Since the Tour de France took to the Yorkshire hills and dales, cycling has become even more popular than it was in this beautiful shire. Whether you are looking for gentle cycling routes, or full on all-terrain, long distance rides, there are plenty of wonderful places in the Yorkshire Dales and the broader Yorkshire area in which to indulge your passion for travelling on two wheels.
– For family fun:
For a gentle cycle route for the whole family, and a treat for history lovers, why not visit the genteel market town of Ilkley. From there, you can cycle the popular route to Bolton Abbey. Feeling fit? You can keep going on longer routes that will take you to Skipton or Embsay.
On the Yorkshire coast, another lovely route for families is the Scarborough to Whitby RailTrail, which runs along the route of the old railway like taking in the beautiful coastal views and pretty seaside towns of the region.
– For a day trip:
Try the Settle Circular for a route of moderate difficulty, which takes in many of the pretty little villages of the southern Dales and crossing dramatic limestone valleys. It is about 38 miles, with a couple of hills at Halton Gill and Attermire, but with plenty of opportunities to stop for a cream tea or a pint, this is not too arduous and is perfect for a lovely day trip.
For a slightly more difficult day trip, why not take on the Swaledale Circular. The bad news is that there is uphill – a lot of uphill! The good news is that there is a pub at the top of it, and a lovely ride back down on quiet roads. The views and the pint to be had at the top in the Highest Pub in the land are well worth the effort to climb the steep Tan Hill.
-For Long-distance touring:
To fully explore many of the lovely hills and villages of the Dales, why not attempt the 130 miles of the Yorkshire Dales cycle way? You will be taken on a winding tour through the beautiful landscape of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Alternatively, why not cycle the West Yorkshire Cycle Route, which more or less follows the boundaries of the county. It is 150 miles, mostly on road, that goes through some interesting and varied towns and countryside. For accomodation on this route, there are plenty of options, my personal favourite is a static caravan holiday homes park in West Yorkshire called Bowland Fell Park. Check it out here!
For trans-county routes, why not try the Way of the Roses, which comes through Lancashire from Morecambe and winds its way through Yorkshire to the North Sea Coast? Or the amazing 350 mile Pennine Cycleway, which stretches from Derby to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Yorkshire is perfect for cycling – so get on your bike!