Cathedrals cycle route from Durham to York
Single / Double
All year round
A five centre self-guided bike tour from York to Durham in northern England. 6 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite guesthouse accommodation, and 4 days of cycling. Tour price includes; hire of a 21 speed all-terrain bicycle, luggage transfers, route guide and maps. Emergency back-up will also be available.
The tour starts and finishes in Durham City, home to one of England's best preserved Norman cathedrals. You will have 2 nights here to give you plenty of time to visit the many attractions in this beautiful city. The cycle route is very flat from the beginning following a traffic-free cycleway through County Durham to Teesside. From here there is a choice of route including a challenging section that skirts the Cleveland hills with fantastic views over the area. Alternatively there is a very easy route through open farmland on minor roads leading to the North Yorkshire countryside. You will pass through many attractive market towns and villages nestled on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including the historic towns of Ripon and Harrogate. The final section of the ride is along the Vale of York to the walled medieval city of York, famous for its splendid Minster and ancient narrow streets. The following day you catch a train back to Durham and stay another night there.
START and FINISH: Durham in the North East of England.
ARRIVAL DAY: At Durham you will be fitted out with your bike. Your first and last nights’ accommodation is in Durham City with its impressive cathedral, castle and riverside walks. Don’t worry if you do not see all you want to see, as you will return here after the bike tour. This ancient city is dominated by the cathedral, one of the finest preserved Norman buildings in the UK. It provided sanctuary to fugitives and was St Cuthbert’s final resting place. Tonight it is your resting place (not the cathedral). There are many places to eat in the town centre from fish and chip shops to luxury restaurants. Overnight: City of Durham, County Durham, England.
DAY ONE: Durham to Yarm. Distance approx. 26 miles (42 km). After breakfast you begin the ride out of Durham with great views of the cathedral as you cycle. It is not long before you join a disused railway line known as the ‘Castle Eden Way’. This traffic free cycleway is very flat and easy going making for an extremely enjoyable day’s cycling. Reaching industrial Teesside there is the option of crossing the river Tees over the Infinity Bridge or the unique Transporter Bridge. Cycle lanes lead through the outskirts of Middlesbrough to your next overnight stop near Yarm. There is a traditional pub close to the guesthouse where you can purchase your evening meal. Overnight: Yarm, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY TWO: Yarm to Thirsk. Distance approx. 22 miles (35 km). Today the route uses minor roads and includes the only hill climbs of the tour, but there is an easy option if you do not fancy the challenge. Rising onto the Cleveland hills your efforts are rewarded by the spectacular views over the Yorkshire Dales and the Vale of York. Set on the hillside is the pretty village of Osmotherley, a great opportunity for your lunch stop. It is easy going now along quiet country lanes and cycle ways leading to the market town of Thirsk, from where you can see a White Horse carved out of the chalkstone. This busy market town will provide your next overnight stop, with a selection of cafés and traditional pubs for your evening meal. Overnight: Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY THREE: Thirsk to Harrogate. Distance approx. 24 miles (38 km). The beautiful North Yorkshire Dales are the big attraction on today’s ride. The route takes you along quiet country roads lined by dry stone walls passing through lush green farmland. About half way along this section you will come to a typical North Yorkshire market town, Ripon which would be an excellent place to stop for your lunch. Heading south out of Ripon with the beautiful Yorkshire countryside all around, you will also encounter many pretty little villages as you cycle. It is not long before you reach the large town of Harrogate. This busy conference town has many places to enjoy an evening dining out. Overnight: Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY FOUR: Harrogate to York. Distance approx. 23 miles (36 km). The route continues through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside on a mixture of quiet roads and cycle lanes. A nice traffic-free section takes you through another market town, Knaresborough providing you the opportunity for refreshments or lunch. The final approach to York passes Marston Moor, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of our civil war. As you approach your destination of this tour, York, you will see the domineering feature, the impressive minster. The medieval city of York has England’s largest Gothic cathedral (York Minster) that overshadows the quaint streets, with shop fronts that have hardly changed in centuries. Overnight: York, North Yorkshire, England.
FINAL DAY: Return to Durham. Today you catch the train from York back to Durham. Your bikes will be picked up when you are finished with them, allowing you plenty of time to enjoy this impressive city with its many cafés, restaurants and pubs. Overnight: Durham, County Durham, England.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to DURHAM: There are very frequent trains from London Kings Cross to Durham. Presently the 12:30pm from London arrives Durham at 15:56pm. There are earlier and later trains. An AnyTime Single ticket costs £133. There maybe Advance Single tickets available for £52.50 if booked on-line in advance.
RAIL TRAVEL from DURHAM to LONDON: There are very frequent trains from Durham to London Kings Cross. Presently the 10:45am from Durham arrives London at 13:44pm. There are earlier and later trains. An AnyTime Single ticket costs £133. There maybe Advance Single tickets available for £52.50 if booked on-line in advance.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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GRADE D+ Cycling between 22 - 26 miles (35 - 42kms) a day. The route is principally a flat ride but has some steep climbs onto the Cleveland hills. We recommend that clients bring their own bicycle equipment helmets, shoes and clothing. We can arrange for the hire of this, if required. The cost would be about £50. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.