Review Detail

The Very Best of Yorkshire
Overall rating 
Grin Factor 
Trail Variety 
Skills Development 
Trail Quality  
Where do you start? The easy answer is Swaledale, the most northern and scenic of the Dales. This review won't really do the other Dales justice as I haven't ridden there, except on the road. There is always enough variety and terrain here.

Some local knowledge may be required to best enjoy Swaledale. The Dales Bike Centre at Fremington, Reeth would be a strong recommendation for the start (and finish) of your ride. You'll be able to pick up one of several route maps which help you avoid the pitfalls of dragging your bike through knee-deep heather searching for bridleways, and making sure you hit some of the best descents- Gunnerside Gill, Storthwaite Hall, Fremington Edge, Great Pinseat, Apedale, the Pipeline to name a few. The bike centre does great soup and cakes; you can get showered and clean your bike too. They do guided rides, have bike demo days and skills lessons too.

If you get further up the dale you should call in at the Farmers Arms at Muker- lunch in front of the open fire will sort you out.

A handy little book that has some decent rides and highlights some of Swaledale and upper Wensleydale's best tracks is called Yorkshire Dales Mountain Biking- the North Dales, by Nick Cotton.

We've had many great rides in Swaledale, and some pretty horrific ones too: the main variable is the weather. If its bad, it really is bad.

User Review

Good Points
Miles and miles of trail
Great selection of pubs, cafes, bike shops on routes
National Park views
Bad Points
Unpredictable weather- can feel like winter in summer
Some bridleways non-existent
Some tracks have a number of gates to open
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