Rosedale Abbey is part of the “This Exploited Land of Iron” Project. Click for more info.

Rosedale Cycling

Rosedale, located in the North York Moors, is home to some of the UK’s best cycling terrain. Its unique landmarks have made it famous throughout the cycling world.

Tour De Yorkshire

Chimney Bank

Chimney Bank is the steepest public road in England.

The road gets its name from the now absent, 100ft tall brick-built chimney that used to sit atop the bank. This was part of the massive Iron-ore industry in Rosedale, and survived until the structure was declared dangerous and removed in 1982.

Chimney Bank is known by another name to cyclists. “The Chain Breaker” was listed in the Guardian’s Top 10 Toughest Cycle Climbs in Britain. It was also used as the venue for the National Hill Climb Championship in 1987. Cycling Weekly have even created a video talking you through how to climb the Rosedale Chimney!

And of course, there are those that argue it’s too tough even for the Tour De Yorkshire...

While Stage 1 (Bridlington to Scarborough) came through Rosedale in 2015, the organisers opted for a slightly gentler 3km of 7% gradient, rather than the 34% gradient and hairpin bends of The Chain Breaker.

Regardless of whether future Tour De Yorkshire races include Chimney Bank, Rosedale Abbey is an ideal base from which to watch the event and see cyclists as they pass over the nearby Moors.

Tour De Yorkshire 2015

The Old Railway

But it’s not all killer hills. There is plenty of much gentler cycling to be had in Rosedale too. Most notable is the Rosedale Railway ride, which follows the route of the old track that used to transport ore out of the Dale. Recently upgraded to a bridleway, the route meanders westwards across High Blakey Moor to Bloworth Crossing and beyond. To the east, the same rail route skirts around the head of Rosedale leading past the old mine buildings to Hill Cottages.

It’s a great ride for a summer’s day, offering a mix of moorland views and rest stops in quiet villages, all in the midst of the stunning North York Moors landscape. And there’s always an excellent pint awaiting thirsty cyclists at The Lion Inn.

Here are some suggested cycle routes that include a stretch along the Railway:

Spaunton Moor to Rosedale
23 miles / 37km

Blakey & Fryupdale Loop Mountain Bike Route
13 miles / 21km

Easby to Rosedale Abbey
19 miles / 31km

Moor To Sea Cycle Network

This is the North York Moors flagship cycling route. It connects Scarborough, Whitby, Dalby Forest, Pickering and Great Ayton in a stunning series of moorland, forest and coastal loops. Meandering through the very heart of the North York Moors National Park, there are around 150 miles to explore, with one section connecting Rosedale Abbey to Dalby Forest.

Rosedale Abbey to Dalby
15 miles / 24km