Loftus Bank

Distance 0.35 miles

Max Gradient around 12-15% (the sign at the top says 20%, don’t believe it!)

Where do you find it?

Following the A174 coast road from Saltburn to Whitby the climb starts after the descent from Carlin How on the opposite side of the valley. You can’t miss it!


A local classic and a good test of fitness, definitely one to seek out if you have just started cycling. Once round the hairpin on the Carlin Howe descent you can carry quite a bit of speed into the dip at the bottom. Try to maintain this speed going into the climb without going into the red by attacking it, instead click down the gears until you find your natural ascending speed, hopefully this will give you a bit of a head start. It isn’t a long climb so you can afford to give it a bit of oomph, it starts steep, maybe 12% or so, then eases to maybe 8% for a while. Just after the sign on the left saying ‘Loftus Welcomes Careful Drivers’ (an encouraging sight for cyclists!) the climb reaches its steepest point. This is probably 12%, 15% possibly, but nowhere near the claimed 20% of the sign at the top. People new to cycling who gain confidence from climbing this thinking it’s 20% will get a real shock when faced with a bona fide 20 percenter like Boulby Bank. In any case this steepest section only lasts for about 50 metres so if you’re feeling good you can afford to attack it, if you’re not don’t worry because the gradient eases and takes you to the top which is where the houses start.


The descent is quite good fun if free of traffic, the surface is decent, apart from a bit of poorly resurfaced road in the dip at the bottom, which you can avoid, so you can let the brakes off and carry some speed into the Carlin How ascent. There is a track on the left at the bottom of the dip and I once had a tractor pull out on me at this point so care is required. I can (almost) guarantee no sheep (no jokes please!) on this descent, a rarity for descents on this site. Great views down to Whitecliff Wood on the left, don’t look for too long though, remember you’re going down a hill!

Sheep Rating (out of 5)

A climb where sheep shouldn’t really be a problem. I consulted Dave and he says that he’s never encountered a sheep anywhere on this climb.



The start of the climb as you come out of the dip
The start of the climb as you come out of the dip
The steepest section, doesn’t look it on the photo, please note sign on the left, hopefully we cyclists should be safe, even Dave and Ian!
The steepest section, doesn’t look it on the photo, please note sign on the left, hopefully we cyclists should be safe, even Dave and Ian!

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Paul – 3. Steep enough and just long enough to get you blowing a bit, but relatively easy. You can make it hard if you want to attack it.
  • Dave – 3. Loftus bank! A favourite of mine, me and Ian Tyerman made the mistake of flicking the Vs at some idiot in a Subaru once on Loftus bank, big mistake, he stopped and got out, he was massive and had a chain round his neck that could anchor a ship, needless to say we had to grovel and apologise. (And there goes a warning for all of us! Paul)

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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