Stage 7: Stainforth to Kirkby Stephen — ORTLIEB Escape Routes UK
Includes a very steep uphill segment
You may need to push your bike.
0.64 mi in total
Bike Touring Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
ORTLIEB waterproof planned a gravel ride.
April 16, 2021
Ready yourself for some spectacular scenery and ancient roman rock roads on this final stage to Kirby Stephen, rounding off your seven stage tour.
Leaving quaint Stainforth behind, take lanes north before turning onto the unpaved doubletrack to Fezior and onto Hale Lane, crossing Austwick Beck. The next climb is a gentle one heading west on Thwaite Lane, before taking a right onto the doubletrack trail and past Trow Gill. This landscape is littered with both Roman relics and more recent mining works, so be sure to take a look as you pass by.
Enjoy a gentle descent into the next valley to cross the railway line near Selside, before pitching up again, this time climbing for much longer. The doubletrack briefly rejoins and then leaves the tarmacked road, some small respite!
Join the ancient Roman Cam High Road with views to Ribblehead Viaduct, along this long and straight gravel road climb. At 5.5 miles long (8.9 km), the gravel remains make for a tricky but worthwhile ascent.
Turn off before the last section to Bainbridge, heading through the market town of Hawes instead. Head up the River Ure, climbing gently at first before the steeper gradient on the bridleway up the side of Cotter End.
Take ‘The Highway’, an ancient trade route, which makes the most of this ridgeline, very gently descending to Hell Gill Bridge. Continue to reach the Water Cut sculpture, the first of a series of ten along the River Eden. There’s a cracking doubletrack descent ahead to take you down to the water.
The River Eden guides you all the way to Kirkby Stephen, and the end of your epic Peak District and Pennines journey. Why not pop into the pretty town for a celebratory meal or tipple before the short climb to the train station near Ash Fell Road?