Skip directly to content

Rievaulx Woods

Start Point: Choose either the English Heritage car park, or a small car park behind the Methodist Chapel in the village

Distance: 10.2 miles

Ascent: 1408 feet

OS Map: 

Facilities & Refreshments: The cafe at the Rievaulx Abbey entrance is superb. It also has toilets. Nearby Scawton has a good pub, The Hare Inn. There's a great choice of accommodation in the area, particularly in nearby Helmsley, where they also have a Youth Hostel. 

Character: Numerous bridleways and tracks cut across this valley. The route here is a good introduction, and a great little evening or afternoon ride. A few steep climbs and a terrific short singletrack descent, good woodland trails, and great little swooping descent across open meadows. Oh, and the views are spectacular. Save it as a last ride of the weekend before heading home. You'll definitely want to return. 

Route Description

1. From the Methodist Chapel take the track (Arden Lane) which initially rises, before a forked junction of tracks, taking the left hand track which descends to Bow Bridge.

2. Cross over the bridge and take the steep track which rises alongside Lambert Hag Wood.  At the next junction keep right and head towards Tylas Farm. This track rolls gently before a steep descent, followed by a climb to a junction of BWs just before the farm. Take the bridleway through the gate straight ahead and climb up to Birk Bank woods. 

3. The woodland track rises and falls, before crossing a meadow and leading out onto a lane near Caydale Mill. Turn left and climb steeply, turning right at the top along High Leir Lane.

4. After approx a mile, take the bridleway to the right, which skirts around the field before dropping steeply on singletrack over rocks. Cross the wooden bridge at the valley bottom and climb up to Murton Grange, ignoring the BW passed by to the right. At the road junction, turn right and head along a short distance before exiting to the right into Cliff Wood.

5. An excellent forest track rolls along, before reaching a gated meadow. Cross the meadow until a junction of BWs by a derelict barn to your right. Take the right hand BW across the meadow, which eventually descends at speed back to Tylas Farm. Follow the route back to Rievaulx and a drink.