mtbdales >> bike routes >> Lower Wharfedale >> Skipton - Bolton Abbey - Addingham
Descent through Skipton Woods
Descent through Skipton Woods
Skipton - Bolton Abbey - Addingham
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An enjoyable and none too challenging bike route starting in the picturesque town of Skipton, gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. Taking in the hills and fells of Barden Moor, Bolton Abbey and Addingham Moorside.

Theres a fair bit of tarmac on this route, but its enjoyable and very fast coverage B road stuff apart from the Barden climb which is a killer but short.† Your also rewarded with excellent wide open views into Wharfedale and Craven(dale).

There are a couple of off-road sections that stand out in particular, the woodland drop into Bolton Abbey from Barden Moor and the final few miles descending from Addingham Moorside into Shortbank Woods is both fast and technical (if you want it to be) with a great view towards Sharphaw.

A highly recomended but probably best appreciated on a hot summers day ride, as a lot of the terrain is open and exposed with some very boggy terrain above Bolton Abbey in winter. There's also a frustrating amount of gates to open and close on the final section above Addingham.

Note: The start point at Skipton isn't actually in Lower Wharfedale, but most of the route is, so we listed it here.


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Difficulty: rate Grin Factor: rate
Time :2.10 hrs
Distance: 16.6 mi
Offroad: 9.1 mi
Onroad: 7.5 mi
Climbing distance: 4.5 mi
Descent distance: 4.7 mi
Flat distance: 7.4 mi
Total climbing: 4471.8 ft
Terrain: Exposed Moorland, Singletrack, Woodland, Tarmac
OS Map:



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Start point
- Skipton Town Centre, The High Street

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The Route
  1. From Skipton High Street head up The Bailey (A6131 past Skipton Castle) following signs for Embsay

  2. 1st Left onto Skipton† Road towards Embsay

  3. Through Embsay village, left Kirk Lane to Eastby.

  4. A steep tarmac climb and levels out, Lower Barden Reservoir in view on your left

  5. First right through the gate onto bridalway after the cattle grid

  6. Moorland through 3 gates, track bears left at the fourth gate.

  7. Through gate into woods and follow singletrack descent to Bolton Abbey, You should see the Church office in view, part of the Bolton Abbey Estate.

  8. Right B6160 following signs to Addingham, Bolton road at the Roundabout.

  9. Right at the Crown Inn pub, Addingham, tarmac climb.

  10. Left onto Moor Lane, shortly after the Craven Heifer pub

  11. Moor Lane to Turner Lane, bear right on the single-track which crosses the A65

  12. Cross A65 and climb Moor Lane, itís a steady climb until the road turns into a bridleway.

  13. The route is straight forward from this point; continue along the ridge of Addingham Moorside following the bridalway towards Skipton. Theres a few gates to open (and close). Drop down via Skipton woods and Shortbank stone quarry onto Shortbank Road, then head down Newmarket Street back to your start point on Skipton High Street


added by: jake - Sat Aug 6


Food & stuff

Its nice not to be in the middle of nowhere for a change. The village of Addingham is about halfway round, so you can stop for lunch at one of the 3 or so pubs. Theres the usual town centre stuff such as delis, butchers and fish and chips etc. Or just hang about on one of the public benches anticipating the long climb ahead onto Addingham Moorside with your own sarnis like we did.

Back in Skipton theres Westmoreland Street for fish and chips, Walkers Bakers for top quality pasties, butties and stuff, and a choice of a few Town Centre pubs. Try the Black Horse pub on the high street for a canal view beer garden.





Hi Dave, if you cycle the Grassington Rd (B6265) out of Skipton you can add the Barden Moor section to this ride without going back on yourself. Grassingon Rd is very busy with heavy trucks though and known locally as an accident blackspot for cyclists so if you go for it, try and choose a time when theres less traffic about.

Sorry you missed the Westy Bank Wood`s section, better luck next time!

from: Admin | Mon Jun 25 2012

Hi, did this route yesterday - a couple of tough climbs, but enjoyable. We added a ride over the moor towards the Barden reservoirs which added about 10 miles on. Wwas a bit of a "cul-de-sac" route, but worth the climb for the downhill coming back! Unfortunately we went wrong when coming into Bolton Abbey and missed out on the Downhill through the woods.
from: Dave Mally | Mon Jun 25 2012



Comment on this route
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head up skipton high street, onto the bailey with the church on your left
head up skipton high street, onto the bailey with the church on your left'
first left towards embsay
first left towards embsay'
left onto kirk lane...
left onto kirk lane...'
climb barden moor on tarmac, head right onto the single track, straight after the cattle grid
climb barden moor on tarmac, head right onto the single track, straight after the cattle grid'
over open moorland, on the 4th gate follow the path left...
over open moorland, on the 4th gate follow the path left...'
through gate and descend into woods...
through gate and descend into woods...'
turn right onto tarmac...
turn right onto tarmac...'
road past bolton abbey..
road past bolton abbey..'
towards addingham at roundabout...
towards addingham at roundabout...'
turn right at the crown pub...
turn right at the crown pub...'
left at moor lane...
left at moor lane...'
short bridalway, end of moorlane. cross the a65..
short bridalway, end of moorlane. cross the a65..'
climb onto addingham moorside via moor lane...
climb onto addingham moorside via moor lane...'
moor lane turns to bridalway. series of gates...
moor lane turns to bridalway. series of gates...'
more gates...
more gates...'
Skipton Woods...
Skipton Woods...'
shortbank stone quarry...
shortbank stone quarry...'



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