After hosting Tour de France in 2014, here in Yorkshire we’ve pretty much crowned ourselves as King of the UK cycle routes. With such an abundance of countryside; the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and part of the Peak District National Park are all within the borders of Yorkshire. Couple this with the fact Nidderdale and the Howardian Hills are designated areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we have the coastal cliffs of Spurn Point, Flamborough Head and the Jet Cliffs at Whitby means Yorkshire is a pretty beautiful place to live and visit.
With Tour de Yorkshire beginning next week, we can’t help but feel the buzz growing and feel inspired to take the bike out for a cycle- here’s our favourite routes- whether you’ve cycled these before or this is your first time, with stunning views and ever changing scenery, especially on the Dales and Moors, you’ll never tire of these landscapes.
Remember to pack your water bottle, a pork pie for when hunger hits at the top of the hill- and a puncture kit… just in case.
Spread out along 6.4 miles along the old East Coast main-line railway, along this route you will find scale models of all planets in our solar system as well as models of Cassini and Voyager spacecraft. If you’re a fan of space you might be excited for this route, their website states, “the scale of our model is 575,872,239 to 1. So every 100 meters along the track corresponds to more than 57 million kilometers in space. This means that along the route the speed of light is about 1.16 mph, so it is easy to walk at around 3 times the speed of light and to cycle at about 10 times the speed of light.”
We like the idea of this one mainly because it’s flat- if you’re more adventurous and don’t mind a hill you might be more inclined to cycle in the Dales, however this one is a good idea for those that like to take breaks and have a look at different models along the track and have a traffic-free experience.
A more challenging ride, the Moor to Sea Cycle Network has a huge variation of terrain and views- from Scarborough, Whitby, Dalby Forest, Pickering and Great Ayton- the terrain varies from moorland to forest to coastal loops, giving a good variation of scenery. There’s maps available, but the route is fully marked out and easy to follow. The route as a whole takes around 5 or 6 days of cycling but you could pick the route up at any point to follow it for as long as you fancy. It’s at the top points where you can see for miles you realise why they call Yorkshire, ‘God’s own County.’
After the 2014 Tour de France, avid cycle fans like to follow the route they took whilst in the area. If you watched on TV, you might remember the 125km loop from Grassington which has four huge climbs which made us tired to watch- Buttertubs Pass, Park Rash, Kidstones and Grinton Moor. If you manage this one- you have our utmost respect!
A 170 miles coast-to-coast cycle brings Yorkshire and Lancashire together to unite the Roses in this long-distance track. The Yorkshire side of the ride goes through the Dales, including Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Wolds. A challenging ride but a rewarding one- especially if it’s a nice day the views are spectacular. There’s multiple campsites along the route if you’re making a holiday of it- from rural campsites to caravan parks- even the opportunity for ‘glamping’ if you’re reliant on a touch of luxury after a hard day cycling!
These are our top 4 Yorkshire cycle routes- do you have a favourite we haven’t included? Let us know! There’s little more rewarding that making it to the top of the hill when you weren’t sure if you’d make it, but if even if you’d like to stay to flat terrain, Yorkshire can still accommodate you!
Our top cycling tip? Well, it’s got to revolve around food of course! We find getting to the top of the hill is easier when you know there’s a little pork pie picnic waiting at the top. Remember our snack packs have 4 pies in, so you can keep your cycling pals in high spirits too!