The Climb out of Castleton

Distance 0.9 miles

Max Gradient 17% at the bottom section

Where do you find it?

I’m assuming that you can find Castleton which is situated at the north western corner of the North York Moors. From the village centre take the turn heading north signposted (I think) for Guisborough. The road twists and turns down towards the Eskdale Inn with the railway bridge above, this is where the climb starts.


A local favourite and one I suspect that most local cyclists have climbed many times. The good news is that you’ve already managed to haul yourself up to Castleton (unless you live in Castleton or have stuck the bike in the boot of the car and driven up – if so shame on you!) so you must be able to cope with hills and therefore have nothing to fear. The bad news (why does there always have to be bad news?) is that you may well be quite tired having done a hard ride and you also will have probably stopped off at Castleton Tea Rooms for a teacake or two, this is compulsory if you ride with Dave Kirton.

The climb is steep at the start and stays at about 17% or so for the first quarter of a mile so it’s just a case of finding a gear and a rhythm that you are comfortable with and getting over this bit without going too much into the red. As the road swings right the gradient relents and the climb becomes much easier allowing you to admire the wonderful view of the valley falling away to your left. The climb now becomes quite enjoyable if you’re content to twiddle up it. The gradient never gets too severe, perhaps 8% or so, with a flattish bit after the cattle grid and it eventually plateaus out before you reach Three Howes Rigg where the road up from Commondale joins. As a descent this can be quite entertaining and you can really build up speed, make sure you have your hands ready on the brakes before you get to the Eskdale Inn though as you often meet traffic coming out of the pub car park at busier times of the week.


View of the climb across the valley from Castleton Rigg
View of the climb across the valley from Castleton Rigg

Our Ratings and Comments:

  • Paul 4,  ‘a climb of two halves, once you are over the bottom section it’s actually quite enjoyable’
  • Dave 4,  ‘a good climb after tea and teacakes, gets your radiator warmed up after the winter tea stop’

The secret to this climb is not to go too hard on the steep bottom section. That said I’ve done this climb after a hard ride such as the 50 in 4 and with not much in the legs it can turn into a bit of a grind, it’s also one of those climbs that seems much harder in winter when you have a heavy winter bike and a cold northerly wind to deal with.

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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