Bike exploring: Electric Mountain Bike Adventure

Helen Pollard By Helen Pollard


11.4 km / 7 miles


0 hrs  35 m

#GetOutside Champions adventure

Easy difficulty

Available in Askrigg

As part of #BigBikeRevival and #BikeWeek2018, Helen Pollard takes us on an electric mountain bike route from Castle Bolton to Askrigg.

Cycling UK’s “The Big Bike Revival” has been running for four years to inspire the 42% of people who own bikes, but who don’t cycle, to start riding.

With events across England and Scotland, people attending benefit from free cycle checks, servicing, cycle maintenance workshops, cycle training and accompanied rides.

In 2017, the project reached more than 64,000 people who attended in excess of 1,900 free events across six weeks.

It is estimated that around 18,500 people started cycling more regularly after taking part in a Big Bike Revival event in 2017

In the middle of this project is Bike Wheel 2018 celebrating everyday cycling for everyone. The week promotes lots of local events including work places challenges. Here at Stage 1 Cycles all our staff have been encouraged to commute to work once during the week if they feel safe to do so.

Working with Wensleydale Bike Club we are offering numerous activities as part of the Big Bike Revival. These include parents emergency bike maintenance sessions to children’s cycling activities. This adventure post follows one of the events, Electric Mountain Bike taster session for ladies.

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This is a linear route following a well-marked bridle way and is an accessible MTB route for most standard of cyclists including families.

Bolton Castle is a 14th-century castle located in Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales National Park. The nearby village Castle Bolton takes its name from the castle. The castle is a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

It’s a great place to visit with something for all ages to enjoy on or off bikes including falconry, wild boar and a mini maze. There is a large car park and a Cafe at the Castle.

Bolton Castle

The route starts directly in front of the castle following a wide gravelled farm track. Pass through the farm yard following the clearly marked bridle way. The route continues along a rough track to a gate. As you pass through the gate the track descends to a stream bed.

It is sensible to support younger children and inexperienced riders at this point. After another gate the track changes to a natural grassy bridle way and reaches a short descent to a bridge.

This decent is short but slightly rocky so needs to be tackled with appropriate care and walked if the rider is uncertain. For the next mile you follow a pleasant gentle grassy ascent to reach above Carperby.

Gentle grassy ascent to reach above Carperby

At this point you can escape the route following the marked bridleway down to Carperby where there is a pub and public telephone. You can return to Castle Bolton by road at this point.

The bridle way to Askrigg passes through 4 fields to the spectacular abandoned historic lead mines known locally as Ballowfields or Wet Grove Lead mines.

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Abandoned historic lead mines

Apparently, there is a hidden underwater lake that is continually being searched for by cave explorers. The mines are a great stopping point for a play on the stone piles, lunch or just a search for fossils or quartz.

After restarting you head towards the hamlet of Woodall. You follow a well-defined track to a gated stream. It is possible, in the correct conditions, to ride through the stream or alternatively, if you don’t want wet feet, use the bridge. Continue on the track through two gates to a junction of paths which either lead down to the Woodall or uphill towards Askrigg. Take the route uphill for the last time (I promise!). Pass through 2 gates until you reach a rocky track.

This very short section of the route does have some technical elements which maybe a challenge to very young or inexperienced riders. If you have any concerns regarding this short down and up section, please walk.

Cycling uphill over countryside

After this point the track returns to a grassy relatively flat route. After approx a mile this then changes to a walled gravelled track which leads to the road returning to Askrigg.

This a relatively traffic light minor road. However, the road descends steeply and therefore younger children should be closely supervised.

You shortly arrive at your destination of Askrigg. This is the village made famous for its use as the outdoor location for the TV series “All creatures great and small” following the veterinary tales of James Herriot.

It is well worth taking some time to explore, the village offers refreshments opportunities at 3 pubs and a small cafe.

So, did our ladies enjoy their adventure? Below is Sarah's feedback...

Thanks Stage 1 Cycles for letting me trial an electric bike, loved it! Really enjoyed the route, shall be joining you again!

Just one question.... Do you sell padded leggings?! I think so!!!

Interested in finding Bike Bike Revival events near you, then check out Cycling UK's website.

Group cycling at sunset



Helen Pollard By Helen Pollard


Helen spends her days, managing a cycling business, chasing her daughter Daisy, running with dogs, falling off her bike, and hopefully encouraging others to do something similar.

Find out more about Helen Pollard.