Bilsdale and the Cleveland Hills
A long, leisurely circuit through contrasting landscapes: the patchwork fields of the Cleveland Plain, the dramatic northern escarpment of the Cleveland Hills, and the verdant valleys of Bilsdale and Raisdale. The effortless downhill sections on either side of the Cleveland Hills are more than enough to make up for some stiff climbs. You'll find the two Temple Moore locations near the start, while you've still got enough puff to enjoy them.
- Approximate distance: 18 miles
- Approximate time: 5 hours
- Terrain: Moderate - entirely on good roads, but with some steep ascents and descents
- Maps: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western Area
- Start: Battersby Junction railway station
- Temple Moore Trail locations: St Augustine's, Kirkby-in-Cleveland; St Botolph's, Carlton-in-Cleveland
- Refreshments: Lord Stone's Cafe, Carlton Bank; pubs in Carlton-in-Cleveland, Kirkby-in-Cleveland and Chop Gate
- Leave Battersby Junction and cycle along the road from the station past terraced houses. At the road turn right and carry on until you reach Ingleby Greenhow. Cycle into the village and turn left on Church Lane, signposted to Great Broughton and Helmsley. Before the church, go right and continue on the same lane for about 2.5 miles to Great Broughton. Go straight on at the mini roundabout and continue for about a mile to Kirkby-in-Cleveland. At the crossroads in the village turn right to see Temple Moore's church of St Augustine.
- Return to the crossroads and carry on in the same direction as before for about a mile. The road bends right and then left and passes through the village of Great Busby. Stay on the same road as it passes between pancake-flat fields with the Cleveland Hills off to the south. Eventually you'll reach a junction. Turn left, following a sign for Carlton, which is half a mile further on. St Botolph's church is on your right shortly after you enter the village.
- Now comes the challenging bit! Leave Carlton on the same road, heading south. Take a left turn after the village, signposted to Chop Gate, 4 miles. Enjoy a last half-mile stint of cycling on the flat before the road begins to climb, gently at first, into the Cleveland Hills. In compensation for your extra effort, the landscape becomes beautifully green and wooded. Pretty soon you'll find yourself climbing steeply on a road cut into the escarpment. Take your time — the views on your left are spectacular. Round the top of the hill and there on your left, like a mirage, is the famous Lord Stones Cafe. Rest and recuperation time!
- Next, your reward: a luxurious ride down through the scenic splendours of Raisdale with hardly a turn of the pedal required. Navigation is a doddle: just stick to the same road all the way to Chop Gate. When you get there, turn left on the B1257 towards Stokesley. (The Buck Inn is a short distance to the right, if you feel you've earned additional rest and recuperation...) Look out for a turning on your right signposted to St Hilda's Church (not a Temple Moore location, but a lovely spot all the same). This leads onto a back lane that enables you to avoid too much cycling on the main road. Follow it past the houses and up the hill. Pass between the farm buildings at Bilsdale Hall. Carry on past St Hilda's Church and round to the right. There is some lovely off-the-beaten-track countryside up here that few visitors ever see. Go through the tiny hamlet of Urra and head downhill. A nice freewheeling descent brings you back to the B1257. Go right.
- After about a mile you'll reach Hasty Bank car park and a turning to the right just before it, signposted to Ingleby Greenhow, 2 miles. We're now on the homeward leg, and the good news is that it involves more freewheeling. Ignore turnings off to the right and left until you reach a T-junction after about 3 miles. The countryside around you should look vaguely familiar. Go right and find yourself back in Ingleby Greenhow. Bear left by the church, then go right to Battersby at the next junction. The turning to Battersby Junction is on your left a short way further on.
Explore the Trail
A leisurely day's driving on quiet roads, taking in the very best of Temple Moore and the central and western North York Moors. From Helmsley the route heads north up Bilsdale, via Rievaulx Abbey. It crosses the moors into Cleveland, then continues through the lush farmland of the Esk Valle...Find out more...
A long, leisurely circuit through contrasting landscapes: the patchwork fields of the Cleveland Plain, the dramatic northern escarpment of the Cleveland Hills, and the verdant valleys of Bilsdale and Raisdale. The effortless downhill sections on either side of the Cleveland Hills are more than e...Find out more...
High-level thrills abound on this rugged ridge route. A favourite with mountain-bikers, it features a lengthy ride along Rudland Rigg, the watershed between Farndale and Bransdale. The leafy back lanes of Farndale make a soothing contrast. There are Temple Moore churches at two natural stopping ...Find out more...
A couple of recommendations from Lealholm residents for where to eat and drink in the village: The Board Inn with real ale and real fires - www.theboardinn.com Shepherds Hall tearooms too- www.shepherdshalltearooms.co.uk