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Yorkshire Dales ride

Its around 30 miles until I get with the Yorkshire Dales national park so it only figures when I have the time and the legs to complete a long ride, when I do its worth the effort every time. A truly stunning place to ride your bike.

The beautiful and diverse landscape takes your mind of the constantly rolling and sometimes mega steep hills.

One of my favourite routes either to ride from home or preferably from Clitheroe or Bolton by Bowland, to reduce the mileage to the Dales themselves, is to head out through Hellifield. Then onto Airton, where you can choose to head up through Malham (tackling a famous climb) or as I opted for today to head for Kilnsey via Cracoe and Hetton.

Shortly after riding beneath the famous Limestone cliffs of Kilnsey otherwise known as Kilnsey craggs I turned for Arncliffe.

The lanes to Arnciffe are normally wonderfully peaceful and cut through a stunning valley, once I reached Arncliffe I turned for Halton Gill. The road proper finishes at Halton Gill, however I carry on a little further towards Horseup farm and just before it sits the real reason for this slight detour, which is Kittys honesty box cafe. Basically one of the residents have converted one of their out buildings to house a fine selection of hot and cold drinks, a toilet, a drying room and tumble dryer but most importantly CAKE, bloody good cakes as well. Once I had consumed the usual black coffee and wedge of gorgeous carrot cake it was back on the bike.

The extra fuel certainly comes in handy here as there is nasty climb up towards the footings of Pen-y-Ghent.

Then its a roller coaster ride before a sharp drop down towards Helwith bridge, on past Horton heading towards Ribblehead. Once at Ribblehead I took a few minutes to grab some arty pics down by the famous viaduct. Before turning and retracing my tyre tracks back through Horton but this time onto Settle and a stop for some much needed Kendal mint cake and top up my fluids. Then back to my car at Bolton by Bowland via Wigglesworth.

Another option from Ribblehead is to drop down into Ingleton and then head for Bentham and a real bitch of a climb back over Cross of Greet and drop into Newton and then round through Dunsop bridge working back towards Clitheroe, however I will save that for when I've got more in the tank.