From Reeth, Swaledale and Wensleydale are a road cyclists playground; featuring bucket-list cycling climbs. We’ve woven the best cycling climbs in the Northern Borderlands of Yorkshire into our epic 110 mile sportive route. Here’s what to expect from our top seven summits.
On paper, the stats could make you question why Tan Hill deserves a classification on our climbs list (1.9% average, maxing out at 12.4%).
Home to the highest pub in the UK, the 10km road to the summit is exposed and often boasts a prevailing headwind. Most locals (including us) have stories of climbing this nagging ascent is driving rain, snow and gale force winds.
Tan Hill could be your gentle warm up - or it could be a fight against the elements to the top!
Passing through Kirby Stephen, you’ll meet the village of Nateby where Lamps Moss begins.
This lesser-known climb, tucked at the western end of the Swaledale Valley, is nearly 4km long and 8% average with gradients of nearly 20%.
Keep something in the tank for the final tough ramp to the summit, before a great descent back down into the valley.
Made famous by the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart and the 2019 UCI World Road Race World Championships, Buttertubs is more commonly climbed from Hawes (as the pros did).
We’re taking you up it the other way (the hard side). Pace yourself on the lower slopes of this 4.6km climb (5.5% average). The hairpin in the middle is where the gradient bites (17%).
There’s a short amount of respite before the final dig to the summit then the fast descent to the feed station at Stage One Cycles in Hawes.
Dent Head is often overlooked in favour of the Coal Road when climbing out of the village of Dent. Dent Head is a great little climb (2.5km, averaging 5.2%) dipping under the viaduct before you begin your ascent.
It’s steep from the start (14.4%) but the gradient eases and you can tap it out to the top, before flying down the B6255 back to Hawes to refuel again.
One of our favourite epic ascents, Fleet Moss leaves Hawes and goes straight up!
5.5km at 6% may not sound like much, but looking up you can see the hill as it ramps up and up and looks almost vertical at the top. It’s enough to psyche you out.
Our recommendation: don’t look up! Watch out for the hairpin near the bottom of the descent then enjoy the scenic valley road along the river to Buckden.
Following in close succession from Fleet Moss is Kidstones Pass (also know as Cote de Cray).
While this gentle 3.4km undulating climb averaging 4.7% isn’t too taxing, it’s enough to hurt the legs after its predecessors.
Also know to the locals as Redmire, Greets Moss runs adjacent to Grinton Moor climb.
It’s the tougher of the two routes back to Dales Bike Centre (obviously, it is a Struggle after all). At 7% average for 4.5km, this stabby climb is enough to finish you off.
Thankfully Dales Bike Centre is right at the bottom of the hill, so you can leave it all on the road and cruise down to the finish for a Cold Bath Beer.
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