A circular route starting and finishing in Ravenscar village on the North Yorkshire coast. The route is a mixture of sheltered easy riding on a disused railway path and tough riding over exposed moorland. This is not a route for beginners, but the railway part could be done by novices quite easily as a there-and-back ride.
Follow the track in front of the NT centre as it slopes down to join the rail path. Head NE and follow the track for approx 4kms. This section is easy riding on a fairly solid path. It's quite flat but can have muddy puddles after rain. There are occasional views over the sea and across to Robin Hoods Bay. Leave the track at (944027) where a road bridge crosses the track. The ramp up to the road is on the left just past the bridge. Riding up or down this ramp is a challenge worth trying.
A bit of road riding due SW for 1km brings you to Colcroft Farm and a bridleway heading southish (937022). Follow this bridleway down, and up, and down. An uphill slog brings you to Springhill Farm. Follow through their yard and down hill again. Look out for the slurry pond that sometimes forms at the bottom. Cross the stream, and head uphill again (probably walking some of the way) to Cook House (945006). At the junction of bridleways and tracks head east up onto Stoney Marl Moor on a bridleway. Follow this path for approx 2kms of difficult, bumpy, fun MUniing. It feels further because it's gently uphill most of the way. On clear days it's great up there with the heather stretching off into the distance and only the occasional mountain biker for company. If it's raining, or a fret has descended wreathing the moor in mist, then it's a lonely old place. An accident in these conditions is no joke.
On clear days the radio mast at (971012) can be seen most of the way across the moor. This is where you are aiming for. At the mast, turn left onto the road for about 0.5km before plunging down the bridleway to your right at (967016). This little gem of a path is best in dry weather. There's a large holly bush to dodge, and some great riding on a narrow trail with glorious views over the bay and village. The path becomes a minor road and takes you to the main road (979011). Turn left and head back into Ravenscar.
Having always done this route the way described above, we were shocked when we tried it in the reverse direction - it is a lot easier! The ride across the moor is downhill and fun, while the uphill is made up on the railway path, which is a lot easier and a very gentle gradient.
The Foxcliffe tearooms on Station Rd do really good homemade cakes (my fave is the chocolate orange one) and are happy to serve mud splattered MUniers. There are public toilets near the start point and loads of parking space on Station Rd.