Cow Wath Bank (Goathland)

Distance 1.50 miles

Max Gradient 25% at the bottom

Where do you find it?

The approach that most people from the Teesside area will take is that from Egton Bridge ascending the Key Green climb first then rather than following the Roman Road towards Stape and Cropton taking a left turn towards the village of Goathland. Heading east follow the wonderful wide road that cuts through the village. This is Heartbeat Country and the club has a connection with the show as member Steve Ward once had a starring role in the show, well he appeared as a racing cyclist for about 90 seconds when he was a much younger and slimmer man! The climb starts after the road drops down and crosses the railway bridge, if you’re lucky you might also see a real life steam train!


Of all the climbs on this site this one is perhaps the easiest to describe. It starts incredibly steeply as it sweeps to the left, maybe even approaching the claimed 25%. This probably lasts for only 150 metres or so though before flattening off to slopes of around 3 to 8% for the remainder of its 1.5 miles. So in the main this is your classic long drag over a broad expanse of moor. Ian commented that the road itself is quite boring, being wide, well surfaced and barring one left hand kink after the steep section, quite straight. What saves it though is the wonderful panorama and staggering beauty of the moor. This reveals itself to its full extent at the summit at Breckon Howe, just short of the main Whitby to Pickering Road with views extending as far as Whitby, Fylingdales military station and the high moors of Glaisdale, Egton and Rosedale to the west.

The Descent

As a descent this is quite safe with a good surface, straight for the most part, and nothing to obstruct your view. The only real challenging section is the steep right hander at the bottom where a degree of care is needed.

Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of 5)

Dave was pointing out the sheep as we ground our way up the slope and over the open moor, ‘they may look harmless’, he said ‘but you should never trust them’. Wise words!



Dave and Ian attack the start of the climb
Dave and Ian attack the start of the climb

Our Ratings and Comments:

The true character of the climb, open windswept moor.
The true character of the climb, open windswept moor.
Dave and Ian at the top, it looks warm, in reality just above 0 degrees
Dave and Ian at the top, it looks warm, in reality just above 0 degrees

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Ian/Paul/Dave – We all gave it a 5. A long grind which would normally have the prevailing south westerly wind to assist you. We had a strong north easterly which made it much tougher than it should have been. It’s so exposed that the wind is nearly always going to play a part one way or another.

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!

Paul Christon