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Your mountain biking weekend to Nidderdale

Get together with some mates and enjoy the rough terrain of Nidderdale on the mountain bike, climbs, descents and guaranteed grins on every ride.

Day 1: The Nidderdale Classic

This must-ride route is a regular for locals looking to get a bit of a leg stretch in and to earn something tasty at the end of the day. The route stretches from Pateley Bridge to Scar House Reservoir and back, the bumpy way. Like every bike ride worth riding around Nidderdale we start with a climb, long and steady. Just the thing to warm up the legs and allow the less organised in your group the thinking time needed to remember that vital thing they might have left back at base.

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This route takes in past industrial sites in the valley, from long abandoned lead mines to the magnificent reservoirs and dams of the upper valley, interspersed with rich green fields. But its not all relaxation, among its challenges this timeless off road loop includes the popular Scar House Descent.  Loved for its long and sweeping gradient this trail is equally popular with those looking to dial in suspension or build some skills due to its highly sessionable nature.

Enjoy incredible views as you make your way around the high edge of the dales and eventually an exciting descent down to the lower of the Nidderdale’s reservoirs, Gouthwaite.

Content MTB Shooting House

Enjoy an undulating pedal alongside its shoreline before rejoining the road for a relaxing coast back into Pateley Bridge were you will find the refreshment you will most certainly be seeking after these 30 miles and 3500 feet of climbing.

With a choice of pubs and restaurants you can relax and relive the day's adventures, or if needs be indulge in the cyclists true hobby, a little bit of fettling or faffing.

Day 2 – Great Greenhow

We reconvene in Pateley for another day in the Nidderdale saddle - slightly shorter in time, you can enjoy a lie in or let that locally sourced full English truly settle before you get going. This ride, not surprisingly, starts with a climb. Today though it is the brutal climb of Peat Lane.  Locally infamous and often used for training, Peat Lane’s winding 25% will either fill you with a tremendous sense of triumph or empty you of your breakfast. There really is no shame in getting off and pushing… at least there isn’t much.

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This route though is a scenic heather yomper with some very steady going over the moors and some very remote landscape.  This is the sort of ride where you could very well not see another soul until you return to tarmac.

After some long gravelly climbs where conversation may be somewhat suppressed, gravity once again becomes your friend with some enjoyable descending along gently undulating tracks. Enjoy the occasional lump of protruding bedrock providing a friendly little kicker for those who are so inclined.

Eventually you will emerge on to the road nr Stump Cross caverns, where ice cream and cake can be consumed if you are in mood. Along the road you peel left and drop down again to join one the tracks that featured yesterday, and one way or another make your way back to Pateley either direct, or if you fancy tagging in a few miles from yesterday’s ride, around Gouthwaite Reservoir.  Now rest up and recharge.

Day 3 – Stainburn Forest

For those who have some time to play with, do not feel you have to pack the car and be gone or head straight to the train station. Before you head home, you would be remiss not to pay a visit to the technical playground that is Stainburn Forest.


Stainburn Berms
HARR Gallery MTB Stainburn Blouder sideon

While small, this mini trail centre packs all the technical XC features and challenges of a larger trail into just a few miles.  With many options and challenges Stainburn is a trail to session, challenge, fail, try again and then succeed. With two red runs and an infamous black, Stainburn is all about technical challenge.

The site itself incorporates an average gradient of 1 in 7, so enjoy the swoops and drops; it is a long and slow pedal back to the top. We saved the best to last, so even when tired legs can give no more, you can always take in a few laps of the pump track before you finally put the bike back on the car and head home.

These are just a few of the great cycling routes we have in the Harrogate district, if you are more in the mood for road riding where better for a cycling break than the home of Britain's most popular cycling race, the Tour de Yorkshire?  Find out more here.

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