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4. Bolton Abbey, Appletreewick, Stump Cross Caverns, Greenhow, Thruscross, Blubberhouses, Askwith, Ilkley

32.2 miles, 5520 feet of ascent

A hilly ride passing the historic site of Bolton Abbey, then skirting Appletreewick in Wharfedale, before climbing Greenhow Hill to Nidderdale, followed by a long ride downhill to Blubberhouses, and then back uphill over Askwith Moor, before another downhill to Askwith, and back by the River Wharfe through Ilkley.

Started by riding down the village and then heading out of Addingham on Bolton Road towards Bolton Abbey. After leaving the village follow the road to Bolton Abbey Warning for approximately 2 miles (note this road can be very busy on weekends, bank and summer holidays).

At the roundabout follow the signs for Bolton Abbey cycling past the Devonshire Hotel on the right on to Bolton Abbey. Here there is the priory itself, walking by the River Wharfe and tea shops. A little further on turn right down the hill to the Cavendish Pavilion, where there are more walks (one of which takes you to the Strid) and another cafe/restaurant. Cross the bridge in front of the Cavendish Pavilion go through the gate and turn left to follow the road towards Appletreewick. (Please note that since the Coronavirus restrictions the gate to the road has been locked. So instead take the footpath to the left and after about 400 yards at the top of a climb you can rejoin the road to Appletreewick - please walk your bike on the footpath).

At the T-Junction of this road turn right to follow the road towards Appletreewick. At the next T-junction you can take a slight detour by turning left to visit Appletreewick, in just half a mile, where there are two pubs. Our route takes a right at this junction towards Pateley Bridge and a long climb up Greenhow Hill past Stump Cross Caverns on the right, where there is a cafe for refreshments. Continue up the hill into Nidderdale and then down through Greenhow village before turning right, sign posted to Harrogate.

Warning Watch out for large quarry wagons on this road. Now a long descent down past Thruscross Reservoir on the right, and the Stone House Inn and MacKenzies Yorkshire Smokehouse on the left. Also visible from here on the left are the "golf balls" of Menwith Hill, a top-secret electronic surveillance station run by the US with British support. After a final steep descent you arrive at the A59 at Blubberhouses.

Turn right at the bottom of the hill onto the A59 with Fewston Reservoir on the left. Warning  After just 400 yards turn left off this very busy road, signposted to Otley, to climb the hill over Askwith Moor. Now look for a right turn to Askwith and cruise all the way downhill into Askwith village. At the T-junction turn right where there is another pub on the left, The Askwith Arms. Follow this road all the way into Ilkley, where just past the rugby club on the left, you arrive at a crossroads. Go straight across here until on the left, by a traffic island, arriving at the old bridge across the river. Cross the bridge and go up the hill to the A65. Warning  Turn right onto the A65 and follow this busy road for about one and a half miles, to a right turn which follows the old A65 by the river all the way into Addingham.

 

51.4 km, 03:38:43