Wilton Bank

Wilton Bank

Distance 0.3 miles

Max Gradient 1 in 5, the sign is in old money, for you youngsters out there this equates to 20%

Where do you find it?

This climb is tucked away to the east of the Eston Hills and connects Guisborough to Wilton Village via a narrow country lane. From the west head through Eston and then onto the A174 at Lackenby roundabout taking the slip road for the chemical plant which will also say Wilton Village, or you could follow the cycle lane through Lazenby Village if you want to avoid the dual carriageway. At the end of the slip road turn right, then left, then take the second right turn marked Wilton Village. If you are coming from the east (Redcar) stay on the A174 and take the slip road marked Wilton Village and then take the first left.

Description

This is a climb many people might not have done as it isn’t on any logical route, unless you live nearby like me, so you may have to make a special journey to climb it. After going through Wilton Village you take a sharp right then left, the climb starts at the 1 in 5 sign. The road narrows straight after this and has stone wall on the left hand side, so watch out for any traffic coming down the hill. Once round this the road widens and ramps up steeply to its full 1 in 5, from here on in it’s straight up without the respite of any corners. After the initial really steep section it does ease slightly and you think that you can see the top but try to avoid making a quick dash to get it over with as it goes on a little bit further than you think. You’ll be pleased to exit the woods and see Bank Top Farm, aptly named!

The surface of the climb is good with smooth tarmac throughout. It does go through a wooded area though and the road sees little light which means that it stays wet after other roads have dried and is also one of the last to thaw if there has been any snow or a frost. This along with the tight corners and narrow stretch near the walls at the bottom make it a potentially hazardous descent for those that haven’t done it before. The sign at the top says ‘Cyclists Dismount!’ a bit of an exaggeration but caution is required to avoid a visit to A&E.

Photos

The start of the climb - where's my lights?

The start of the climb – where’s my lights?

1 in 5 all the way

1 in 5 all the way

The warning at the top

The warning at the top

 

Our Ratings and Comments:

Paul 5 – I did this climb on my own, it’s a climb I know very well as I have used it for hill intervals in preparation for the Club Hill Climb and I also run up it in winter when I’m training for fell runs. It’s too steep and a bit too long to attack it in the same way as you can Saltburn Bank but if you stick it in a low gear and take it steady it’s quite manageable. Saying that there are times when I’ve found it quite a struggle especially if I’m not feeling great or if I go up it in winter when my fitness has dipped and I’m on my winter bike.

Note the ratings are :-

  1. Where’s the slope?
  2. No problem
  3. Big ring
  4. Spinning a gear
  5. It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
  6. Light up all the boilers!
  7. Handlebar snapper
  8. Licking the front wheel
  9. Dinner plate required
  10. Fetch a nurse!

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