Another ride over in Swaledale, this time around Gunnerside Gill.
Distance: 14 miles
Time: 2.5 Hours
Ordnace Survey Map OS30
Steep climbing out of Gunnerside before a climb up onto the top of the Moor, then some steep technical single track at the top of Gunnerside Gill before long sweeping gravel road descent.
I parked up in Muker, but there is parking in Gunnerside before riding along the main road to Gunnerside. Go through the village and over the bridge near the cafe and then when almost past the last of the houses take the road up through the gateway to the left. You have to press a button to operate the gate, then a short section of road before taking the rocky muddy bridleway on the right side of the road under the trees. This is pretty steep climbs about 500 ft in half a mile. Then its onto a bit of flat for another half mile or so where you can enjoy the views of Swaledale. Then you turn right up towards the hills at a wooden post and when you can begin to see some buildings (6) above Barf side. This is an indistinct track but head up towards the wall and the gateway and pass on through, now the track is obvious and just heads on up towards a line of Grouse Butts keep heading on towards the top of the gill and then again towards the grouse butts where you will meet a gravel shoot road. Luckily this is also the bridleway, just follow it along to the right around the edge of the hill and between a couple of fallen down buildings to a junction of tracks at a bunch of mine heaps (8) on the route map.
At the mine working bear left and just follow the gravel road for just over a mile and a half. As you begin to ride along side Gunnerside Gill you will see a building in the distance on the lefthand side of the track (9) on the route map, somewhere around here you need to drop over the edge into the gill. The track is not marked but as you reach a bit of a flat area you should begin to make out the track. Now from here the track is narrow and there is a steep long drop to the right into the gill and in places the track is washed out. So be very careful and if you`re not sure get off and walk (I did). At the bottom of the track you come to an old building and here you will need to cross the beck and follow a similar narrow track on the other side of the beck. This again has slipped away in places but after a few hundred yards is rideable again with care before a steep single track drop to some more mine workings and buildings.
From these buildings is a climb up out out of Gunnerside Gill again before joining a gravel road again for a fast descent to the tarmac road above Gunnerside, here if you are parked in Gunnerside bear left otherwise if you parked in Muker turn right and follow the road to Gunnerside Lodge and turn left at the lodge down the hill to Ivelet and then back right on the main road to Muker and maybe a pint at the Farmers Arms.