Coverdale from Kettlewell to Middleham
One of the delights of cycling in the Dales is that there is such a wide choice of routes in this beautiful part of Yorkshire. I recently completed an unscheduled ride through Coverdale during a day trip from Richmond to Skipton. In cycle touring terms Coverdale is a very short stretch (15 miles) but would make a good introduction for mountain bikers looking for a road trip of challenging hills and stunning scenery. I would recommend doing the route in the opposite direction from the one I took. Starting from Kettlewell (or better still from Grassington to get properly warmed up) means that the considerably stiffer part of the climb is tackled early on; if you set out from Middleham – like I did – you face a gradual climb for 12 miles before clinging on to your brakes for about three miles of at times terrifying descent.
The picture above shows one of the 1 in 4 descents shortly after the highest point of the ride. The sun filtered through the low clouds and mist when I took the photograph and obscured the furthest hill. Why not see it for yourself?