North York Moors and Yorkshire Wolds Mountain Bike (MTB) Routes

Mountain biking routes in the North York moors, the Howardian Hills and the Yorkshire Wolds, in the county of North Yorkshire, England. The routes are all 100% legal rights of way for mountain bikes, and are thoroughly tested, mapped and described.

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Map of Mountain Bike Routes

Click on a route for more information, including a route map and description. The marker colour indicates the difficulty of the route, with black being the hardest.

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About the Routes

There are over 795 miles (1281 km) of mountain biking trails on this website. That's easily enough to give you a full day's riding every week for half a year.

The routes range from easy routes, which can be ridden on a summer's evening, to all day epics which will test even the fittest technically adept rider with big climbs, technically difficult sections and scary descents. Along the way, you'll ride everything from forested gravel tracks, country roads and of course lots of lovely single track across remote moorland. Naturally, being the UK, there will be muddy bits.

About the North York Moors

The North York Moors, Howardian Hills and Yorkshire Wolds are in located in the county of North Yorkshire, in an area between York, Scarborough and Middlesbrough The North Yorkshire Moors are an upland National Park. The Yorkshire Wolds and Howardian Hills are rolling hills to the south of the National Park. The moors are made up of open moorland cut by deep, wooded valleys. Although below 1500 feet (450 metres) in height, the moors still have the remote, upland feel. The Howardian Hills are a series of wooded ridges running east to west, with wide valleys between them. The Yorkshire Wolds are the northern-most part of the chalk downlands which stretch along the eastern coast of England. Almost all of the area is rural and sparsely populated, and many parts are forested either by small woods or large forestry plantations.

Getting there

Some of the routes are near major roads such as the A64, A170 and A19, but many are further away into the hinterland; accessed by narrow, twisting roads. From the south and west, you typically need to allow an hour to an hour and a half to get to the start of the route from York, or from half an hour to an hour and a half to get from the A1(M) at Darlington, if approaching from the North. In summer, holiday traffic can make journeys quite a lot longer, especially as roads like the A64 and A171 can become very busy.

A few of the routes are accessible by public transport, indeed some routes even use trains to travel to the start of the route. The main railways in the area run from York to Scarborough, and from Middlesbrough to Whitby, and allow bikes on the trains. There is also a preserved steam railway, the North York Moors Railway, which allows bikes to be carried, which connects to the national railway network at Grosmont near Whitby. There is a limited bus service in the National Park which can carry bikes.

Facilities

There's ample places to stay in the area, with anything from campsites in remote locations, to plush hotels. Scarborough, Picking and Whitby offer the greatest choice, and make good bases for a weekend.

Each route description lists any places to eat near to each route, and additionally, there is a list of places to eat and drink that are worth a detour for.

Weather Forecasts

Whitby (North York Moors)
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Malton (Howardian Hills and Yorkshire Wolds)
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Maps, route descriptions and GPS route downloads

For each route we provide a comprehensive description, and a overview map. And for the more technically minded, you can download the route to a mapping programme, and transfer it to your GPS. More information about file formats. A word of warning: although using a GPS takes a lot of the hassle out of navigation, they do have a habit of running out of batteries when you need them most, so having a compass and an OS map for the area, and knowing how to navigate is absolutely essential.

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List of Routes

Bransdale High and Dry Loop
A hilly route, mostly on gravel tracks, around Bransdale, suitable for wet weather riding.
Buttercrambe Loop
A moderately difficult route around the Derwent valley, just to the east of York
Castle Howard
An easy, mostly off-road route near Castle Howard in the Howardian Hills.
Chop Gate and Urra Moor
A short, but physically demanding and technically hard moorland route in the north of the National Park.
Cleveland Way Long Loop
An 'all day epic' along the western edge of the National Park. Not for the unfit or slow.
Cropton Forest Loop
A shortish, technical ride with a mixture of forests tracks and moorland singletrack.
Esk Valley Railway
An long but technically easy route along the Esk Valley using the train to return to the start.
Everley Loop
A short ride starting from a pub, in the east of the National Park near Scarborough
Farndale Loop
A long, remote and challenging ride in the middle of the moors.
Fylingdales Loop
A long, very hard, moorland route circling Fylingdales, in the centre of the national park
Gilamoor Loop
A substantial and hilly moorland ride around the remote Bransdale valley.
Great Fryup Loop
A short, very hilly and technical route in the central moors.
Grosmont Pickering Railway
A long ride over remote moorland single track using the North York Moors Railway to get the start.
Harwood Dale and Cloughton
A short but quite hard ride in the east of the National Park.
Harwood Loop
A short, easy ride around the hills and dales of Harwood Dale ideal for beginners and evening rides.
Hawnby Loop
A hilly ride around Hawby in the south west of the National Park.
Helmsley Loop
A long route around the quiet, forested valleys north of Helmsley, passing the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey
Kirkham Leavening Loop
Mostly grassy tracks on the eastern end of the Howardian Hills, and in the valley of the Derwent river
Langdale Loop
A hilly route through wooded valleys in the south eastern part of the Moors near Scarborough.
Lastingham Loop
A short, fun ride in the central part of the Moors featuring some of the best technical singletrack in the area.
Levisham Loop
A long moorland route in the centre of the national park, with a mixture of fast gravel tracks and moorland singletrack.
Millington Loop
A hilly route on the western edge of the Wolds, on grassy tracks and quiet roads
Moors to Sea Variations
A long route over the eastern moors loosely based on the Moors to Sea Cycle route.
Nawton Loop
A hilly route through valleys and moorlands in the central part of the National Park.
Pickering Newtondale Forest Loop
A moderately difficult, hilly and forested route to the north of Pickering.
Ravenscar Short Loop
A short, but hilly route around Robins Hoods Bay
Rievaulx Loop
A hilly, half day ride around the forested dales in the west of the National Park.
Robin Hoods Bay Loop
A little bit of everything the moors has to offer in one ride, in and around Robin Hoods Bay on the coast.
Roseberry Castleton Loop
A hard route, over a mixture of different terrain, in the north west of the National Park.
Rosedale Abbey Easy Loop
A beginner's route on quiet roads and an easy bridleway near Rosedale Abbey, in the central moors
Rudston Loop
A short route, mostly on gravel tracks, in the eastern part of the Yorkshire Wolds
Scaling Dam
A short and easy moorland route in the north east of the National Park.
Sheriff Hutton
An easy route though the Howardian Hills, suitable for beginners.
Sutton Bank Short Blast
A short but intense loop around Sutton Bank, ideal for summer's evening.
Thixendale
An easy but long route in the Yorkshire Wolds on grassy tracks and quiet roads.
Wetwang Circuit
A long, difficult route over ancient trackways in the Yorkshire Wolds
York, Whitby, Scarborough Multi-day Route
A 2 day ride from York to Scarborough over the Howardian Hills and Moors