SEPTEMBER saw hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and storm Aileen battering Britain. Fortunately a fine day eventually came around, and I enjoyed some unseasonal sunshine on my ride west from Whitby.

Start from Whitby railway station, and head east (towards the harbour) and over the famous swing bridge. Beyond the bridge, stay on the main road as it bends 90 degrees right, to run inland with the river Esk off to your right. This is Church Street. Watch for the historic Seamans’ Hospital Houses, for retired seafarers, on your left.

A gentle climb then brings you to a junction with the main A171, Teesside to Scarborough road. Cross with care. There’s a handy pelican crossing. Continue in the same direction as before (south) now in Larpool Lane, with a small trading estate on your right hand side. Pause and look over your shoulder here, just by the entrance to the trading estate, for a fine view of the abbey.

Continue straight on and very quickly leave the built up area. Follow this narrow road all the way to Ruswarp. The road bridge across the Esk here resembles the Sydney Harbour bridge, but much smaller of course.

Built in 1936 by Dorman Long, it replaces the last of several earlier bridges swept away by floods. Cross the bridge and over the level crossing, to take the next left, the B1410, signed Sleights. You’ll spot a couple of yellow bicycles left over from the Tour of Yorkshire. Just beyond Ruswarp, there’s a gate set back in the hedge on the left, and signs for the Riverside Cafe.

Continue into Sleights, to turn left onto the A169, signed Pickering. It’s a climb of nearly a mile, all the way up through Sleights, but not too steep. At the top end of the village, pass St John’s Church, on the corner of Iburndale Lane, then watch for a junction on the right, signed Grosmont. There’s also a brown tourist sign for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Take this right turn and head for Grosmont. The road is undulating, but there’s more down than up. Take in the views off to the right, of the northern side of Esk Dale. We’ll be returning along there later in the day. The last descent down into Grosmont is at 30 per cent so take care into the village.

I paused at the level crossing to watch a few train movements on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. I got an atmospheric photo of loco No. 80153, shrouded in steam.

Continue beyond the station, but don’t miss the Co-op on the left of the road, established in 1867 and celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.

The road curves right, and passes beneath the railway line to Middlesbrough. Cross a narrow stone bridge, then look for a bridle way off to the left. The sign for this (to Egton Bridge) is actually on the opposite side of the road, party obscured by trees. Take this track, which was fine on my road bike with 23c tyres. It’s quite a hard dry surface, which I took at about 8mph.

There’s one gate way to negotiate about half-way along, and the whole thing lasts for a mile and a half. Towards the end there’s a good view of Egton Manor, which cannot be seen by regular travellers on the metalled road. Please give way to walkers. This is a popular route and a friendly “Hello” will be appreciated.

Reaching Tarmac once again, turn left, then immediately right, onto Broom House Lane, now signed for Glaisdale. This is a pleasant run alongside the river, before the road curves right, passes under the railway again, and starts a 16 per cent climb. Nobody was about, so I had a little walk.

At the top, take a right at T-junction, for the last mile into Egton village and the Wheatsheaf Inn. A proper village pub with friendly staff and customers alike. After the warm sunshine, I was ready for a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. Black Sheep was also on offer. Plus various sandwiches. I had rare roast beef and horseradish, with a side of chips. See if you can spot the cycling bar stool?

Leaving the pub, bear right, following the sign for Whitby. Then take the second right after that, signed Aislaby two miles. Think back to the views on the stretch between Sleights and Grosmont; we are now looking back across to that earlier part of the route.

This road is narrow and gently undulating, with little traffic. Take care in damp patches beneath the shade of overhanging trees. Just by the village sign entering Aislaby, there’s a nice bench to pause a moment and reflect on the view. Into the village, keeping straight on where another road joins from the left, the Forge Inn is worth a look if you are not too late (it closes for the afternoon). At the far end of the village, the road curves left and rises slightly. If you stop at this corner, there’s a field gateway straight on where you can get a view over the top of Whitby. Continue up to the main A171. I’m going to avoid the main road back into Whitby, by taking you on a short loop.

So go left (counter intuitively, as it’s away from Whitby) on the A171 for perhaps 200 yards, then cross with care to take a right, signed Newholm. Keep right, into and through Newholm. Beyond the village take an unsigned road off to the right. This is very narrow, but only used by local traffic. Meet the B1460 at a T-junction, and go left. We are now heading into the outskirts of Whitby, so there’s some traffic, but a lot nicer than the A171. Pass Sneaton Castle on the right, then curve left at the next junction, continuing to follow the B1460.

Between a Spar Garage and Lidl, then the B1460 curves right again. Follow a sign for the town centre. Continue straight ahead along Stakesby Road and straight over the next roundabout. We are descending gently towards the harbour now. Where the way ahead is signed as a dead end, and with the Little Angel pub on your right, follow the main flow of the road at it curves right onto Brunswick Street. Follow this all the way to the bottom, where left at T-junction will take you back to Station Square.

Cycle ride facts

Date of ride: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The map: Ordnance Survey Landranger No.94, Whitby & Esk Dale

The cafe: Ruswarp Riverside Cafe. Ruswarp, Whitby, YO21 1RL. Tel: 01947 600109,

The pub: The Wheatsheaf Inn, Egton, Whitby, YO21 1TZ. Tel. 01947 895271,

The bike: 2016 Dolan Preffisio

Distance: 20 miles

Car parking: There are numerous pay & display car parks in Whitby. This ride can readily be started from Whitby Railway Station, as an alternative to driving. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs daily services from Pickering to Whitby, until October 31. For details, go to