Mountain biking in Helmsley

Mountain biking in Helmsley


Situated between the North York Moors, The Howardian Hills and the Vale of Pickering, YHA Helmsley is one of the best locations in the country for mountain biking.
 The variety of the area is superb; a combination of moorland heather tracks, steep sided valleys, and twisting woodland single tracks make the North York Moors undoubtedly one of the best mountain biking areas in England.
 (FF denotes family friendly routes)
 Helmsley Loop is a moderate route of 19.9 miles (38km), with 2558ft of ascent. With 80% off road, this route is suitable for riders wanting a reasonably long ride without the hard technical sections of some of the moorland routes.
 Sutton Bank Centre (FF)
 Only seven miles from the hostel is the newly opened Sutton Bank Centre. With three interlocking trails heading north along the escarpment, cycling at this centre is fantastic for the views alone; out over the Vales of Mowbray and York, a view described by Alf Wright (the real life James Herriot) as one of the finest in England. For younger and novice cyclists there is a skills area beside the centre, with the three mile, family-friendly, green graded Cliff Trail suitable for beginners. For those riders with more reasonable off-road skills there is a choice of the 5.5 or 7.5 mile more technically demanding Blue Graded Fort Trail. The ultimate challenge for the more experienced mountain biker is the 17.5 mile Paradise Trail, which contains various technical features; including K2, the steepest section in the Sutton Bank trail system.
 Dalby Forest Centre (FF)
 Having hosted races in 2010 and 2011 as part of the World Mountain Bike Championships, Dalby Forest is internationally recognised as one of the best XC racing venues in the UK. However it’s not just for the experienced rider. With over 56km of graded well-maintained trails, ranging from pleasant family-friendly green routes to the gnarly, severe graded trail used in Championship races there is something for everyone to enjoy, including a skills area at Dixon’s Hollow.
 The Moors to Sea Cycle Network is a series of eleven stunning cycling routes through the heart of the National Park, from wild and dramatic moorland to the breath-taking heritage coast. The whole route is about 240km/150 miles that can be done in leisurely week, or as one or more sections for a day ride.
 The Cinder Track (FF) follows the old disused coastal railway running for 23 miles between Scarborough and Whitby, forms part of National Cycle Network 1, and is also part of the Moors to Sea Network. It’s a wonderful family friendly off-road route with stunning sea views and refreshment stops at Cloughton, Robin Hoods Bay, and Ravenscar.

The North York Moors hosts many events and sportives, including the Nutcraker MTB Series with a race at Dalby Forest 26th April.  Visit the following website for a full list of events.


Hostels nearby

Mountain biking in Helmsley

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Map references

OS Grid Ref: SE 61274 83837

Lat/Lng: 54.246562, -1.0611754

Contact information

Other things to do nearby

Cycling in Helmsley

Cycling in Helmsley

Situated between the North York Moors, The Howardian Hills and the Vale of Pickering, YHA Helmsley is one of the best locations in the country for cycling.

Helmsley, near Moorsbus bus stop

Moorsbus (around Helmsley & other hostels)

A fantastic community run bus service connecting surrounding towns within the North York Moors allowing you to leave your car at home.  The services run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Ho

Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle

This medieval castle’s impressive ruins stand on a rocky outcrop overlooking the River Rye and still dominate the town.

Cleveland Way

Cleveland Way in Helmsley

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the nation’s favourite national trail that starts here in Helmsley.

Helmsley Walled Garden through this door in a wall

Helmsley Walled Garden

Built in 1759, the beautiful five-acre walled garden is within the grounds of Duncombe Park and beneath Helmsley Castle.

Bird of prey on visitor's arm

National Centre for Birds of Prey

Set in the ancient woodlands of Duncombe Park, the centre houses the largest collections of birds of prey in the north of England with daily flying displays and winter owl evenings.

Rievaulx Abbey ruins in North Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx is one of the most atmospheric and complete of all the ruined abbeys. Don't miss the 18th century Terrace. There are also special events, such as falconry displays.

Nunnington Hall house frontage in North Yorkshire

Nunnington Hall

In a sheltered walled garden by the River Rye, this National Trust run 17th century manor house has a fascinating collection of period miniature rooms.

Ryedale Folk Museum, internal of a farm house

Ryedale Folk Museum

Explore the displays that brings to life the lives of ordinary people from pre-historic times to the present day.

Flamingo Land

Flamingo Land

One of the county's top theme parks, with rides for all of the family, including Mumbo Jumbo, which has the steepest drop in the world. Visit the website

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Set within 1000 acres of breathtaking landscape, the estate houses the Arboretum Trust - a collection of botanically important trees. Visit the website

World of James Herriot Museum

World of James Herriot Museum

An unforgettable experience and chance to see the veterinary practice that was at the heart of the much loved stories. Visit the website

Cycling through Hutton-Le-Hole in North Yorkshire

Cycling in Osmotherley

National Cycle network (Route 65) passes by the Mill which takes in minor roads and traffic-free routes on bridleways past Cod Beck reservoir.