An image of Bransdale Loop Cycle Route

Book Tickets Online

About

The ‘lost dale’ of Bransdale – north of Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley – is a gem, smaller and more remote than the dales on either side, only accessible on a single road that loops around the flanking moors via the dalehead at Cockayne. There is no village in the dale – just a necklace of farmhouses set halfway up the dale sides, a shooting lodge and an old mill – while most of the farmland is owned by the National Trust. Consequently, Bransdale retains a serene, traditional character, with little to get in the way of the fabulous cycling. However, the final southern section – cutting through the villages south of the A170 – rewards you with a string of cafés and country pubs as you follow the quieter back roads from Helmsley to Kirkbymoorside.

About this cycle route

Route type: Road route

Distance:26½ miles (44km)

Time: 3½ hours

Start point: Kirkbymoorside, ride anticlockwise

Grid Ref: SE 697 864

OS Map: Ordnance Survey OL26

Refreshments:Kirkbymoorside, Gillamoor, Helmsley, Harome, Wombleton

Road route, for road bikes and hybrids.

Bransdale is a joy to cycle, offering a mix of moorland road riding and fabulous broad valley views. Ride the route anticlockwise from Kirkbymoorside for the best experience.

The road in reasonable condition throughout. The key hill is the pull up out of Bransdale, heading southwest – take care on two areas subject to landslip near the start of this climb.

Bransdale Mill

Water mills were first built by medieval lords of the manor to serve the dale’s farmers – in return, the lords took a proportion of the grain as tax. The early mills were mostly small, simple wooden buildings, though climbing wheat prices and technological advances in the 18th and 19th centuries led to many mills being rebuilt in stone and expanded to incorporate storage, and dressing and rolling machines. Bransdale Mill is a typical example, rebuilt during the 19th century to become in effect a small milling hamlet. Corn was ground here until 1917 and grist (grain separated from its chaff) as late as 1953. It’s a fine-looking range of red-roofed stone buildings, now owned by the National Trust and used as an education and recreation centre.

Farming in Bransdale

Bransdale’s farmers have left their mark on the dale for centuries, from building dry stone walls to ‘taking in’ land from the encroaching moor for cultivation or grazing. Today, the farmland in Bransdale is owned by the National Trust and let to tenant farmers, who continue to have a beneficial effect on this living landscape. The farmers of Bransdale are encouraged to help improve the natural environment, whether it’s converting to organic farming, employing mixed grazing using traditional breeds of sheep and cattle, or producing more hay, which benefits ground-nesting birds, insects and wildflowers. The ongoing removal of Bransdale’s Forestry Commission conifer plantations has also led to a gradual ‘greening’ of the dale. Using the wood for fuel means less reliance on oil (and fewer tanker trips into the dale), while native oak and ash trees are being planted in place of the pines.

St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale

The ancient Saxon church of St Gregory’s lies in a secluded dale near Kirkbymoorside – be sure to make the slight detour, since it’s a remarkable sight. The main surviving Saxon features are the narrow arch from the tower to the nave and the celebrated sundial above the south door. This bears an inscription which states: “Orm, the son of Gamal, bought St Gregorius Minster when it was all broken and fallen, and he has made it new, in the days of Edward the king and Tosti the Earl.” This dates it to around 1060, just before the Norman Conquest, and this thousand-year-old church, with its delightful churchyard, is a peaceful place to rest and consider the unchanging face of the North York Moors’ hidden dales.

Facilities

Parking

  • Parking with charge

Routes

  • Accessibility of route - Easy to access
  • Description of route - Bransdale is a joy to cycle, offering a mix of moorland road riding and fabulous broad valley views. Ride the route anticlockwise from Kirkbymoorside for the best experience.
  • Length of route (miles) - 26
  • Typical duration of route - 3hrs 30 mins

Map & Directions

Public Transport Directions

Accessible by Public Transport.

Bransdale Loop Cycle Route

Type:Cycle Route

Kirkbymoorside, Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, YO62 6AY
Close window

Call direct on:

Tel01723 383636

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)

What's Nearby

  1. Finest open air museum in Yorkshire. An amazing collection of rescued and restored…

    2.11 miles away
  2. Conducted tour of small country brewery famous for its award-winning ales. Brewery tap in…

    3.88 miles away
  3. The sheltered walled garden, with spring-flowering organic meadow, orchards and…

    4.81 miles away
  4. The North York Moors National Park is one of the most stunning landscapes in the country.…

    5.45 miles away
  1. Explore the castle's changing fortunes. From formidable fortress to battle-scarred ruins.…

    5.64 miles away
  2. This tranquil and historic five acre garden is beautifully laid out in small intimate…

    5.76 miles away
  3. Nature reserve with interesting flora and fauna. The Bridestones - curious rocks left by…

    5.94 miles away
  4. The National Centre for Birds of Prey houses the largest collection of raptors in the…

    6.18 miles away
  5. Bygones of Victorian age with something of interest to all ages many rooms including a…

    6.33 miles away
  6. Bordered by the Tabular Hills and North York Moors National Park to the north and the…

    6.36 miles away
  7. Take a trip on one of the world's greatest railway experiences!

    6.41 miles away
  8. Built by William the Conqueror, this Royal castle was used by a succession of Medieval…

    6.44 miles away
  9. Newbridge Park have developed bike trails, improved footpaths and created a family picnic…

    6.48 miles away
  10. One-price family fun park with over 100 attractions, 5 shows and Europe's largest…

    6.57 miles away
  11. One of Yorkshire's finest 18th-century landscape gardens, containing two temples.

    7.29 miles away
  12. 'Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the…

    7.53 miles away
Previous Next
  • Borough of Scarborough Logo
  • Visit England Logo
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Logo
  • Borough of Scarborough Logo
  • Visit England Logo
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Logo

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss