Distance 0.9 miles to Lythe village, 0.7 miles to the church and end of the steep section
Max Gradient genuine 25% at the bottom
Where do you find it?
The climb starts on the A174 at Sandsend about 2 miles to the north west of Whitby. It makes sense to do this on the way back to the Teesside area after a good ride out over the moors, maybe via Whitby. You can approach the climb by following the main road from Whitby, but there is a better way. Dropping down the A171 Moor Road towards Whitby take the left turn just after the first Aislaby turn on the right, it will be signposted Hutton Mulgrave. There now follows a brilliant section of minor road that descends for around three miles into Sandsend. Turn right after about a mile following the signs for Sandsend. The road is narrow, twisty, a bit gravelly in places, but never less than exciting. The views to Sandsend Wyke are magnificent and it ends with a short 25% downhill section that brings you right onto the sea front.
Even after the great approach recommended above, Sandsend doesn’t disappoint, especially on a sunny day. The road is well surfaced and twists and turns through the village making its way over a small bridge before following the sea front to the foot of the climb. This is a well known climb and another local classic, a bit like Saltburn Bank when you say you’re a road cyclist people will often ask if you’ve climbed it.
The climb itself starts with a really steep section of 25% for a hundred metres or so going left, then right, then left again with houses to the left and a large wall to your right. This bottom bit is hard going but it relents to around 8-10% before it really starts to bite into your reserves, now it’s a case of pacing yourself to the top. It levels off some more at a small cottage on your left, but it’s not over yet as it steepens to around 12% shortly afterwards. Once over this bit it’s more or less done and the big church on the left is really the end of the serious climbing although the road drags upwards all the way to the village of Lythe at the top. A climb of real character.
It is tempting to fly down this, and to some extent you can, providing you slow up before the steep bottom section. If you go into this carrying too much speed you could be heading for disaster as there’s no run off area and only metal barriers and a big wall to halt your progress. If it’s wet tread very carefully.
Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of five)
Been down this loads of times and have never seen a sheep, neither has Dave and if even he hasn’t seen one then it’s only a:
However Dave does warn that sheep are everywhere on the road that connects the top of the climb to the moor road, so take care.
Our Ratings and Comments
- Paul – 6. Another great climb, not too difficult as long as you don’t go hard at the bottom. Having low gears are a definite advantage, with ‘old fashioned’ gears i.e. 52/39 chainset and 12-23 cassette this is much harder, a real grind and a different proposition altogether.
- Dave – 6. A feared hill that raises an eyebrow as people who don’t cycle can’t believe we can get up it. In reality it’s not that difficult. It’s a nice climb after a snack at the Sandsend Café, the one in the new wooden hut!
Note the ratings are :-
- Where’s the slope?
- No problem
- Big ring
- Spinning a gear
- It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
- Light up all the boilers!
- Handlebar snapper
- Licking the front wheel
- Dinner plate required
- Fetch a nurse!