New Park rides

The Yorkshire Dales and the Lake Distract grew closer in 2016, which means these five rides are now protected by National Park status.

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In August 2016, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales national parks, were both extended to incorporate some of the wonderful, but often overlooked, landscapes that were trapped in a void between them. The changes mean extra protection for the hillsides in the region, and of course, the trails that run across them. These are our favourites…

1. Barbon Low Fell, Kirby Lonsdale

20km/12 Miles
Ride time: 2-3 hours
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Why ride it? Dales-style riding with easy access

Barbon Low Fell now sneaks into the YDNP and brings with it some great, very typical Dales’ style riding. From the Devil’s Bridge Carp Park (Landranger 97/SD616782) cross the A683 and take the lane opposite. Continue into Casterton and stay on lanes E past Fell Yeat and then steeply up onto the fell, taking a track on the L. Rejoin the road NE on Casterton Fell and swing N to drop to Barbon Beck. Turn R then L over the river, then follow the BW W to the road at Town End. Sharp L sends you back on yourself, then R onto track that climbs S, then a BW that climbs E then S again, all the way to Bindloss Farm. A R here will hook you back up with the opening lane.

2. The other Borrowdale, Yorkshire Dales

11km/6 Miles
Ride time: 2 hours
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Why ride it? Fun riding on rarely visited trails

There are 2 Borrowdales in Cumbria. This one doesn’t have a Bash named after it! It does have some great trails though. Start on the A9 (Landranger 97/NY548027), and head S then turn L onto a lane and follow this SE to Deepslack, where a tarmac BW leads NE to the Mast on Whinfell. Drop NE into Borrowdale and hang a L to follow the track NW up the Dale. You’ll cross Borrow Beck twice before a L turn climbs steeply to the A9. Join this SW for 200m and turn L to follow a good track S to the road you came in on. Turn L to finish.

3. Bowderdale, Howgill Fells

40km/25 miles
Ride time: 5-6 hours
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Why ride it? Some of the best singletrack in England

OK, the summits were always in the YDNP, but the amazing ribbon of singletrack that runs down Bowderdale wasn’t. It is now. From Sedbergh (Landranger97/SD657921), head N to Howgill on lanes, then strike E on a farm track that leads to a stream. Now it’s a GOAP (Get off and push) to the top of the Calf, where some thankfully flat trails take you NE across the plateau to the top of the singletrack. Now descend N all the way to Wath – whooping is optional – and take quite lanes E to Ravenstonedale and S to Adamthwaite. Now follow clear and obvious tracks around Ben End and on to the finish.

4. Great Ashby Scar, Orton

35km/22 miles
Ride time: 4-5 hours
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Why ride it? Something completely different with some great ups and downs

The limestone landscape north of the Howgills sees few tyre tracks. Will it see more now it’s part of the YDNP? From Orton (Landranger 91/NY623082), head E towards Raisebeck then take a BW N onto Great Ashby Scar. Follow a grassy BW NE and this makes for some fun singletrack before being swallowed by tarmac. Now head SE to Maisongill and E to Whygill Head. Continue E to Gallansay, the S then E to Crosby Garrett. Take lanes SE to Smardale, then BW SW to Brownber. Drop L into the valley, then follow the main lane W to Kelleth. A good track leads W to Fawcett Mill and roads lead back to Orton.

5. Brigsteer and Underbarrow, Lake District

20km/ 12 Miles
Ride time: 3 hours
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Why ride it? Easy access yet it feels very remote in places

While all the other trails described here have been incorporated into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this one’s been adopted by the Lake District. And it starts in Kendal itself (Landranger SD98/514926). Climb W on lanes to Bank Head and take a track NW then W. Follow BW N then W then S to loop around Bell Hill, and continue SW to Underbarrow. Follow lanes SE to Brigsteer, where a BW leads you SE to Holeslack Farm. Jink back N then E to Briggs House Farm, then continue on BW E to the A591. Now follow the road back into town.

The Yorkshire Dales and the Lake Distract grew closer in 2016, which means these five rides are now protected by National Park status.