3h30 plus stops
The Plotaroute map above shows the Around Pen-y-Ghent mountain bike ride. You can download a navigation file from Plotaroute.
The ride starts from the free car park at Helwith Bridge.
Turn right out of the car park on Austwick Road, cross the river Ribble and the railway, then turn left on the B6479. It's a couple of miles of undulating road, with some traffic, to Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Cross Horton Beck and go past the church in Horton. Turn right on a bridleway called Horton Scar Lane.
Horton Scar Lane is a wide, stony bridleway which reaches a junction with the main Yorkshire 3 Peaks walking route.
After crossing the 3 Peaks route, the route is more grassy and less well-defined.
The high point is 484m at Foxup Moor. Foxup Beck is now down to your left.
The descent begins as a downhill traverse of the dale side, then it becomes steeper as it nears the hamlet of Foxup.
From Foxup, continue on the road to Halton Gill.
Halton Gill is at the head of Littondale, by the river Skirfare.
Follow the river downstream, still on-road, to Litton. The GPS file sends you to the Queen's Arms in Litton. It's normally open from 12 noon Wednesday to Sunday - but double-check opening times if you're planning to go.
Go back up through Litton and a little further upstream, before turning left over a bridge across the Skirfare.
Now you're on a track that climbs steeply away from Littondale (main photo at the top of the page).
On the OS map, the track is marked with red circles, which means 'other route with public access'. I came across one car and two motorbikes here.
There are views of Pen-y-Ghent.
The track meets Silverdale Road, which you join for a couple of kilometres.
Then leave the road, turning right onto a byway that leads towards Churn Milk Hole. Bear left and descend Long Lane.
There are views across Ribblesdale towards Dry Rigg and Arcow quarries.
Long Lane brings you back to the B-road at Helwith Bridge, where there's a pub, the Helwith Bridge Inn.
The Helwith Bridge Inn offers free motorhome parking in its car park, camping for £3 a night, and bunks in the Hotel Paradiso for £5 per person per night.
The Settle to Clapham Loop ride is covered by the 1:50,000 OS Landranger map number 98, Wensleydale and Upper Wharfedale.
New in 2023, Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales is available in colour paperback.
Bike Rides In and Around York features a historical city tour, plus family rides, road rides, and mountain bike rides.
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