North York Moors

North York Moors logo
Browse section
Cyclist at viewpoint over Ellerburn

Pickering to Highwood Brow

Starting in Pickering – southern gateway to the North York Moors National Park – this stage of the Moor to Sea meanders from the sweeping expanse of the Vale of Pickering through the wooded heart of Dalby Forest. It passes through the pretty village of Thornton le Dale and the peaceful hamlet of Ellerburn, before a gradual ascent through pleasant forest, mostly on good quality forest roads. At Low Dalby you’ll find a forest visitor centre, refreshments and cycle hire, after which you climb up onto the plateau and ride on to reach Highwood Brow, from where there are stunning views across Troutsdale.

Cycle route info

Route type:
Moors to Sea Network
14 miles (22.5km)
2½ to 4 hours
Start point:
Pickering roundabout
Cycle hire
Grid Ref:
SE 796 839
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL27
Plenty of choice in Pickering and Thornton le Dale; refreshments and visitor centre in Low Dalby; picnic areas at Low Dalby and Highwood Brow

About this cycle route

Roads and forest tracks with a fairly easy gradient, apart from a couple of moderate hills

This cycle route is part of the 'Moor to Sea Cycle Network', which connects Scarborough, Whitby, Dalby Forest, Pickering and Great Ayton in a stunning series of moorland, forest and coastal loops.

There are 11 different connecting sections, adding up to around 150 miles of cycling in total, through the very heart of the North York Moors National Park. Cycle it all at once (in 5 or 6 days), or tackle it a section at a time – each part of the route offers a different challenge.

There are more details on our Moor to Sea Cycle Network page, and a list of local hire outlets on the Cycle hire page.

Route highlights!

  • Enjoy an ice cream in picturesque Thornton le Dale
  • Don't miss the charming church in Ellerburn –  and the tea rooms too!
  • A shady ride through the woods in Dalby Forest
  • Visitor centre and café at Low Dalby