Best bike rides in Yorkshire
Whether you’re a committed cyclist looking for the next big challenge, or you just fancy a leisurely ride through the countryside with your kids, there are plenty of options in God’s own county. With that in mind, we’ve donned our helmets and Lycra to bring you the best bike rides in Yorkshire.
In 2014, Yorkshire proved its mettle as a cycling destination when the Tour de France Grand Depart brought millions of people out onto the streets to see the world’s greatest cyclists compete across the stunning landscape. With the Tour de Yorkshire about to land on our doorstep again, there’s no better time to head out on two wheels and make the most of cycle routes across the region.
York City route via York Minster
If you want to stay close to the centre of the city, Sustrans route 658 is perfect. It runs from one side of the city centre to the other, starting by the River Ouse but looping out take in the sites in between. It passes by York Minster, which is a great place to visit – and its grounds offer a beautiful setting for a picnic. You can even hire bikes from York Railway Station if you need to, and from there it’s a traffic-free ride to the start of the route. There are plenty of other routes in and around York to enjoy – visit the Sustrans website to find the right one for you.
Wetherby Railway Path
One of the most family-friendly routes we know of is the Wetherby railway path. This disused railway route is very flat and surrounded by woodland and fields. It runs from Spofforth in the west right out to the east of the charming market town of Wetherby. Make sure you leave time to browse the shops and stop for lunch in one of the lovely local cafes before you head for home.
Tour de France du Dales
For something a little more adventurous, try the Tour de France du Dales. Created by Cycle the Dales, it largely follows the route used for the Grand Depart in 2014, taking you on a loop from Grassington into the heart of the Dales and back. At 125km long and with ascents of 2,500m, it’s not for beginners – but those who complete it will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views in Yorkshire.
Skipton to Leeds Tow Path
If you like to combine your cycling with some local history, venture to West Yorkshire where this canal tow path is one of the most interesting routes you’ll find. The path itself – as you would expect from a canal-side route – is fairly flat, but the surrounding buildings are steeped in the milling and textiles history of the region, and there are sections of woodland and countryside filled with wildlife too. Start from the lovely market town of Skipton and head south-east towards the city of Leeds. En route, save some time for taking photos of the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks, which are fascinating to watch in action too.
Dalby Forest Mountain Bike Trails
There’s no better place to burn off energy than around the routes of Dalby Forest. There are many to choose from, to suit all abilities and fitness levels, so it’s a great place to take the family. Mountain bikes will fare much better than road bikes here, but there are some family-friendly routes that won’t be too strenuous for the little ones. You might also spot some interesting birds and wild animals hopping around the trees!
And if you need somewhere to stay while you’re watching the Tour or fancy a comfortable end to a hard day’s cycling in Yorkshire, The Lawrence luxury holiday apartments York and Harrogate are perfectly located and beautifully equipped.
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