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St Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale

Kirkdale and Kirkbymoorside

Head off from Hutton le Hole on moorland, woodland and country lanes, through the small, quiet villages of Gillamoor and Fadmoor. There are stops at a peaceful old mill and the beautiful Saxon church at Kirkdale, both tucked away in idyllic surroundings, before the long pull up and around to the bustling market town of Kirkbymoorside. There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments here, after which it's a straightforward ride back into Hutton le Hole.

Cycle route info

Route type:
Explorer route
13 miles (21km)
2½ hours
Start point:
Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole
Cycle hire
Grid Ref:
SE 705 900
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL26
Pub in Gillamoor; pubs, cafés and restaurants in Kirkbymoorside
GPX file, MMO file

About this cycle route

Explorer route, for mountain bikes and hybrids.

Start with a moorland road ride to Lowna, after which it's an undulating route with several uphill climbs on mostly quiet country roads. The long climb up to Gillamoor is the hardest part of the route, but is rewarded with stunning scenery and a chance to catch your breath. There is some off-road riding in the middle (gently downhill, to Hold Cauldron Mill), and while this might be manageable on a road bike, parts of the track can be rutted and muddy after rain. The track out of Ravenswick can also be a bit rough in parts.

Route credits
Thanks to our friends at Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton le Hole who devised this route. It's one of a series of three 'Heritage Cycle Rides', which are available as free guides (including route map) from the museum – this route had the original title 'Mistress, Mill and Minster' (Heritage Cycle Route 2).

Route highlights!

  • The view from the moorland road en route to Gillamoor
  • St Gregory's Minster, a beautifully sited ancient Saxon church at Kirkdale
  • Cycling through the woodland near Hold Cauldron Mill
  • Ride on a Wednesday – it's market day in Kirkbymoorside!

The tale of Sarkless Kitty

Cross Lowna Bridge and shiver at the tale of 'Sarkless Kitty', a local girl who was cast off when she fell pregnant. Despite a raging storm, she persuaded her lover to meet her at Lowna ford, but when a farmer told Kitty that he had seen her beau riding to town instead, she feared betrayal – and removing her 'sark' (a chemise), she plunged into the river. Her body was found later, along with that of her lover – in his pocket, a wedding ring, bought from the nearby town. It's said Kitty's ghost lured young men to their deaths here for many years.