Blakey & Fryupdale Loop Mountain Bike Route
The area offers a huge array of mountain biking route options with the main road, as mentioned, running north to south. Then there's the dismantled old mining railway, which meanders across High Blakey Moor to the west, to Bloworth Crossing and beyond. This was once off-limits to mountain bikes but has recently been upgraded to a bridleway. To the east, the same rail route skirts around the head of Rosedale leading past the old mine buildings to Hill Cottages.
Start from either the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge (the road between Castleton and Hutton-le-Hole), or the car park 500 meters or so to the south. From here follow the route of the disused railway that at first runs parallel to Blakey Ridge heading north before vearing away from the road, curving around the head of Rosedale and heading down the opposite side of the valley.
Take the bridleway on the left at Sturdy Bank. This soon forks into two, take the right fork and climbs up over the rigg, and cross the road keep following the bridleway as it becomes George Gap Causeway and carries you over Glaisdale Moor.
The trail is well defined until it reaches Cut Road where at first glance there appears to be only two options, left and right. But there is a trail straight ahead so look out for this follow into Fryupdale. This descent is steep and rocky and one of the most technical in the North Yorks Moors so drop your saddle, hang off the back and hold on for the ride!
At the bottom keep to the same track. There's a lovely sheltered spot by the stream here, perfect for a sandwich breaks. Once refreshed cross the river and follow the track through the field system until you reach the road at Raven Hill Farm. Turn left and follow the road as it climbs gradually, through a slightly windy section then turn left again at the junction at Fryup Hall Farm.
Keep following the road to just before T junction at the end and take the bridleway that climbs out of the valley and onto Danby Rigg, this is Jack Sledge Road. Follow the trail right over the top of Danby Rigg and down the steep descent into Danby Dale, the next valley.
Keep on this track as it passes through a few fields until it reaches the road, turn left onto the road and keep following across the valley, take the right fork as you pass the church and follow the road as it climbs steeply (the last climb!) onto Castleton Rigg. Turn right onto the road at the top and then all that remains is a fast road blast back to the pub, although you can cut the corner on a short section of bridleway. It'd be rude not to wouldn't it!
Points of Interest
The UK was the birthplace of the railway, and in its heyday there were over 20,000 miles of track. Well the age of steam came and went, and many tracks closed and were dismantled.
The UK once had a thriving mining industry. Those days are of course now long gone in this part of the world, but they have left reminders scattered about our landscapes. Evidence of mining is everywhere.
Ah, moorland! Vast swathes of the UK are open moorland and the majority of it is open for business for mountain bikes.