Askrigg cycle ride (via Tan Hill Inn)

CTC Winged Wheel outside the Green Dragon in Hardraw Happy New Year! Just a quick post after returning from Askrigg yesterday. In the end I decided not to take a bike with me. It was after all our first anniversary, we had the dog and two other couples joining us in the last few days and on reflection I didn't think I would have time. Still, we tried to do the route I had planned, but by car.

Unfortunately, about three miles from Tan Hill, we had to turn round (actually, just slip the car in to neutral and roll back so far down the snow on the hill). Two days later Tan Hill was completely cut off as reported on the BBC news.

This is the clockwise route I had worked out before I set off. I hope to do it later in the year, possibly from Reeth or from a base in Askrigg again.

So, if it's not too off-topic for a cycling blog, here are some wintry photographs I took that give a flavour of this part of the northern Dales.

A view from Askrigg towards the Hawes to Leyburn A684

On the road from Sedbusk to Hawes

On the trail from Askrigg towards Hardraw

Sykes's House B&B in Askrigg

For an interesting history of the CTC's winged wheel click here.

12 comments on “Askrigg cycle ride (via Tan Hill Inn)”

  1. Mary wrote:

    Firstly congratulations on your 1st Anniversary. You looked like you had a fab break as well, love your photographs particularly the one with the grand oak (think its an oak anyway). I don't think its hardly possible to cycle these days due to all this weather, although I know some die hards manage it. I am thinking of walking to work tomorrow, no snow here, but plenty of ice.

    Really enjoyed your link regarding the Winged CTC WHeels as well, I was unaware of the history of this. Was it possible to stay at Sykes House? Or was it just a welcome place for cyclists – I am meaning today, not in the past?

    Yorkshire is one of my favourite counties. Its truly beautiful and your pictures really brought it alive. (Bet you missed your bike though!).

  2. Chris wrote:

    Thank you, Mary. We went on three walks and I took quite a few photographs. I saw a handful of cyclists, but none on the road to Tan Hill. However, when I was in Arthur Caygill Cycles, in Richmond, the chap there said he had only failed to reach Tan Hill because his mudguards were clogging up with snow. I wouldn't have fancied the descents, never mind the ascents, in those conditions.

    Sykes's House opened up as a B&B again this summer, apparently. I've got a postcard somewhere with a web address. The woman in the shop said that the web site isn't up and running yet. When it is I'll update this post.

    I cycled in to work this morning on my Ridgeback. After getting on to the main roads things weren’t too bad (touches wood), but it’s been snowing quite heavily ever since.

  3. Patrick wrote:

    That looks a great cycle route, having viewed it on Google Earth. I'd like to try it a bit later in the year, starting at Hawes.

  4. Chris wrote:

    Hi, Patrick. I suppose you're used to starting your rides with a climb, given that you live at the bottom of a hill. I would favour Askrigg as a starting point (maybe even Sykes's House if it's available) or Reeth, although that route has a fair climb early on. I think I would like to get warmed up before attempting those hills. Incidentally, I notice in some of your pictures you have removed both panniers. Would you do this ride with your rucksack? And Mary, you have a bag on the top of your pannier rack. Is that perhaps why you both prefer to sit in the saddle on climbs? I would imagine your respective setups would mean that the weight you carry is a bit top heavy, and would sway about. I do believe that my rear panniers provide stability, especially in the snow.

  5. Patrick wrote:

    Chris, I was thinking of Hawes as it's close to the M6 at Sedbergh. I really don't mind starting a ride up a steep hill. Mind you, I don't know those actual hills. I could go anti-clockwise.

    For day rides (or even short rides) I usually take a small rucksack with camera, phone, and a spare jacket, jumper, etc. I don't feel that amount of weight. If I was carrying more, I'd take a pannier.

  6. Chris wrote:

    Looking at the OS map and the elevation view on I think the anti-clockwise route would be a bit like the ride through Coverdale from Middleham to Kettlewell: a long gradual climb and then short, severe and tight descents. I was trying to determine that last month when the snow defeated me.

  7. Lisa Wright wrote:

    Hope you don't mind me posting this on your blog, but I am the owner of Sykes house and found your website earlier. I just thought I'd let you know our web site is now up and running at and I would like to welcome cycalists to pop in and see us either in the tearoom or the B&B. We are very proud of out CTC sign which was erected in 1888 and really enjoy cyclists calling in, you all seem a great bunch !!
    We do have secure, undercover parking for your bikes as well.
    Look forward to hopefully seeing you
    Lisa Wright

  8. Peter Caygill wrote:


    All this talk of Askrigg and cycling on a Caygill frame makes we wonder if you know the significance of the family name?

    The Caygill family of Wensleydale started off living in Skell Gill (1580) before moving across the valley to Askrigg where they stayed for 5 or more generations. They were shoemakers, farmers and clock makers in Askrigg. What a coincidence that you should choose a Caygill frame and enjoy Askrgg so much!

    Happy touring!

    Peter Caygill

  9. Elizabeth Caygill wrote:

    would love to know the connection of the Astrigg Caygills and the Muker Caygill's my ancesters from Scarr House.
    Regards Liz Caygill

  10. Chris wrote:

    Hi, Liz. If you do find out you are welcome to post information or a link here.

  11. Elizabeth Caygill wrote:

    Hi Peter
    I would love to know how and where the information regarding the Caygill's of Wensleydale (1580) came from. i am desperately working on a link between the Caygills born in Muker and the earlier Caygill's of Astrigg. I would love any information you may have .
    Regards Liz Caygill Australia.

  12. jan hamilton wrote:

    I would like to know about the Caygill family also, as I am connected to the Espiner, Harker, Caygill families with have a connection to Scarr House.

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