North Yorkshire is the jewel of God’s own country. Sound biased? Well it should. Here at North Yorkshire Cycling we are not only passionate about our beloved two wheeled sport, but we are also slightly obsessed with our beautiful county. After all what’s not to like? With 40% of the county covered by National Parks that alone tells you you’re in for a treat when you visit. From the epic Yorkshire Dales, to the grand openness of the North York Moors, the wonderfully flat Vale of York and even a glorious coast line to finish it off, you start to get an idea of why we love it so much.
From a cycling perspective this gives you exactly what you would expect and hopefully you get a great insight in to this throughout the rest of the site, but what about purely from a tourist angle? Well you won’t be short of options and we won’t even try to list all possibilities, but here you will find a little information on the National Parks and some of our favourite places for you to explore. What’s more you can always incorporate them in to your riding to get the best of both worlds.
THE YORKSHIRE DALES
The Yorkshire Dales is perhaps one of the most scenic and inspiring places in the whole of the UK. If you like being outdoors, and we assume you do, then you will be hard pressed to find anywhere better. And this goes for riding your bike as well, but let’s not focus on the killer climbs, sweeping descents and traffic starved country lanes for now.
Stretching from just East of Kendal and almost all the way to the A1(M), the Yorkshire Dales is literally littered with picture perfect towns and villages all perfectly suited to visitors from all walks of life. The National Park is divided in the 8 areas; Cumbria, Swaledale, Upper & Lower Wensleydale, Upper & Lower Wharfedale, Ribblesdale and Malhamdale, each having its own particular charm waiting to be discovered.
From Hawes and Settle to Grassington and Sedbergh, jump on your bike and get exploring – you won’t be disappointed.
THE NORTH YORK MOORS
Much like the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors are vast and impressive but where the Dales has the more dramatic terrain, the North York Moors has vast openness and in many cases more importance in the history of the county. From just East of Thirsk and Northallerton the National Park stretches all the way to the coast The Moors also have significant religious importance which can be seen by visiting places such as the magnificent Rievaulx Abbey.
If history isn’t your thing then perhaps a visit to the coast is. Whitby, Scarborough and Robin Hoods Bay are all packed with enough charm to keep you occupied but be warned you won’t want to leave, and moving inland you can lose a day exploring places like Helmsley and Pickering, or seeing sights such as The White Horse at Kilburn or even Dalby forest if you fancy some offroad riding or walking.
As for the riding here, well there may not be quite the diverse range you get from the Yorkshire Dales but be prepared to tackle some of the hardest climbing in the UK including the famous Chimney Bank at Rosedale – the UK’s steepest road!
THE YORKSHIRE WOLDS
With the dramatic and awe inspiring Dales and Moors, the Yorkshire Wolds are often overlooked. Situated half in North and half in East Yorkshire the Wolds are peaceful and full of character with bags of charm. Much like their more famous namesake (The Cotswolds), The Wolds offer a more undulating terrain of rolling hills and valleys again with country roads not spoilt by huge traffic volumes.
The Wolds is well worth a visit and remains one of our very favourite areas to ride in. Starting just South of Malton and stretching to the banks of the Humber, the Wolds isn’t short of great places to visit and stay such as Pocklington, Howden and again if you fancy something closer to the coast why not head over to Bridlington following the Way of the Roses bike route.
Whilst much of The Wolds is in East Yorkshire, we still couldn’t resist featuring it here. So spend some time there and you will be the better for it.