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Sawley, High Grantley, & Brimham cycle route


This is a reasonably hilly route that takes in beautiful countryside, including the heather of Dallow Moor. It's a 36 mile loop north, starting and finishing in Harrogate.

Sawley, High Grantley, & Brimham cycle route: route notes and maps

The route starts with the Nidderdale Greenway to Ripley. This means going fairly slowly to begin with, as the Greenway is shared with pedestrians. It works quite well as a gentle warm-up, which is recommended by this Bike Radar article (it suggests avoiding going too fast too soon).

From Ripley, go left on the B6165 (quite a busy road). This map shows the first part of the route from Ripley:

High Grantley cycle route, map 1

After about 1km, turn right on Fountains Road, which takes you uphill to a crossroads where you go straight on. At the next junction, ignore the right turn, and continue straight on. To the right, there's a view over to the ruined church tower on How Hill.

Bishop Thornton crossroads  How Hill 

Ignore the left turn towards Warsill and go straight on. The road dips down through Hebden Wood to cross Picking Gill, with a climb up the other side. (You can pick up quite a lot of speed going down to the gill, so be careful, in case there's oncoming traffic over the bridge at the bottom).

Road near Hebden Wood  Road through Hebden Wood

By Sawley Hall, turn left towards the village of Sawley. (The photos below show some of the decorations and dummies in Sawley at the time of the Tour de France).

Sawley Arms  Willow cyclist sculpture, Sawley

This map shows the second part of the route, from Sawley:

High Grantley cycle route, map 2

After Sawley, you arrive at the B6265. Turn right, then very soon after, left. A few metres beyond the left turn, on the B6265 at Risplith, is a cafe and ice cream parlour called G & Ts, which was painted in Tour de France colours for the Tour, and still is at the time of writing (August 2014).

G and Ts ice cream parlour, Risplith

The road then dips down again to cross the little river Skell near Grantley Hall and a saw mill. The road here is very poorly surfaced (August 2014). Beware of vehicles going too fast, and/or overtaking when they can't see whether there's oncoming traffic. I've also come across tractors driving very fast around here.

Road near Grantley Hall  Log pile near Grantley Hall

Next, you come to the charming little village of High Grantley, which has a pub, The Grantley Arms

High Grantley  The Grantley Arms

At the end of the village, turn left towards Redmires and High Skelding. This is a genuinely quiet road, and it leads into lovely countryside. There's a little right-left dogleg in the road at High Skelding. From there, you can look east towards the North York Moors. A bit further on, you can make out the Kilburn White Horse, albeit you're not at the right angle to see it properly

View of the North York Moors  Distant view of the Kilburn White Horse

After the dogleg, the road crosses Skelding Moor. You get views of the heather on Dallow Moor.

Road across Skelding Moor  Dallow Moor

At the next T junction, turn left passing through heather moorland now. There's a dip down to a bridge over Skell Gill.

Moorland and Dallowgill  Bridge over Skell Gill

A couple of kilometres later, turn left past Pateley Moor. At the junction with the B6265, turn left past the Half Moon Inn. This is quite a busy road, but you're only on it until the first right, to Brimham Rocks, Brimham Moor Road. 

Road past Pateley Moor  Brimham Rocks

This map shows the part of the route near Brimham Rocks:

High Grantley cycle route, map 3

When you go past Brimham Rocks, there are views south east as far as Drax power station, near Selby. At the end of Brimham Moor Road, turn left.

Drax power station  Brimham Moor Road

It's mainly downhill now until you turn left on the B6165 just before Burnt Yates. 

Burnt Yates

There are a few options from here for getting back to Harrogate. (1) Stay on the B6165 to Ripley, and take the Nidderdale Greenway to Harrogate. (2) Take the first right to Clint, then turn left towards Hampsthwaite, and left again on Holllybank Lane to Ripley and the Nidderdale Greenway. (3) Take the first right to Clint, and left to Hampsthwaite; turn left after Hampsthwaite on Rowden Lane, and return to Harrogate on the A59 or Penny Pot Lane. 

This map shows the various return routes in yellow:

High Grantley cycle route, map 4

Do you have any comments or suggestions?

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