Yorkshire Dales Mountain Biking

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Mountain biking in the Yorkshire Dales in the North of England is full of enormous choice. The area available for MTB is incredibly vast. The Dales have in total an estimated 900 km of legal MTB trails. 

Predominately this is natural terrain so you need to be prepared.

We could never do it justice here, so instead we are going to give you a taste and introduce you to some great resources to get you on your way.

The Yorkshire Dales Trails

The terrain covers an area of sweeping hills and valleys.  Many of the routes will take you on stone tracks and then the next moment you will find yourself in moorland on a grass track. The scenery is excellent and there is a strong MTB community in this part of the world.

Recommended Trail Resources

Yorkshire Dales official website.

Not unsurprisingly this site has a pretty meaty MTB section. I counted 20 trail guides on their site ranging from 14km to 60km in length and everything in between. Some of the routes of note are the Tunnels and Bridges out of Clapham (moderate grade) and classics like the rocky Tour of Pen-Y-Ghent out of Horton-in-Ribblesdale (difficult graded) or the The Bowderdale Classic out of Sedbergh (severe graded) which is often voted the best single-track in the UK. There are PDF route guides in ordnance survey format as well as Memory Maps and Tracklog files to download.

Pedal North.

This site lists routes for all ability levels in more of a bite sized chunk format so you can piece routes together. They grade everything by either Easy (there are 5 routes), Moderate (there are 13 routes) or Hard (there are 11 routes). It is neatly laid out with the description, turn by turn instructions, map guides and GPX. They also cover the Lakes, North Yorks Moors, Lancashire and Northumberland.

MTB Dales

This site has around 10-11 trail guides. Each one has a description, star rating for difficulty and for grin factor and you can download the GPX file. It doesn't just cover the Yorkshire Dales MTB scene but it also has guides for Cumbria & Lancashire

Groups and Clubs

The Tribe

Mountain Bike Club

Bog Trotters

MTB Mudpackers

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swaledale in the snow

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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5  (3)
Trail Variety 
 
4.5  (3)
Skills Development 
 
3.8  (3)
Trail Quality  
 
3.8  (3)
Facilities 
 
4.2  (3)
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Ratings
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
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A great weekend in the Dales
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
4.5
A group of us had booked a weekend stay at the Dales Bike centre to explore Swaledale and despite the weather taking a decidedly snowy turn in APRIL we had a great time riding the trails around Swaledale.
The set up at the dales bike centre is great, accommodation above cafe and bike shop surrounded by superb trails that you can ride to from the centre, oh and a good few pubs within easy walking distance for evening entertainment a perfect recipe for a great weekend away.
As mentioned we experienced some very extreme weather but still managed to ride all the trails we set out to ride and can't wait to go back (possibly without the snow)

User Review

Good Points
Great countryside for riding,everyone should make a trip to this area
Bad Points
Non I can think of
Would you recommend?
Yes
swaledale in the snow
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The Very Best of Yorkshire
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
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
Would you recommend?
Yes
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The Dales
(Updated: February 28, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
The dales is immense, something for everybody and great views.

User Review

Good Points
Vast area, big hills, limitless.
Bad Points
Need some local knowledge or good planning otherwise it can be more of a walk. Can be busy on some routes.
Would you recommend?
Yes
S
Top 10 Reviewer 50 reviews
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