For those looking for a UK Cycling Holiday, Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales are ever more on the map, and for good reason. The county has a wonderful variety of landscapes to experience up close. Cycling is a perfect way to enjoy them. When planning a Yorkshire cycling holiday or just a family cycle ride and day out, where do you go to seek inspiration?
Here is our favourite website for inspiration, and three cycle routes in Yorkshire that showcase the landscapes close to home that we love.
So the website? It's called 'Cycle the Dales' and provides an excellent resource of information to find out more, from family rides to mountain biking to road cycling. Here are three of our favourites:
1. "In to Wharfedale from Skipton"
Wharfedale - so named after the majestic River Wharfe - is a beautiful place. This cycle route connects the market town of Skipton with the Dale via Halton East, then joining it at Bolton Abbey. The route then continues on a Dales country lane to Appletreewick, criss-crossing part of the Dales way footpath on more than one occasion. This section is reminiscent for me of cycle training a few years ago when I lived in Leeds and was taking part in a charity ride from London to Paris. I would cycle out of the city to Ilkley, through to Beamsley and join part of this route at Bolton Abbey to reach Burnsall. I loved it. It was a welcome break from the city and pedalling along the country lanes was just magical. The tea room on the Green in the Burnsall was always a welcome find too (Perhaps with a slice of their Date traybake!).
Beyond Appletreeweek the route takes in Grassington, Burnsall and returns with a steady climb up to Barden Moor, with efforts rewarded by some long distance views. Awesome.
More details of this 29 mile route can be found here.
2. "Settle Circular" - Join this cycle route from Newton Grange Holiday Cottages in Bank Newton, via Winterburn
This route includes rewarding climbs, excellent views and exhilerating descents, showcasing Airedale and Upper Wharfedale and the delightful towns of Settle and Grassington. It's really easy to join this route from the doorstep here in Bank Newton by cycling to Winterburn, to pick up the circular route. From Newton Grange Farm you can either follow the canal towpath in to Gargrave then join the Pennine Cycleway National Cycle Route to Winterburn, or simply join the Pennine Cycleway from the centre of Bank Newton along the road all the way to Winterburn. It makes a nice warm up (and cool down) too!
More details of this 38 mile (62 km) route can be found here - The cycle to / from Winterburn extension is about 5 miles each way - an additional 10 miles (16km) for a total cycle ride of 48 miles (78 km).
3. Tour de France du Dales
Cyclists have been enjoying the Dales as a destination for years and how exciting it was to see the professionals tackle some of the great climbs in the Dales in Summer 2014. The 'Tour de France du Dales' cycle route featured on the Cycle the Dales website is a snapshot of 'Day 1' of the Grand Depart 2014, but instead of starting in Leeds it begins in Grassington. This route definitely deserves some excellent pub grub in a cosy Dales pub on your return. Worth the effort - enjoy, and take care.
More details of this 78 mile (125 km) route can be found here.