Great North Trail Part 2: Yorkshire Dales

Ride level Experienced cyclist
Distance 107 mi / 172 km
Type of bicycle Mountain bike
Traffic free
Circular route
Peak District

Hebden Bridge to Appleby-in-Westmorland

Part 2 of Cycling UK's Great North Trail, an off-road route from the Peak District to Cape Wrath or John o' Groats.

See places to stay, eat and visit in the full route guide

Best for

Wild moorland crossings, geological wonders, and visiting sites of historical interest and feats of engineering. 

Area and route

Climbing up out of the Calder Valley may seem like a tough way to start this ride, but you are soon on the hills enjoying stunning views. 

After turning this way and that, through various gates, steep inclines and fast declines, you eventually leave the lush green valley behind and break out onto bleak and barren moorland.  

The limestone landscape of the Yorkshire Dales and glacial movement over millions of years make for incredible cliffs, crags, scars and limestone pavements. You’ll also get to see sunken valleys, sheltered and serene in the stark and barren moorland, plus caves, waterfalls, sites of historical interest and feats of engineering.  

Peak District


The start follows the well-signposted Pennine Bridleway (PB), but the signage becomes sparser and harder to spot around the Barnoldswick area. 

Navigation is clearer around Settle but, if you opt to drop to Hawes, you’ll leave the PB for a while, so navigation is down to you.

After following the valley up to Kirkby Stephen, pay attention as the route zig-zags on and off road and through fields until arriving at Appleby-in-Westmorland.  

Difficulty rating

The following ratings use the colour-coded mountain bike trail grading system - see here for an explanation. Difficulty ratings are intended as a guide only, to help you decide which sections are best for you.

Red: all the way from the start in Calderdale to where it leaves the PB in the Mallerstang Valley. The setting is remote, with steep and rough terrain.

Blue: to the end at Appleby. The trails are lower down, and not so rough and steep.    

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