Malham – Is there any good mountain biking?

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  • Malham – Is there any good mountain biking?
  • Rik
    Member

    Looking at going to Malham this weekend – trying to decide whether to take the mountain bike or road bike.

    Living next to the Peak and riding mostly there and Lakes, every time i’ve ever been to the Dales on the Mountain Bike I’ve always been let down. Lovely location and views but it all seems to be sanitized motorway bridleways or grass descents.

    Is there a good route in the Malham area that might change my mind?

    Any recommendations

    Premier Icon Angus Wells
    Subscriber

    Yes, loads. It’s not the Peak and it’s not the Lakes, enjoy it for what it is.

    This one might be a bit boggy, but it’s a start.

    http://www.mtbthedales.org.uk/mtb-home/mtb-findaroute/mtb-route-malhamdale.htm

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    don’t expect an endless bounty of peachy singletrack.

    do expect big skies, hard work, and weather…

    in my experience anyway…

    Spin
    Member

    The Vertebrate Graphics South Dales guide is a good first port of call.

    I would agree with the above comment but add that you are right in the heart of Gods own country.

    Rik
    Member

    I’ve got the vertebrae graphics guide and every route has been a bit of a let down.

    I like big sky’s and big hills but I also like a big descent when if I’ve put in the effort on the up.

    Will I remain disappointed??

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Subscriber

    We just had a week in Littondale which is adjacent to Malham. Here is a thread with some routes.

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/off-to-littondale-in-a-week

    Its quite exposed, very steep with pushing in places but there are some lovely descents and fantastic scenery in general.

    Some of it was better than other bits and I did not get to do everything I had wanted.

    Liked the descent opposite to Pen-y-gent house farm to Littondale – did it with my son so its quite easy but fun.

    Arncliffe, Park Scar was a hard climb but fun on the way down.

    Missed doing Kettlewell, Cam Head, Starbottom but drove past and it looked good. Could be linked in with Arncliffe run.

    Best descent for me was Horse Head to Halton Gill (at the top end of Littondale). You should definitely try to do this. We approached it from Langstrothdale and its basically a push up. Did it as part of a loop recommended by ianv in the thread I’ve linked to (but did it the other way around i.e. Halton Gill, Foxup Moor, Horton in Ribblesdale, etc. Langstrothdale is very pretty.

    Did another route around Malham and came down Cowside Beck to Arncliffe. It was less rocky here and a bit soft so would probably not repeat. I preferred the steeper rockier stuff.

    Have a good weekend

    Pieface
    Member

    I don’t think you’ll like it. I’ve not done much but i don’t think think its that different to what you get at the Dales centre. Road cycling is excellent though, the little road from just outside Ingleton going over to Dent is fantastic, as are the roads around / into Halton Gill and Foxup.

    Best descent for me was Horse Head to Halton Gill (at the top end of Littondale). You should definitely try to do this. We approached it from Langstrothdale and its basically a push up

    Definitely do this as a descent *into* Langstrothdale. Much better 🙂

    Cheers

    Pieface – Member
    I don’t think you’ll like it. I’ve not done much but i don’t think think its that different to what you get at the Dales centre. Road cycling is excellent though, the little road from just outside Ingleton going over to Dent is fantastic, as are the roads around / into Halton Gill and Foxup

    That’ll be Kingsdale – fabulous road. Loads of great roadbiking round there. Arncliffe, kettlewell and the road through Coverdale is epic.

    Premier Icon closetroadie
    Subscriber

    grass descents

    And what is wrong with grass descents?

    Hmmm?

    I like the Dales. It’s quieter on the senses than the Lakes and is more vast than the Peaks.

    Rik
    Member

    Stayed at the Dales mountain biking centre a few months ago – great place but the riding was utter pants – all uphill and the descents were shockingly bad.

    Grass descents are fast – but with out a singletrack ribbon just not fun enough.
    And all that Limestone but no descents like Cavedale – shame.

    Just plotted an amazing road ride around Malham and Littondale area looks fare better than the mountain biking. Tiny singletrack roads with great views. I’ll stick to the road.

    sambob
    Member

    Good descent from The Arncliffe side down into Starbotton/Kettlewell, some nice rocky singletrack lower down through the woods. You could make a loop out of it by going down to Yockenthwaite then over into Foxup and along the valley, or round Pen Y Ghent?

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Rik, just out of interest, where are you from & what kind of trails do you like?

    Only asking ‘cos Swaledale is one of my favourite places to ride, but always looking for new types of trail to get out of the comfort zone.

    Love the dales, Pen y Ghent circular and Ingleton to Ribblehead are favourites a bit further south.

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Subscriber

    Best descent for me was Horse Head to Halton Gill (at the top end of Littondale). You should definitely try to do this. We approached it from Langstrothdale and its basically a push up

    Definitely do this as a descent *into* Langstrothdale. Much better

    Funny that, didn’t look up to much while I was pushing up. Just a narrow steep path with loads of drainage ditches dug across.

    Rik
    Member

    Rusty – From Sheffield – like rocky descents like Chapel Gate, Cut Gate Walna Scar, Nan Bield, Snowdon Rangers etc etc

    Or floaty endless wafer thin singletrack like Minton Batch

    Found the Dales to have neither.

    Found Swaledale endless hills with very little reward.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Cheers Rik.

    Rocky, techy descents scare me witless!

    I’ve ridden Cut Gate and enjoyed it, but Snowdon Ranger gives me the fear. Railway for me, every time.

    Perversely, I really like long, fairly easy climbs & big, easy days out.

    Thanks for the reply.

    miner29er
    Member

    Hey Rik, “Malham – Is there any good mountain biking?”
    Loads of trails that I love – but by the sound of things I don’t think you’d like ’em. If I were you I’d look elsewhere for my mtb-ing. Peak District is good 😉 Road biking around Malham is a great call this time of year. Enjoy the ride.

    Gribs
    Member

    There’s quite a few interesting rocky descents near Malham but they’re not bridleways. Saying that there are rocks on some of the bridleway descents but you have to choose to ride them rather than the easy grass to the side. The decent down to Arncliffe or from Malham Moor towards Kilnsey (not Mastiles) are good examples of this.

    Malham to Settle and back. Two distinct bridleways so you can take one out & the other back. Good pubs & caffe in settle as well.
    I had quite a nasty encounter with the landowner at Arncliffe Cote many years ago, but apparently all sorted now. Does no one ride down mastiles lane anymore, that used to be a classic, and couldn’t be called grassy either.

    Stayed at the Dales mountain biking centre a few months ago – great place but the riding was utter pants

    So you won’t be back then? 😆

    Rik
    Member

    I will but on the road bike

    If youv’e been to Swaledale & didn’t like it, I think you missed the best bits TBH.

    Premier Icon jca
    Subscriber

    There’s a pretty decent drop off nearby…

    Who wants to go first?

    Rik
    Member

    Well we followed the advice from the Dales centre – I’m very sure it doesnt measure up to the Peak or the Lakes

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    I’ve spent pretty much every Sunday this summer reliving my youth doing southern Dales rides, pretty much all around and about Malham. Yes, it is generally pants with a few exceptions, especially when Lakes, NYM, Calderdale, local hot spots and other great stuff is nearby..
    The scenery is great, not too many people about, big climbs, technically easy descents, lots of wide bridle tracks, some excellent tea shops, very good for old school XC. I’ve been doing it all on a fully rigid super light xc mince machine and never felt under biked. I have found it a nice alternative to what we usually do, less Gnarrr and just getting out and doing a long easy fitness orientated ride and challenging yourself on some of the bust-a-gut climbs, but all a bit the same and not at all technical bar the odd bits.

    snowpaul
    Member

    Rik,

    you like the same stuff as I do – esp lakes / peak stuff – malham cove is a great scenic but not too techy riding ‘ more gentle xc ‘ – try up the cove and then out towards settle and back – round the tarn – down towatrds kettlewell and back up mastiles lane – good xc route – if muddy…

    Ingleborough is A MUST DH and very hard on a hardtail at the top – the trails round Dent are pretty good and again a sense of space is awesome…

    I love riding there – suggest powys next time !

    paul

    I live locally and love the trails around Malham. The decent from the Tarn down Mastiles Lane still gives me a bigger buzz then most trail centres. The route to and from Settle is also a belter imo. Starting from the Tarn you can ride in almost any direction and find a varied route. There’s always Gisburn nearby if the Malham trails are not your bag.

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