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Beautiful Cycle Routes in Yorkshire

Beautiful Cycle Routes in Yorkshire
June 02, 2016

See God’s Own Country on two wheels. With Bike Week 2016 and warm(ish) weather upon us, we’ve taken the opportunity to compile a list of Yorkshire’s best loved cycle routes.

See God’s Own Country on two wheels. With Bike Week 2016 and warm(ish) weather upon us, we’ve taken the opportunity to compile a list of Yorkshire’s best loved cycle routes.

Passing through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it comes as no surprise that the Tour de France picked our wonderful home to host the first stage of 2014’s race.

The ones in this guide are ideal whether you ride a traditional bicycle or one of their pedal assisted electric bike counterparts.

Without further ado, experience Yorkshire’s dramatic landscapes for yourself by picking a route from the list below.

Feel free to print a copy of the cycle route and take it with you!

Where is it? Studley Royal Deer Park, near Rippon

How long is the route? 3.4 miles

Difficulty: Steady Away (Easy)

Studley Deer Park Cycle Route

Part of the Fountains Abbey you know and love, and home to over 500 Red, Fallow, and Sika deer. The park is also home to a collection of ancient trees, many of which over 300 years old. This route takes you from the Fountain’s Abbey Visitor Centre, through the deer park and back again. You may even bump into a few deer on the way!


  • Car park at the National Trust Visitor Centre, where you’ll find a café, toilets, an exhibition and shop.
  • Ice cream courtesy of Bymor – some of the best in the land (apparently).
  • You can have a walk around Fountains Abbey and the water garden afterwards.
  • Great route with kids / grandkids in tow.
  • Safe and easy bridleway / path.


  • Not dead flat, that would be boring! These level off quite quickly, and aren’t overly steep.

Where is it? York Solar System Model, York

How long is the route? 6.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy Peasy

York Solar System Model

Once an East Coast main-line railway, this route takes you through a nature reserve packed with wildlife. This route is unique in that it features scale models of our entire solar system along the route, as well as models of the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft.

Every 100m along the track is 57 million kilometres in space = so you’ll cycle more than 3 times the speed of light, by that logic. It’s popular with unicyclists too – testament to the quality of the tarmac path on this route.


  • Incredible wire sculpture of a man fishing off the bridge. Keep an eye out for him, and cycle beneath him.
  • Not just fresh air, exercise and open road, but art too! That’ll break up the route and give you something to admire along the way.
  • Car Park at Old Escrick station, right next to the track.
  • There’s Brunswick Café and Naburn Station Café just after Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Most of the planets are right at the start of the ride, so you won’t miss out on too much if you don’t get to the end of it.
  • Easy to get to by car. Near York College and York Racecourse.


  • It’s not a circuit, you’ll have to go back the way you came.

Where is it? Green Cycle Route, Dalby Forest

How long is the route? 6 miles

Difficulty: Piece of Cake

Dalby Forest

Situated in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, this route of mixed terrain features forest roads and grass tracks with a handful of short climbs and descents.  Dalby is over 8000 acres, so we’d recommend popping into the visitor centre to buy a map. We don’t want you getting lost!

Dalby forest hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup twice. Great for cycling, but you don’t need to be a pro to enjoy the route!


  • Green route follows forestry roads.
  • Hot & cold drinks, snacks available from Dalby Activity Centre on weekends and over school holidays.
  • Mixed terrain from forest roads to grass tracks, with a few short climbs and descents.
  • Dalby Bike Barn can give you bike related advice.
  • If the green route is too easy for you, take on the blue moderate route or the hard red one.
  • You may bump into a roe deer.
  • Several car parks.


  • Toll is charges to drive into the forest, although parking is free.

Where is it? Golden Acre Park, Leeds

How long is the route? 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy as Pie

Golden Acre Park Cycle Route

Shout out to Lucy Pearson, who commented on our Wheelchair Friendly Walks in Yorkshire blog reminding us about this lovely place!

This delightful country park in Leeds has beautiful gardens, a lakeside walk, streams, ponds and peaceful woodland. It is also located near to two of Leeds most treasured nature reserves, Breary Marsh and Adel Dam.

This specific route is short, but at 55 hectares, you’ll never be short of different trails to explore. The park is on the Leeds Country Way so you could continue your ride east towards the lovely Eccup Reservoir which is about a mile away from the park.


  • Café on site with indoor and outdoor seating.
  • Large enough to explore parts off the beaten track.
  • Free parking.
  • Only 6 miles from Leeds City Centre.
  • Public toilets.


  • Popular with dog walkers, you may have to do some weaving.


Where is it? Swinsty Reservoir

How long is the route? 7 miles

Difficulty: Plain-sailing

Swinsty Reservoir Cycle Route

Shout out to Jill Sowden for giving us a tip about this one on our Facebook page!

The reservoir itself sits on the southern side of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An (AONB) is exactly what it sounds like. A landscape so precious that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them.

The beautiful Washburn Valley provides a glorious setting for a summertime bike ride. This easy cycle route takes you around Swinsty reservoirs, and up beyond Swinsty Dam if you want to add a little bit extra.


  • Close proximity to Harrogate.
  • Excellent quality track.
  • Picnic tables at all three car parks.
  • Hopper lane pub.
  • Great views across the water and surrounding landscape. Especially from the embankment.


  • Can be busy at peak times.
  • Some sections of the path are tricky for pushchairs and wheelchairs around Fewston.


Where is it? Pocklington

How long is the route? 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Pocklington Cycle Route

Pocklington is situated 12 miles east of York and 20 miles west of Hull. Famed for its historic market town and gateway to the spectacular Yorkshire Wolds. It really is a curiously wonderful little place, home to one of the UK’s few remaining town criers, who to this day proclaims at all major events in the town calendar.

At roughly half an hour, this pleasant route is short and sweet. But once you’re in the area, you’ll never be short of other walking and cycling trails to explore.


  • Flat and short ride on easy terrain.
  • Mixture of town and countryside.
  • Pocklington has plenty of loos, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
  • You can make a proper day of it!


  • You’ll never want to come home.

So there you have it! Some of Yorkshire's most beautiful bike rides. Perfectly suitable whether you’re a seasoned cyclist, or you haven’t stepped foot near a bike in years.

If like some of our friends and customers you haven’t cycled in a long time, or you don’t quite have the mobility that you used to, why not consider an electric bike just in time for Bike Week 2016?

They can take you up to a 35 miles on a single charge, assisting you as you pedal up to a leisurely 15 miles per hour. Sound good?

So what’s your favourite place in Yorkshire? Leave a comment below. You might just end up being featured in a future Fenetic blog!

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