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.
Other things to do nearby
One of York’s premier attractions, the National Railway Museum is the largest of its kind in the UK, with upwards of 100 locomotives lining the tightly packed site close to the city centre.
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
Walk around the picturesque Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors. Lockton is the start of the 5.6 mile Bride Stones walk, taking in some of the Moors famous geological features.
Mountain Biking in Dalby Forest is a must for biking enthusiasts, with over 40 miles of man made trails at your wheels.
The National Park has over 1400 miles of cycle ways for you to discover. Get out and about on your bike and enjoy the landscape.
Sightseeing has never been so much fun! Hop on and off as much as you like, and see all the sights that the city has to offer. One route, but with 20 stops. Visit the Bus Tour website
Set within 1000 acres of breathtaking landscape, the estate houses the Arboretum Trust - a collection of botanically important trees. Visit the website
Explore the ‘upstairs, downstairs’ life of the Judges, their servants & felonious guests at this stunning house.
This medieval castle’s impressive ruins stand on a rocky outcrop overlooking the River Rye and still dominate the town.
The largest fleet of modern sightseeing boats outside London. Sit back, relax and enjoy York by day or night down the River Ouse. Visit the website
Step back in time with magnificent steam engines and beautiful rural stations. The railway is lovingly preserved and charmingly authentic.
An unforgettable experience and chance to see the veterinary practice that was at the heart of the much loved stories. Visit the website
Located on the NCN Route 65 with access along the riverside into the city centre or North out of York to Beningbrough Hall, The Howardian Hills & the North York Moors – perfect road cycling countr
Get on your bike and head to Dalby Forest, a must for mountain biking enthusiasts with over 40 miles of man made trails for you to explore.
Explore York by bike on one of the City Cycling route maps from hostel. A great way to explore, you can stop any time for a spot of sightseeing or maybe a treat in the famous Betty's Tea Rooms.
3.4 miles This unusual monastery is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain. Don't miss the reconstructed monk’s cell and herb plot. Visit the website