Gargrave to Airton
This triangular loop is north of Gargrave and predominantly in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Most of the route follows the Pennine Cycleway Route 68 and visits several lovely Dales villages along the way.
The route at a glance
- Distance: 13.4 miles/21.6km
- Approx Time: 3 hours
- Climb: 291m
- Start and finish: Gargrave
- Parking: Gargrave
- Difficulty: Moderate
Listed as Airtone in the Domesday Book, Airton (pictured) was a significant Quaker community in the 17th-century. The Friends Meeting House remains from then, despite the village now having a population of just 175 people.
From the car park opposite Gargrave Village Hall follow the black finger post signs. Turn right up the hill on West Street signposted for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. After crossing the canal, turn left onto Mark House Lane (a dead end for cars) and continue on this road as it climbs up through the woods and turns into a track.
Keep following Mark House Lane, as it turns 90degrees left and then right at two farms on a descent, which brings you to cross the River Aire and into a three-way junction in Bell Busk. Turn left onto a tarmac road. Immediately over a bridge make a right turn signed Bell Busk. Follow the road for 2.5km to Otterburn village.
Turn right onto Helifield Road at the T-junction in Otterburn by the bridge, signposted Airton. Follow this road to Airton.
In Airton village you will reach the main village crossroads and green. Follow Calton Lane down to the river and up to the village of Calton. At Hall Brow, turn right and follow the road (which turns into Abbey Hill) on to Winterburn village. This is a fast descent and there is a narrow bridge near Winterburn, so be careful.
Turn left at the narrow bridge into Winterburn Lane signposted Hetton. Then take a right turn into Hills Lane and follow this road for 3km as it climbs up and down into Hetton village: Take care entering the village as it is narrow road.
At the first crossroads in Hetton, turn right and then right again in to Fleets Lane which heads back to Gargrave. Follow this road for 5km, through Flasby and onto Gargrave, turning left at the T-junction with Eshton Hall on the right hand side.
Just before the canal, turn right onto a minor road that takes you into the car park at Gargrave.