York­shire Dales are a de­light

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

This ride kicks off from Junc­tion 51 on the A1(M), sign­posted A684 Bedale. You’ll find swanky new ser­vices here, but I’d rather hold out for one of the many lo­cal stops en route. Take the A684 in the di­rec­tion of Bedale and a newly-opened by­pass will whisk you away from the mad­ness of the mo­tor­way; turn right at the round­about to­wards Ley­burn and af­ter a mile or so there’ll be an op­por­tu­nity to top up for the du­ra­tion in Lit­tle Crake­hall. Kinked straights blend into long sweep­ers as the road ahead quickly evolves, but take note of the warn­ing sign as you pass Ake­bar Park – the cross­roads ahead is blind fol­low­ing a down­hill left/right twist so be aware.

Turn left in Ley­burn by the Bolton Arms to ride the tar­mac snake that glides along the val­ley, cross­ing the River Ure at Wens­ley. The road’s liq­uid curves reflect the river’s me­an­der­ing course as it winds on­ward to the Dales; flick right to left over Bish­op­dale Beck, then duck and dive among the en­croach­ing hills be­fore a plung­ing corkscrew into Bain­bridge. Take a left at the T-junc­tion to stay on the A684.

The black­top sweeps on as the coun­try­side rolls by, each glo­ri­ous twist an­swered by a joy­ous turn un­til it reaches Hawes, a pop­u­lar hub for those ex­plor­ing the won­der­ful roads here­abouts. There’s al­ways a line of bikes by the Penny Garth Café and it’s as good a place as any to stop for a brew. North from Hawes lies the leg­endary But­ter­tubs Pass while to the west the A685 wends its way to Ken­dal. This route, how­ever, es­chews those op­tions in favour of the B6255, a left fork out of town that heads south, up and over the Newby Head Pass to In­gle­ton.

The B6255 climbs im­me­di­ately into flow­ing esses, a sin­u­ous grey strip that fol­lows the con­tours of the coun­try­side; dip­ping and swoop­ing be­side sparkling streams, grow­ing ever more re­mote as the el­e­va­tion in­creases. It flat­tens nat­u­rally across the top of the pass and as In­gle­bor­ough (the sec­ond high­est peak of the York­shire Dales) comes into view the de­scent be­gins. It’s a rel­a­tively straight run in the shadow of a screestrewn es­carp­ment, but the views are stun­ning; mountain to your left and river to your right with the whole world open­ing up ahead. Through In­gle­ton fol­low the signs for Ken­dal and turn right to join the A65.

Watch for the A683 turn­ing on the ap­proach to Kirby Lons­dale – you can’t miss it; there’s a yel­low speed cam­era on the left just be­fore the sign. Take a right here to find Devil’s Bridge, an­other pop­u­lar tea stop and a fit­ting place to mark the end of this ride.

mo­tor­cy­cle­ DOWN­LOAD THE ROUTES

Twists, turns, as­centgs and steep plunges… this north­ern route has it all

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