Scarborough - Fimber - Helmsley - Castleton - Whitby - Scarborough
Updated: Apr 10, 2019
112 miles of East Yorkshire Greatness!!
This RIDE was sent to us by Steve Barrett from Scarborough through the RIDE uk Facebook page.
Steve has this as his usual Sunday shake down and says this is one of his favourite rides. This is due to it taking in the Yorkshire Wolds, Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and coming to a conclusion through the North York Moors National Park and the North Yorkshire & Cleveland Heritage Coast.
This blog will use Steve's starting point of Scarborough and his usual clockwise orientation, however as it is a loop RIDE you can join it at any point and take it all in at your leisure and either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Starting at Scarborough there are 2 places that are great for visiting as a biker in my opinion. The 1st is Oasis Cafe on the North Bay & the other is Oliver's Mount Cafe up at the top of the famous Scarborough Races circuit. For this route we will start at Oliver's Mount.
From the cafe at the top of Oliver's Mount, overlooking Scarborough and the coast stretching north this is a brilliant spot to visit on the bike means that you get to do a lap of this road racing track as part of your day out.
A fitting place to start this ride is the starting line of the race circuit. After completing the 1st half the track, followed by a brew at the cafe and a look out over Scarborough from the memorial. You then complete the 2nd half of the hairpin loving circuit before you head out of Scarborough on the A64.
At the Staxton roundabout you take the 2nd exit following the A64 and pass the Shell fuel station on the left. Shortly after the fuel station you turn left at the traffic lights and head towards Driffield.
This is where you begin the ascent on the B1249 up to the start of the Yorkshire Wolds. This open, flowing road is a lot of fun as it winds its way through quick bends and ups and downs around the village of Foxholes. Once you have cleared Foxholes village it is uphill to the roundabout where you are taking the 3rd exit towards Sledmere on the B1253.
The B1253 from the roundabout is almost straight apart from some slight bends between the roundabout and the Sledmere estate village.
As you enter Sledmere you can't help but notice the typical red guttering and downpipes on all of the estate properties. A great looking small village with the red brick walled gardens that you meet at the T junction and turn right. Through the village you pass a large gated entrance on your left that is the main entrance to the estate, then what looks like the stables further along on the right - all with matching red trim in keeping with the village.
Beyond Sledmere is is a short journey to the next roundabout where you are taking the 1st exit where you immediately arrive at the Fimber Cafe on the right.
The Fimber Cafe is set back within the woodland that lines the roadside. Parking is on a gravel car park and the cafe itself is a small wooden log built building with outside seating and is also used as a picnic site. - I don't personally eat cake but I hear that the home made cake is especially good here.
Following a tea stop at the Fimber Cafe it is off again, and a steady descent from the Wolds through generally straight open roads that separate cropped fields on either side. It is when you pass through the small village of Wharram-le-Street that things change a little and the straight road is now slaloming down hill, through lefts and rights with a 14% decline as you head down to North Grimston village.
As you leave the 30mph limit of North Grimston and hit the national speed limit signs, you are taking the next left which is easily missed. This road continues downhill through the brilliant green countryside and the small village of Langton, on to a T junction. Here you turn left, immediately followed by a right. This right turn forks off past a farm building on your left where you continue towards the steep descent to the ruins of the Kirkham Priory - Well worth a look and a good spot for a photo.
From Kirkham Priory you cross the River Derwent via the stone bridge, then cross the level crossing of the railway before steeply climbing towards the A64 once again.
A left on to the A64 takes you a mile to the bottom of the hill where you are turning right across the dual carriageway, this turn is signposted for Slingsby & Castle Howard.
This next bit of road is great visually!! As you get through the gears up the hill and around some decent little bends you catch sight of the 1st of the man made things of beauty - the monument to the 7th Earl of Carlisle, a 110 ft column structure that sits proudly on the top of the hill.
From the monument this is the start of a 4 mile stretch of perfectly straight road that passes through the grounds of Castle Howard with lots of features for you to enjoy as you pass through.
The next 2 being a stunning combination of gatehouses that if you catch it right with no traffic you can get some decent photos of your bike with - as I did a few years ago when I was out that way with some pals.
Both of these gateways are single width which can mean some waiting if you catch it at busy times.
Following passing beneath the second gatehouse, you are immediately on to the next of these man made structures which is a grade 1, square plan obelisk that was built in 1714!! This sits in the middle of the roundabout that forms the entrance to Castle Howard itself.
On from the obelisk you follow the stunning tree lined, perfectly straight road away from Castle Howard and on towards Slingsby.
At Slingsby You reach a crossroads where you are turning left and heading through pituresque Hovingham with it's light grey, stone built buildings and charming green spaces with white fence borders . Once through Hovingham, the road winds it's way brilliantly for the next 8 miles to the very popular Helmsley.
Helmsley is a great Yorkshire market town with plenty of shops for the many visitors that pass through here. It is especially popular with bikers due to the brilliant riding to and from the town. On a good day you can expect to see hundreds of bikes all crammed into the market place.
Helmsley is also the venue for another big biking event that happens each year - The Farmyard Party, a bike rally run by MAG.
Leaving Helmsley towards Scarborough on the A170. There is a fuel station on the right if you need it before heading along this quick, winding road for 6 miles to Keldholme, where you are turning left and up hill to a truly brilliant road between here and Castleton.
At the base of the hill you are riding beneath a canopy of trees between Keldholme and Hutton-le-Hole. After Hutton-le-Hole the road crosses a cattle grid and climbs beautifully up the ridge top giving you beautiful views to either side of the hill you are riding along. As always, in these areas it is worth mentioning that sheep are roaming freely up here - so worth keeping that in mind.
Up on the tops the views are great but the road is better!! You have great visibility of the brilliant bends for miles ahead which means you can make good progress up here and push on a bit.
One thing to bare in mind when planning a trip up this way, is the cloud base. The hills up here are at over 400m above sea level so you can be in decent enough weather in Helmsley but then find yourself in thick fog up here. This unfortunately happened to us last year on a ride along this great road.
Following a good run from the tops and down the hill through Castleton, you find yourself once again climbing up hill through the village of Danby and on to quick, flowing moor tops before reaching the T junction with the A171.
At the T junction you are turning right for Whitby / Scarborough and heading past the Scaling Reservoir on your right before turning left at the sign for Runswick Bay / Sandsend.
This takes you on to the A174 down a steep descent to the seaside village of Sandsend. The road then follows in a southerly direction with the North Sea on your left shoulder all the way into Whitby.
Following the break in Whitby it is time for the final part of this RIDE. This takes you south through the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast.
As you cross the River Esk through the town of Whitby you see the replica of Captain Cook's ship Endeavour in the harbour with it's Yellow & blue paintwork, standing proud.
On through the town and back to the A171. Turning left and heading for Scarborough, you head up the hill and out of the town.
This takes you up, and on to the moor tops of Flyingdales which is a stunning biking road that will have you grinning for the next 10 miles or so. It is packed with beautiful bends that interrupt great, clear bits of road in a way that begs you to push on and doesn't have you reaching for the brakes too often.
This brilliant bit of road comes to a close as you reach the village of Cloughton and continue steadily back into Scarborough where a left turn at the North Bay roundabout brings you to the promenade before coming to a halt by the sea, in front of the Oasis Cafe.
A quick brew symbolises the end of a brilliant day out on the bike here.