Mountain Biking the Nidd Valley Circular in Nidderdale

Welcome to my written account of our mountain biking adventure in Nidd Valley. To be honest I can’t recall much about the ride apart from the trauma caused by falling off my bike 🙂

The meetup

Our ride started at Pateley Bridge. We have been here a few times over the years, on various bike rides and journeys through the town. It’s a lovely small market town in the Borough of Harrogate. There are several shops and various places to eat. It is well worth a visit, you can go walking or hiking in the area or even have a look around the Nidderdale Museum. You can find many interesting places to visit that aren’t very far away.

The route

Below is a map of the route that we took on this particular ride. The route was 23 miles. However, the ride felt much longer due to the many hills we had to navigate. Also, I felt every single mile because my leg was injured after my tumble.

Mountain biking Nidd Valley Circular route map

You can see from the map that we rode around the Gouthwaite reservoir. If I had been watching the path instead of looking out at the picturesque scenery, I could have possibly remained on my bike.

After passing the first reservoir of the day, we headed towards Lofthouse. Here we managed to find a public toilet (not all our rides have this luxury). We then continued our journey following the River Nidd, to our second reservoir. This was along the path of the Old Nidd Valley Light Railway. Scar House Reservoir has a lovely little cafe where we rested our legs and had a bite to eat before heading back towards Pateley Bridge. On the return journey, we took the opposite side of Gouthwaite reservoir.

The Summary

Overall, the route was very pleasant, there were some hills and uneven rough paths but it makes the ride more memorable if it becomes an adventure. I would highly recommend exploring what the area has to offer.

If are interested in the Nidd Valley ride or you would like to see me go sideways please feel free to check out the video below.

If you liked our video about mountain biking in Nidd Valley, then you should check out some of our other films on YouTube Here

If you would like to read about other great bike rides have a look at our article 5 top cycle routes in Derbyshire & the Peak District

Happy Trails


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