New Way (Over Danby High Moor)

Distance 1.07 miles

Max Gradient – the gradient is variable with steep ramps that go up to around 15%

Where do you find it?

Just after leaving Castleton heading towards Danby take a right at the bottom of the short descent. Follow the road towards Ainthorpe (this in itself has a few short steep inclines). Once into the village centre take the right turn which almost doubles back on itself and keep on this road which drags slightly upwards. After about mile you go past Danby Castle on your left, follow the road for another mile and you will reach the foot of the climb at the T junction after Slate Hill House, our route goes up!


A dull name for a great climb, I didn’t know that the climb even had a name until I looked on the OS map. The climb has a great deal of character and a real feeling of remoteness, even for the North York Moors. The road cuts across Danby Rigg going past the sign that says ‘single track road, no passing places’. Despite being a narrow road the surface is good throughout and you are gradually eased in with a slope of around 5%, after a couple of minutes riding the road bends to the left and you are then faced with the first of three steep ramps of around 15%. None of these last long but are enough to make it uncomfortable and you are glad of the flatter sections in between.

As such you are faced with a decision to make as it’s one of those climbs where you can make it hard for yourself by attacking the steep sections and recovering in between, great for hill interval training if that’s your thing. It might have been for me in the past but today I chose the other option, which was to stick it in a low gear and just twiddle up, even doing this though it is no walkover. After the last steep ramp the climb continues to wind its way at around 6-7% up to the top of Danby High Moor. There is no obvious summit to the climb as the road then continues to rise very slightly until it joins the road that takes you from Blakey Ridge to Rosedale and our next port of call the Chimney.

We’d descended the climb the day before and it’s a cracker, twisty, but not too bad, so you can always maintain a decent speed and the surface is good and grippy. The only thing you have to be wary of are the famous, or infamous, North York Moors sheep, I always follow the rule that if their heads are down they’re not going to move, but if their heads are up and they are looking around be prepared to take evasive action!


The bottom of the climb, the road then cuts left across the hill.
The bottom of the climb, the road then cuts left across the hill.

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Paul – 7.
  • Rob – 6.
  • Ian – 7.
  • Dave – 6,

We all thought that this was a climb of great character in a beautiful and exposed setting. Despite cycling around here for years (in the case of Dave and myself) we had somehow never stumbled across it. It was a good approach to the climb as well coming up through Ainthorpe from the Esk Valley. The steep sections are certainly a test and late in a ride with a wind whistling down off the top it would be a tough proposition.

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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