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Mountain Bike Routes - Helmsley
Mountain Bike Route - Helmsley - Nunnington - Hovingham - The Hambleton Hills - Rievaulx
Except for a bridleway between Hovingham and Cawton, this route is entirely on roads and can be negotiated on any type of bike. The fIrst part of the route is, with the exception of where it crosses Caulkleys Bank between Nunnington and Hovingham, a flat and easy ride but after Oswaldkirk it becomes increasingly undulating. The road from Oldstead north to the A170 at Sutton Bank is steep and will require some walking except for the very fit. At Sutton Bank a Visitor Centre is run by the North York Moors National Park. A short walk beyond is the stop western edge of the Hambleton Hills with wonderful views across the Vale of York towards The Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines. A comprehensive network of roads is shown on the map and it is easy to adapt the route to suit individual needs or time restrictions.
The route passes through Nunnington (see Route 3) and Hovingham. Hovingham has been the home of the Worsley family since the mid 16th Century. Hovingham Hall, a house built in the Palladian style by Thomas Worsley in the mid 18th Century, is only open to the public for certain specific events. The house and surrounding parkland can be admired from various points in and around the village.
Abbeys and Monasteries
Ampleforth is home to Ampleforth Abbey and College, a Roman Catholic monastery and public school founded by the Benedictine monks who fled the turmoil of Revolutionary France at the beginning of the 18th Century. At Byland are the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey built around 1177. Go through an old gate house on the way to Oldstead before continuing along a narrow and winding road with beautiful views of the wooded slopes of the Hambleton Hills on the right. Founded by the Cistercians in 1131, Rievaulx Abbey is one of the most impressive ecclesiastical ruins in England. Above the Abbey is Rievaulx Terrace which, with its two neoclassical temples, was built in the mid 18th Century by Thomas Duncombe. Except for a short climb out of Rievaulx to the main road this whole section is a freewheel downhill.
Apart from Cawton and Rievaulx (refreshments are available at the abbey) there is a pub in every village.