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Distance: 56 miles (90.1km), Climb: 1763m, Ride: Challenging – Suitable for all bike types

From Main Street Sedbergh ride east joining the A684 (Long Lane). After 400 yards (365m) at the junction signposted A684 Garsdale / Hawes turn right.

Cross New Bridge over the River Rawthey and continue to follow the A684 passing a Pinfold by the side of the road just after the bridge on your left. (A Pinfold is a structure used to impound stray animals or any animal found grazing on land for which their owner did not have permission until a fine way paid under Manorial law and custom).

After 1 mile (1.6km) you will pass the entrance to Farfield Mill Arts and Heritage Centre, a former weaving Mill now home to a museum and a thriving hub of artisans and crafts people, and home to an excellent cafe.

Continue to follow the A684 as you begin to gently climb Tom Croft Hill or Langstone Fell with its stunning views of the Howgill Fells and the River Clough in the valley bottom. Follow the twists and turns of the A684 as it meanders alongside the river through the valley for 3.2 miles (5.14km) to The Street, Garsdale.

Garsdale isn’t a village, but a valley that runs for 7 miles (11.2km) made up of several isolated settlements, the largest is The Street. In medieval times the manor of Garsdale belonged to St Agatha’s Abbey, Easby, which leased it to Baron Scrope of Castle Bolton.

Continue along the A684 gradually climbing to Garsdale Head some 3 miles (4.82km) further up the wooded valley, all the while crossing and re-crossing the River Clough over numerous bridges.  Garsdale Head is the valley’s other main settlement, also called Hawes Junction, the old name for Garsdale railway station, after the former Wensleydale branch on the historic Settle to Carlisle railway.

At Garsdale Head turn right (signposted Garsdale Station and begin the first serious climb of the day ascending the notorious Coal Road climbing 715ft (218m) over 2.3 miles (3.7km). After the summit continue to follow the Coal Road to Dent Station (the highest main line station in England at 1150ft / 350m above sea level) then cautiously descend the extremely steep 1312ft (400m) of Monkeybeck Scar to the hamlet of Cowgill.

At the T-junction by St John’s Chapel turn left and cross the River Dee, following the river passing the historic and supposedly haunted 16th century Sportsman’s Inn on your right. Re-cross the River Dee in the hamlet of Stonehouse and turn immediately right after the bridge and continue to follow the river as it skirts Wold Fell and arrives at the massive bulk of Dent Head Viaduct and a steep ascent. This imposing 10 arched edifice was built between 1869 and 1875, entirely from massive blocks of Dent marble, standing 100ft (30m) above the waterfalls of Fell End Gill.

Continue to the T-junction with the B6255 at Newby Head Moss and turn left sign posted for Hawes. Follow the B6255 for 7.5 miles (12km) into Hawes via Turfy Hill. At the junction with A684 bear right following Turfy Hill past Hawes Primary School to your right as it merges into Market Place and the one-way system leading into the centre of Hawes.

Follow the one-way system for 600 yards (548m) then turn left onto Burnt Acres Road, signposted Hardraw & Muker. After crossing the River Ure via Haylands Bridge continue to the T-junction and turn left, then after 200 yards turn right, signposted Simonstone & Muker. After 1.3 miles (2km) you will see Simonstone Hall to your left.

Continue up the hill (known as Cliffe Gate Road) for 3.2 miles (5.1km) steadily climbing towards the iconic Buttertubs Pass  1725ft (526m) climb. Just past the summit a small parking area marks the location of “The Buttertubs”, deep limestone holes where the devil used to store his butter. Descend for 2 miles (3.2km) to a T-junction and turn left onto Cloggerby Rigg (B6270) towards Thwaite, pass through Thwaite staying on the B6270 signposted for Keld.

Follow the B6270 for 10.8 miles (17.4km) passing Keld and traversing Birkdale Common before climbing Nateby Common and descending to Nateby. Continue to the T-junction with the B6259 Nateby Road / Mountain View and  turn right (Alderson’s Garage is on your right). Head north for 0.5 miles (800m) crossing the River Eden via Stenkrith Bridge and turn left into Station Road, Kirkby Stephen, after 100yards (90m) at a T-junction, turn left onto South Road (A685). A short diversion can be made into Kirkby Stephen which has numerous pubs and tea shops.

Follow the A685 as it climbs out of Kirkby Stephen for 0.8 miles (1.3km) up Midland Hill to Kirkby Stephen Station, pass the station and after 0.5 miles (800m) turn left onto the A683 signposted Ravenstonedale / Sedbergh.

Follow the A683 mainly downhill for 12.4 miles (20km) back to Sedbergh, passing the Fat Lamb Inn on your right after 3 miles (4.8km). After 5.5 miles (8.85km) you will see the historic 16th century Cross Keys Temperance Inn on your right, with the beauty of Cautley Spout, England’s highest waterfall above ground at 649ft (198m) behind it at the head of the valley.

Follow the road for a further 4 miles (4.3km) alongside the River Rawthey back to Sedbergh crossing the river via Straight Bridge. Once in Sedbergh after a further 1.3 miles (2.1km) you will see the Sedbergh School Library at the end of Long Lane to your left, and a mini roundabout directly in front of you, turn right at the mini roundabout and you are back at your starting point.