Potash Bank (near Staithes)

Distance 0.7 miles

Max Gradient Around 10% at the bottom

Where do you find it?

This climb is on the main A174 Coast Road that runs from Whitby to Teesside. As you approach from Staithes village you can make out the climb as it cuts across to the left of the large hump that is Boulby Cliffs. The coast is on your right and dominating the view to the left is the imposing Potash mine works. After tackling the entertaining Staithes Dip you will then have to make your way up the long drag towards the start of the climb near the gatehouse to the mine.


The climb follows the main road, as you start you’ll be relieved that you’re not going straight on up the minor road that is Boulby Bank and its more severe gradient. After a couple of minutes of climbing though you’ll have forgotten about that as this ‘long drag’ at around 8 – 10% will begin to take its toll. The gradient is fairly steady and the road surface is good so it’s ‘just’ a case of finding a rhythm and keeping going until you reach the top 0.7 miles later. That said it’s not easy. This is a great descent, one where you can let your brakes off at the top, get into an aero position and enjoy a 40-45 mph cruise and wonderful views all the way to Staithes.


Potash Bank from a distance
Potash Bank from a distance


Our Ratings and Comments:

Paul 5

Dave 5

Steve 5/6

Mick 6

Nick 6

Simon 6

A bit of a slog or grind and based on experience how hard you find this will depend on the weather, as it’s quite exposed, and what you have tackled beforehand. The road actually starts to climb gradually for about a mile before you get to the start of the climb. Bearing this in mind and if you have a westerly wind to contend with (we had a northerly when we did it but more often than not it’s a westerly) and your making your way back to Teesside after a hard day’s riding on the moors it may well prove to be a much firmer test.

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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