Pateley Bridge to How Stean Gorge
Distance: 14.5 miles
Ascent: 750 ft
Refreshments & Facilities: Pateley Bridge has ample facilities and some of the best steak pies in England! How Stean Gorge is a mecca for cyclists in the know and a great halfway halt for tea and cake or a meal.
Character: This is a great little family ride on excellent country lanes with spectacular scenery. Gentle climbs will test the younger members of the family and thrill them with the descents. You can make this route longer by adding the reservior road from Lofthouse to Scar House.
Start Point: Starting from Pateley Bridge, park in the main car park by the bridge, heading out along the valley towards Lofthouse. Alternatively, if camping near Lofthouse, simply reverse the route.
1. Starting from the car park by the bridge, exit it and turn left then immediately right after the park and by the garage. This road is followed all the way to Lofthouse, passing alongside Gouthwaite Reservior and through Ramsgill.
2. Halfway along the road that adjoins the reserviour a car park and picnic area is seen to the left. This is a good spot for a stop and snack.
3. Continue to Ramsgill, with a short climb which leads to a descent into the village. Over the small bridge and onto Lofthouse, with a testing climb before reaching Lofthouse.
4. Pass through Lofthouse and continue as the road bends around towards Middlesmoor. At a sharp right hand bend at the base of the steep climb, a road sign indicates 'Stean' to the left over a small bridge that crosses the river Nidd.
5. Take this left hand turning and ride to How Stean Gorge, with a steep final climb before the descent to tea and cake.
Now reverse the route back to Pateley Bridge.
For those youngsters with some more miles in the legs, the route to Scar House Reservior is a good addition.