The route covers a large area of the eastern moors, going from Scarborough to Whitby and back again. The route is based on the Moors to Sea route (see www.moortoseacycle.net
for more details) but includes a few variations. We included it as the Moors to Sea is a nice ride but is poorly mapped and the waymarking is still in progress. The route can be completed in a long day during summer; as although it is long, most of the riding is not particularly technically challenging.
Generally firm and rideable at most times of the year. Fast rolling tyres are recommended to help keep a good pace going.
You can shorten the route by riding the railway path to Robin Hoods bay and returning by local roads. Once on the homeward leg, you are pretty much committed to finishing. You could also include bits of the other routes if you wanted to make it even more challenging.
You will be riding a very long route over remote moorland far from civilization. Make sure you and your bike are well prepared for a route of this size. Particularly make sure you have everything you need when you leave Sleights there are no other villages for a long way.
Park on the street in Scalby at the end of Lancaster way. Lancaster way is off Field Close way, which is on the north side of Station road in Scalby.
Head north through the gate on the well sign posted cycle route. Pass over the road at Burniston and continue along the cycle route which can be a little bit muddy in this area. Continue along the well signposted cycle route, climbing steadily until you reach the old station at Ravenscar. Turn right in the old station forecourt and then turn left on the road heading north west until the road turns sharply left and you see a spectacular view north to Robin Hoods Bay. Go around the corner, and at the National Trust visitor centre, look for the cycle way continuing on the right side of the road just after the corner.
Carry on downhill, making sure you stay on the cycle way, not the footpath which leads off to the right. After a long and fast downhill, interrupted by a few road crossings, you will arrive on the fringes of Fylingthorpe by a caravan site. Countine along the cycle way until you reach a gate by the road. Go through the gate, and turn right on the road. Follow the road to the centre of Robin Hoods Bay village. At the T junction, turn left up the hill and look for a side road to the right after the carpark, before the road turns to the left. The signs for the cycle route are easy to miss. At the top of the side street, look for a turn to the right on to the cycle way. Again this is not particularly well sign posted and it’s easy to miss, although as the road ends here you can’t go to far wrong. Follow the cycle way as it climbs gradually, before beginning a gentle decent towards the A 171. Cross the main road and resume your progress down the cycle way. After passing along the edge of some woods, you will suddenly find yourself at the start of a massive viaduct. You can either drop down to the road or resume the route, or carry on into Whitby over the viaduct. If going into Whitby, go over the viaduct and continue along the cycle way, until you arrive at the end of the cycle way. Turn left off the cycle way and walk down the steep hill. After the gate, turn left under the railway embankment to head into the centre of the town. Once finished in Whitby, cross to the east bank over the old bridge and follow the road south along the east bank of the Esk. Cross the A 171 and continue until you pass under the start of the old railway viaduct
From the road under the viaduct, continue along the road in a south east direction. The road follows the river until, just outside Egton you will come to the B 1416. At this road turn right and cross the river and the railway. At the next road junction turn left and head along the B 1410 toward Sleights.
Once in Sleights, just before the main road, look for a path on the left going to the station. Turn left, walk over the bridge and cross the railway. Once outside the station, take the left hand fork on to Lowdale Lane. Follow Lowdale Lane along the edge of the stream, until very shortly, the road turns right up a steep hill. After the hill starts to ease off, look for the third road to the left called Birch Avenue. Take this road and follow it until it ends at a T junction at the top of the village. Turn right and continue until this road ends at the A 169 main road. Turn left on the main road and look for a right turn, sign posted for Grosmont after about 100 yards.
Turn right onto this road, and head out of the village. After just over half a mile, and a steep downhill and climb, look for a BW to the left. Follow the BW up a broad track to the base of the hill and then carry on up the very steep and narrow BW until the slope eases off. Then follow the BW up towards a stone wall. The path then follows along the wall until it reaches a gate. Cross the gate and out on to the moor. Turn right and follow the track running along side the wall. Although there is a BW heading SW across the moor in the right direction, it is overgrown and impossible to follow. Carry on along the track passing some old quarries before you reach a road at NZ 845 050.
Turn left on the road, climb the last part of the hill and then coast down towards the A 169. Cross the main road and pass through the gate with the BW markers. Don’t follow the gravel track which heads east, but try to find the less obvious path which heads SE. Follow this faint, boggy path towards the power lines. This section can be very tricky due to lack of well defined route and mud. Damage by motor crossers doesn’t help either. At the power lines, follow the trail which heads south and uphill, roughly parallel to the lines. Just as the path comes close to the woods, it heads away from the power lines to in a SSW direction. A third of a mile from the edge of the wood you will come across a well defined gravel track.
Turn left on this track and follow it along the edge of the forest until the track turns right and away from the forest. This whole section can be very muddy at times as there are huge puddles which have been churned up by vehicles. When you come to a gate in the middle of the moor, stay on the BW on the right hand side of the fence. 2.8 miles since you joined the track, you should see a cross roads by a gate and a trig point (a 3 foot high concrete pillar). Turn right on the well made gravel track and head along a rolling gravel track towards Dalby Forest. When you reach the edge of the forest look for a track which heads left into the forest.
Take the track which heads into the forest. Then follow the Moors to Sea waymarkings along the well surfaced gravel road through the forest. The gradient is mostly gently downhill and some considerable speeds can obtained for little effort. After many miles of cruising downhill you will leave the forest and join a small narrow tarmac road running through fields. Carry on downhill until you reach a junction with a larger road.
At the junction, turn left and follow the road into Langdale End. You will pass the Moorcock pub, which is a fine place to stop, even if the food served is limited. Carry on in the same direction, ignoring any side roads, until you come to a T junction at SE 967 900. At this junction, turn left and carry on south east for a further ¾ a mile. A few hundred yards after the Everley Hotel look for a BW running up a track to the left.
Turn left onto the track, climb past the houses and go through the gate. Then follow the BW along the fence on the side of the valley. Above Mowthorpe Farm, you will come to junction with another BW which comes down from the top of the hill. Ignore this and instead carry on along the BW which runs along the edge of the woods. Then follow the BW as it passes into the woods. This section is usually boggy as there are springs on the hill here. After passing through a field, the BW joins a farm track heading in the same direction. Pass through Keld Runnels Farm and continue on along the gravel track, which heads briefly uphill, before descending to Spring Farm. Then continuing along the same track, you will arrive at a minor road.
Turn right on the road and head downhill towards the village. At the crossroads by the stream, take the left hand fork and pass through the village of Scalby. A third of a mile after the junction you will come to the A171. Cross the road and carry on along Station Road for a few hundred yards until you see a road to the left. Turn left onto Field Close Way and then right onto Lancaster Way and return to where you parked.