The White Lion to Cock Hill

Distance: 6889 metres, Ascent: 345 metres, route map

The road from Hebden Bridge over the moors to Oxenhope was built by French prisoners of war from Napoleonic times and a fine job they made of it. The previous route, the old Haworth road, is now a bridleway on the western side of the valley. It’s a great ride on a mountain bike or similar but it was largely impassable to horse and carts hence the need for the improved road.

Unlike the other rides that start in Hebden Bridge this one never gets horrendously steep. It’s just 7 kilometres of steady ascent that takes you from the centre of Hebden Bridge to the boundary of Calderdale. It isn’t quite the longest continuous gradient in England – you’ll have to go all the way to Mytholmroyd for that – but it’s not far off either. What it lacks in distance it makes up for in ascent making it a tougher proposition than Cragg Vale.

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Start on the A6033 with the White Lion pub on your left and set off uphill. And just keep pedalling. The steepest bits are in Hebden Bridge and on a busy day you may be held up by traffic because the road here is narrow and congested but after that it should all be plain sailing. The road heads north and climbs steadily but not too steeply in the shadow of the trees until you reach the village of Pecket Well.

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Once you’re out the other end of the village the gradient decreases and your speed can increase. The ride ends when you reach the stone boundary stone and a notice declaring that you are welcome to Oxenhope (immediately remove dog faeces).

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