East Witton to Jervaulx Abbey
Matt Carroll, author of Escape Routes, picks his favourite rides…
alking into the Blue Lion at East Witton is like rewinding the clock back 200 years. The old stone floors are worn from centuries of shuffling feet and the fireplace stained from countless roaring blazes.
In fact, the atmosphere is so olde worlde that you wouldn’t bat an eyelid if a top-hatted coachman walked through the door – having lost his way somewhere between here and 1789.
The countryside surrounding East Witton has hardly changed since then either. Within minutes you’re pootling over an old stone bridge that’s barely wide enough to fit a car, then on past freshly ploughed fields the colour of cocoa.
It’s enough to get you thinking about food – chocolate ice cream in particular – and a few easy miles later you’ll arrive at High Jervaulx Farm, where 35 flavours are on offer in the café. It’s all made fresh, the cream coming from cows chewing away matter-of-factly in the nearby fields.
On the way back to East Witton, why not stop off at Jervaulx Abbey ruins. They date back to 1156 – making the Blue Lion look positively new-build…
11 miles approx.
Stop and see
Family-run High Jervaulx Farm (01677 460337) is a dream come true for ice cream junkies. Try the raspberry cheesecake…
Eat, drink, sleep
The Blue Lion (01969 624273) has 12 uniquely styled rooms and excellent food in its atmospheric bar. What more do you need?
Rent a bicycle
Dales Mountain Biking (01748 884908).
This route and over 50 others feature in a book entitled Matt Carroll’s Escape Routes , a hand-picked selection of stunning cycle rides around England. Published by Punk, priced £16.95.
Rugged hills dotted with fluffy sheep and new born lambs.Yorkshire Dales