North Yorkshire Cycle Routes

Since the 2014 Tour de France started in Yorkshire, the county has become a destination for cyclists. This has continued with the success of the Tour de Yorkshire and in 2019 Yorkshire will host the UCI World Road Championships. We are proud that Ripon will be a start town for one of the races or time trial events. 

As the biggest county in England, Yorkshire is blessed with a mixture of terrains, ones that will suit all levels of cycling, whether you fancy a flat leisure ride in the Vale of York or a tougher workout in the Yorkshire Dales or North York Moors. 

Yorkshire Map

Moonglu Cycling Club began in 2016 and since then our riders have covered nearly every road and lane of North Yorkshire. Our website features 20-30 mile rides starting in Ripon, these rides are used for our Thursday evening club rides and feature a mixture of flat, hilly and mixed terrain road rides. Our Sunday rides are usually 40-70 miles and take us further away from Ripon, sometimes into the hills of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. 

Local Rides

Our local rides start and finish in Ripon Market Square. They are a mixture of flat and hilly rides, ridden on good country roads, keeping off busy main roads where possible. The roads of Yorkshire are not perfect and riders should be vigilant for potholes and poor sections of road surfacing. The routes we ride vary between A and B roads through to single track country lanes. Ride with your eyes open and be wary of farm traffic and animals running out into the road. 

The following routes are produced in Ride with GPS. More detailed route information can be selected using the Full Version link, alternative format maps can be selected using the drop down menu on the top right of the map and the routes can be downloaded to most formats including iPhone, Garmin, Wahoo and Android. .gpx and tcx formats can also be selected. 

Route #1 - Moonglu Club Ride

The route leaves Ripon via Boroughbridge Road and north up Ripon bypass to avoid traffic lights to the north of Ripon centre. Riders turn left after a short climb at the end of Ripon bypass heading towards Wath. The short climb is rewarded with a fast descent through Hutton Conyors and across flat farmland through Wath to West Tanfield.

From Tanfield the route is ridden on the A6108, a busier road with heavy goods vehicles. The first major climb starts at the end of Tanfield village, climbing steadily for a mile before cresting, giving good views of Wensleydale. A rolling descent follows into the popular market town of Masham, famous for the Black Sheep and Theakstons breweries. 

Through the town, follow signs for Swinton Castle and the road rises past Masham golf course up to Swinton Park and beyond to Warthermarske. This climb is our local leg tester, ridden 100s times by members of Moonglu Cycling Club. 10 minutes is considered a benchmark time. It is a ramped climb but nothing above 10% gradient. 

Official Strava Segment:

The reward is a fast descent down Nutwith common straight into Grewelthorpe village. Riders should be aware of the T-junction at the bottom slowing down for vehicles with priority. Once in Grewelthorpe, it's time to regroup and hit the rolling road back into Ripon. 

It's a 24 mile route but a good test with 2 good climbs and some punchy little rises. Anywhere near 1 hour 10mins is a fine effort. 

Route #2 - Ride of the Redhawks

Creatively named by a local, the name has stuck and become the recognized version of our fast and flat Thursday evening test. Again exiting north up Ripon bypass and across to the village of Wath, the route then swings east through Melmerby, crossing the A61 and A1(M) before passing through Rainton village. 

The prevailing wind usually makes the next section from Topcliffe to Cundall the fast part of the ride. A short sharp climb past Cundall Manor school is the toughest test of the ride as it rolls briskly along this country road. A right turn at Thornton Bridge and it's virtually pan flat all the way back through Milby and Boroughbridge. 

Back under the A1(M) at Roecliffe and you're now on narrower lanes across to the beautiful village of Bishop Monkton. Right at the cross roads at the top of the village, under the old railway line, right again and back under the railway line and you're into the finish straight through Littlethorpe. Be wary of oncoming vehicles at the blind 90 degree corners in the village.

Once you hit Ripon bypass you're back into Ripon the way you started the ride.

Our times have been falling on this 29 mile route, a ride in the region of 1hr 20mins is considered to be very good. There is a Strava segment for the Ride of the Redhawks, starting at the top of Hutton Bank as you exit Ripon, finishing before you return to Ripon bypass in Littlethorpe.   

Official Strava Segment:

If you're not racing, this is a great 30 mile flat leisure ride. Once you're out of Ripon there's nothing testing and the ride can be enjoyed at any pace. This route can also be ridden in reverse, with a flatter start and a final climb up through Hutton Conyors. 

Route #3 - Snape Hill

Ridden anti-clockwise this route follows the same first 4 miles as routes #1 and #2 until the village of Wath. Taking the 2nd left turn in the village the route continues on good quality country lanes crossing the B6267 and into Kirklington. Follow the road through Kirklington toward Carthorpe, passing the Camp Hill estate on the left. Once in Carthorpe, take the first left, up through the village, heading straight on at the next junction across the flat farmland to Snape. 

As you enter Snape beware of the off camber 90 degree left corner at the bottom of the village, it has caught out many of our riders, particularly in greasy or muddy road conditions. Up through the village, through the avenue of trees and it's a right followed by a left 100m later at the base of Snape Hill. This isn't a challenging climb in terms of gradient but has a couple of ramps that hurt if the pace is high.

Once at the top you'll be at 5 lane ends. Head straight across and after 300m you'll be flying down the corkscrew descent of Lime Kiln followed by a left at the T-junction and a faster, more open descent all the way to Masham. Instead of turning right up the Swinton climb to Warthermarske, this route heads straight out of Masham past I'Anson's mill up the Thorpe Road climb past Hackfall Wood. Once this crests you're down into Grewelthorpe and back along the rolling road back to Ripon that we used in route #1. 

Snape Hill Segment:

This route works really well either way, we ride it both ways in equal measure. 

Route #4 - Devil's Elbow


Ridden anti-clockwise this ride climbs gently out of Ripon all the way to Kirkby Malzeard. This is a well surfaced, mostly wide road but can be busier at peak commuting times. There is only one junction, keep left here following signs for Kirkby Malzeard. 

Ride straight through the main street of the village, keeping left at the end following the road to Laverton. Take your first right over the hump backed bridge, then right at the T-junction at the top of the rise. You are now on the main road across Dallowgill Moor. This is a gradual climb through pastoral farmland into full moorland heath. When the heather is in bloom this is a beautiful sight and the top also has views on a clear day across the Vale of York to both Teesside in the north east and York Minster in the south east. 

The road descends, then climbs quickly through Devil's Elbow over a cattle grid then descends again to Fellbeck. Once in Fellbeck you're on the main B6265 Pateley Bridge to Ripon road, climbing up to the Brimham Rocks junction. The route turns left before Brimham Rocks down a fast but narrow lane through Warren Forest and Warsill. This is now the route of the Way of the Roses coast to coast route. This is a fast road with turns and blind corners, please be aware of oncoming vehicles as there isn't alot of room. 

At the bottom, turn right and stay on this road until you approach a cross roads after the Chequers pub. Turn left following the signs for Markington. Another rolling descent and you enter the village with good speed. Follow the main street, taking the 2nd left at the end of the village. This lane leads to another cross roads at the A61 where the route heads straight across. This is a very busy A road, cross with caution looking both ways. 

The road continues to descend to Bishop Monkton. At the cross roads turn left and you're on the same return to Ripon as route #2. 

This route is testing with a long gradual climb all the way to the moorland on Dallowgill but is rewarded with some fast descents and beautiful views. Allow 1hr 1/2 or longer to complete the ride. 

These 4 rides above offer a variety of terrains and we ride them all regularly. We have variations and many other 25-30 mile options.  

Longer Routes

Following are a list of our favourite longer rides. They vary between 40 and 100 miles (+) with most starting and finishing in Ripon. Some of the routes are Moonglu CC routes, others that I have enjoyed myself. I am not going into detailed route descriptions but they are available to download or print through Ride with GPS. I have annotated the routes with points of interest such as cafe's, big climbs of stopping points. 

Aldwark Loop


I call this my Roubaix training ride as I use the route to sharpen up ready for the Paris Roubaix Challange in early April. It's virtually 40 miles pan flat and can be ridden either orientation but in early spring you'll always be at the mercy of the wind at some point in the ride. If I'm feeling good a 20mph average speed for the 40 miles is my goal. It's mainly quiet roads but they can be muddy depending on the weather and the local farmers.

Moonglu CC Social 100 Updated

The flattest 100 mile loop starting and finishing in Ripon that we could find. Designed with our whole club in mind, a day long social ride for members, particularly those that hadn't ridden a century before. 5 hours plus in the saddle is a hard day but this is a good route, keeping off the busier roads where possible with no major climbs to tackle. There are good stop off points at Ellerton Lakes near Catterick, Yafforth, Thirsk, Easingwold and Boroughbridge. 


February 01, 2019 by Neil Dunkley