Clay Bank (from Westwood farm)

Distance 0.65 miles

Max Gradient Difficult to say exactly but probably 15-18% at a guess

Where do you find it?

Follow the Great Broughton to Ingleby Greenhow road and take the right turn signposted Chop Gate just before you reach Ingleby Greenhow. If you are coming from Ingleby Greenhow the turn will be on your left just after you leave the village. The road follows a narrow and twisty country lane and goes in a general uphill direction for about a mile before the climb really starts. Just before you reach the start have a look up towards your right and you can make out the top near Clay Bank car park, don’t let this put you off!


If you like climbs with a steady gradient choose another climb or opt for the approach on the main road from Great Broughton. The bottom of this climb starts with a steep ramp and you have to decide whether to select a low gear and accept your fate or you may prefer to turn a higher gear and attack it a bit out of the saddle. If you opt for the latter good luck. The gradient then eases a bit before kicking up again and you find yourself in and out of the saddle as you try to find a rhythm. You then reach a flattish section where you can get a bit of recovery before you get to the final steep section. If you are feeling okay at this point it might actually be easier to get out of the saddle and try and get it over with as quickly as possible. If you’re not feeling okay don’t worry as you haven’t got far to go. With your legs and lungs aching you will eventually reach the junction with the B1257 Stokesley to Helmsley road where you have the option of a little bit more easy climbing to crest the top if you go left or a wonderful descent right back to Great Broughton if you go right.

The surface of the climb is now quite rough, especially near the bottom. As a descent it is quite entertaining and you need to pick a good line to avoid drifting too far over to the right. With the variations in gradient, poor surface in places and a couple of blind corners it can be quite nerve racking at full speed with the brakes off, especially in the wet. Cars coming up can restrict your lines too so some caution is needed.


The white dots are the cars in the car park at the top, that's where you're heading
The white dots are the cars in the car park at the top, that’s where you’re heading
The steep middle section with Hasty Bank crags in the background
The steep middle section with Hasty Bank crags in the background
Steeper than it looks on the photo, the final ramp to the top
Steeper than it looks on the photo, the final ramp to the top




Our Ratings and Comments:

  • Paul – 6
  • John K – 7
  • John P – 7
  • Mick – 7

We all feel that this is the toughest of the three possible ascents of Clay Bank and is a worthy challenge. It is an interesting climb of good character and is normally quite traffic free. It is well within the scope of most cyclists though and a compact chainset will guarantee success.

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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