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Castle Bolton – Apedale Road

Starting at the impressive Bolton Castle at Castle Bolton, this is a route of two halves. The first half on gentle undulating lowland tracks, a bit of a climb on tarmac followed by some very impressive easy to follow high riding on superb tracks. to the crux of this route, Apedale Road.

Apedale is a high valley on the moors between Swaledale and Wensleydale climbing from Swaledale up to Whitaside Moor to Apedale Head. It then drops into Apedale down to Dent houses returning back to Castle Bolton forming an impressive circular tour of this area.

We got a bit lost!! ignore the google map sections where we come back on our self.


Total distance 16.7Miles
Grin Factor

Total Distance: 16.7 Miles
Total Climbing: 2956 ft
Time: 3 hrs

Off-road: 1.7 mi
On-road: 15 mi

Climbing Distance: 6.5 mi
Descent Distance: 7.5 mi
Flat Distance: 2.8 mi

Terrain: Moorland and low fells, surface farm tracks, steep roads and stony access tracks. slow terrain in general.

The Route

Start Point:  GPS – N 54 19.337 W 1 57.121 Bolton Castle car park.

  • Take the track that starts to the north of Castle Bolton signposted Askrigg 7 miles. Keep with this track along its entire length following the bridleway [and the signs for Akrigg] until you reach tarmac.
  • Basically the track follows the valley floor which is easily rideable along its entire length
  • At the road junction turn right uphill for 1.5 miles.
  • On the other side is Swaledale with a much needed downhill.
  • Follow the road until you reach a bridleway on your right [not the first one as it goes nowhere as we found out to our cost!]
  • There’s a nice new sign saying Castle Bolton 5 miles, take this following it up Whitaside moor, passing through old mine workings for 1.5 miles, it’s doable if you’re fit. Follow this to a fence and a gate near a big hole, this is the high point and the start of Apedale Road.
  • Follow this track ,its fast and lots of fun to a junction near Dent houses, an old shooting lodge.
  • At this junction, turn right following the track till you reach a low ridge line with a gate, the track swings sharply to the right but go straight on through the gate and follow the track down over pasture land back to Castle Bolton.

Route Photos

Some idiot forgot to charge the camera so no photos on this one. It’s an easy enough route to follow though.

Food & Stuff

Nothing. No pubs, ice cream vans or anything. Bring your own food. Wensleydale is of course famous for its world class Wensleydale cheese. An essential drop of point if cheese is your thing.

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