Yorkshire Mountain Bike Marathon 2017 Location Revealed: Birdsall Estates
Featuring natural trails, singletrack and forest descents around the private 12,000 acre Birdsall Estate.
About the location: The heart of Birdsall Estate nestles on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds and the start and finish are within the grounds of Birdsall House which is situated on the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire route. The courses will take you to some of the highest peaks of the Yorkshire Wolds and into stunning chalk dry valleys which cut their routes deeply into the Wolds. The landscape is of course famously painted by David Hockney and the longer route will take you past a view of his three trees which he painted in different seasons called the ‘Thixendale Trees’ which are situated near the deserted Burdale railway station.
Both routes take you along a deserted Victorian railway which has an important Victorian industrial history of chalk stone, cement stone and limestone quarries and kilns serviced with former train stations. The riders and any spectators will be able to see or visit the archaeological site of the Medieval Wharram Percy Village where there are an interesting deserted church and archaeological ruins with a rich history unearthed by 20 years of archaeological excavations by Historic England. Some of the former quarries alongside the disused railway line contain exceptional wildlife too. You might be lucky enough to see the peregrine falcons which often return annually to breed at one such quarry, or the buzzards and red kites that are frequent visitors to the Estate. Of particular interest are the rare orchids which are in the Estate’s Wharram Quarry which both routes pass by within 75 meters of it and is a designated SSSI. The routes also take the riders past various scheduled monuments including tumuli and barrows, and pass alongside the parts of the Wolds Way and Centenary Way footpaths.
Entries are expected to open in February 2017 for a 45km and 75km Mountain Bike Marathon.