South Lakes Group

Your Local off-road cycle touring club

For cyclists who love off-road leisure cycling in the South Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales

Part of the ‘Where’s the Brew stop? The off-road cycle touring website’ The site about off-road cycle touring routes, cyclist’s cafes, local group events, the South Lakes Group and good photos


15th June 2013: The Saturday ride of Dufton Weekend to High Cup Nick via Scordale

Nick & Eileen at the meeting point

The Village of Murton

1st bridleway of the day Murton to Red Brow

The start of the track up Scordale

One of fords lower down Scordale

Nick & Eileen crossing a  ford in Scordale

A view up Scordale

Steve cycling up Scordale

Alistair & Nick negotiate a ford

We re-group at the disused mine workings

Even Norman had to push!

The bridleway was not obvious!

More pushing

Eventually we topped out onto the boggy moor

The bridleway by Maize Beck

Maize Beck

Nick & Eileen at High Cup Nick

Alistair at High Cup Nick

The going was still tough!

The bridleway eventually became easier

Ride report and ride photos by Ian Wood


The South lakes group had planned a weekend, based in Dufton. Some chose to hostel, others camp and some used B&B’s. Alistair, Norman, Mike Prescott and I met up in the Stag Inn in Dufton on the Friday eve for a chat and a last bit of planning, Nick and Eileen turned up a little later.


On Saturday morning Steve Gregson joined us. My original plan was to head up to the Warcop range, but after phoning up on Thursday, it was closed so we decided on a lower level route. We headed S.E. out of Dufton to Murton before turning right onto a track to Red Brow then back up the minor road to Hilton. Steve was looking at the information on the notice board in the village which said the ranges where open. After a quick chat the decision to head up Scordale was made.


The bridleway starts off as a well surfaced track past disused mines and other artefacts before deteriorating past the dam at Dow Scar. The track now was for the most part unrideable, with a lot of pushing and dragging round obstacles. Lunch was had in the relative lee of a boulder, despite the wind funnelling up the valley. Two of the group decided to head higher up to find a more sheltered spot. Suitably refreshed we carried on, at one point Nick had to detach his saddle bag and return back to it, while I gave him a hand with his bike. I could barely lift the bag, due to the amount of food in it!


We all met up just before the final push up to Scordale Head. We left the well-drained ground onto the boggy moorland of Swarth Beck Head. The bridlepath on the map is none existent on the ground and the group split up several times, each of us attempting to find something rideable. After pushing and riding in parts we stopped for a breather at the confluence of Maize and Swarth Beck. At this point most of us had wet, cold feet, well, I certainly did!


More pushing and riding led us towards the footbridge over Maize Beck just as the sun began to make an appearance, as we were beginning to chill off in the strong wind. Alistair crossed back over the footbridge at this point after pushing across Maize Beck earlier on to find a better path on the opposite bank. After the footbridge the path improved and was rideable all the way to the lip of High Cup Nick.


This has got to be one of the most impressive sights in England, especially when you have arrived there by bike. After lots of picture taking we followed the bridleway round the edge along the aptly named Narrow Gate. A combination of cycling, walking and pushing brought us to the steep track down to Dufton, with a couple of very steep bits giving the group a few surprises!


We followed the track past Dod Hill into the village of Dufton, where we went our separate ways, but not before arranging to meet up later in the pub later. A hard ride, but a most excellent day, proper rough stuffing and not a café in sight!


You can see more photos of the Saturday Ride on Alistair blog Al’s Outdoor World at this link.

You can click here to download  GPS route files of the route. To find out where we going next checkout forthcoming events page and don’t forget to post comment on our forum. Also checkout the What’s New Page to see what’s new on the site and you can also signup for site’s free weekly newsletter. You may find more photos taken on this ride by other members posted up on the South Lakes Flickr Group.

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Click here to see the ride photos of the Dufton Weekend Sunday ride to Great Dun Fell or click here to check out other photo galleries on the ‘Where’s the Brew Stop?’ Websites.

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