Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

The Yorkshire Dales are chocka with unquestionably good mtb’ing; but the fells are high, the trails are exposed, and those windswept moors are definitely not the place to get caught out with a flat on a stormy winter’s day.
That’s where a little loop like this one comes in; the trails are firm enough to withstand a few days of Yorkshire rain, most are tree-lined and sheltered enough to keep you moving forward even when it’s blowing a hoolie, and there are few worries with the altitude, it doesn’t even manage to nudge itself over the 190m contour line — you can get higher than that in London!
It’s the kind of length you can run around in a couple of hours if you feel compelled to get a little exercise before sloping off to the teashop or pub, or for the travel days at the start or finish of a short visit. And the going’s easy enough to encourage less experienced off-roaders or even younger mtb’ers.
The bulk of the effort’s put in early on. Firstly, on the steady pull up from the streets of Gargrave to Crag Laithe, and then on a good surface over Stainton Cotes. And the descents are little more than bumpy plummets — the kind that you can tackle at real speed, with a big grin on your face, while your suspension’s doing all the work. But the scenery’s undoubtedly Dales, even at this modest altitude, and there’s definitely something rewarding about really spinning for the full length of a route every now and then. There’s also a well-placed pub and cafe in East Marton just in case that weather gets too much.