Cycling the North Yorkshire Moors and Coast
Single / Double
April - November
A six centre self-guided cycle tour of the Yorkshire Moors and Coast in North East England. Includes 7 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) accommodation, 6 days cycling, luggage transfers, route guide and maps. Hire of a 21 speed all-terrain cycle would be extra. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
This tour starts and finishes in the medieval walled city of York, famous for its splendid Minster and ancient narrow streets. Pedalling out of the city provides you with a great sense of freedom, and you are able to savour this area of outstanding natural beauty, centred on the North York Moors National Park. Best enjoyed on a bike the slower pace allows you more time to discover the hidden corners and beautiful landscapes of heather-clad moors, lush dales and a cliff-edged coastline. You will also experience many appealing market and seaside towns, stone-built villages and historic abbeys and houses. There are some challenging middle sections on this tour, with the opportunity to do some serious mountain biking over the Cleveland and Hambleton hills. Mountain Bike Readers magazine rates this area as some of the best off-road biking in the country. The tour includes overnight stays in the very popular tourist towns of Scarborough and Whitby. For train enthusiasts the Esk Valley Railway runs steam trains through this stunning area. The tour can be altered to incorporate this if desired.
START and FINISH: York is in the North East of England.
ARRIVAL DAY: At York you will be fitted out with your bike. Your 1st and last night's accommodation is in the medieval city of York, home to England’s largest gothic cathedral and old narrow streets that have hardly changed in centuries. There are many tourist attractions to see here including museums and a wall that can be walked around providing fantastic views of the city and the minster. You will have a second opportunity to visit the many sights here as you will return after the bike tour. There are many places to eat in the town centre from fish and chip shops to luxury restaurants. Overnight: York, England.
DAY ONE: York to Driffield distance approx. 42 miles (68 km). After breakfast you will pick up your bike from the hire shop (if renting) and begin the ride through York on a traffic-free cycleway allowing you time to take in the sights as you go. Although this is the longest ride of the tour it is predominately very flat providing an extremely enjoyable day of cycling. You’ll ride along quiet country roads lined by dry stone walls through lush green farmland interspersed with market towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton, where you will find opportunities for refreshments or lunch. A short detour takes you to Beverly where there is another beautiful minster which is a real gem and well worth the extra few miles. From here you could jump on a train with your bike to take you the last 10 miles to Driffield, your next overnight stop with traditional pubs and hotels for an evening meal. Overnight: Driffield, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY TWO: Driffield to Scarborough distance approx. 40 miles (64 km). Leaving Driffield there are various routes you can take; two pass through the Yorkshire Wolds and another heads to the coast at Bridlington. The Wolds routes use very quiet country lanes through low-lying agricultural land with just a few small villages. Alternatively, minor country roads lead to the North Sea and the popular seaside town of Bridlington, with many tourist attractions. At Hunmanby all the routes converge to continue north along the coast to the even more popular seaside town of Scarborough. A favourite holiday destination for the Victorians, it is still a tourist haven today with an impressive seafront. Enjoy your evening meal at one of the local area restaurants. Overnight: Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY THREE: Scarborough to Whitby distance approx. 22 miles (35 km). You’ll head out of Scarborough on a disused railway line known as the Cinder Track. This traffic-free section is one of the many highlights of the tour, with beautiful coastline on one side and the North York Moors on the other. The route passes pretty villages like Cloughton, Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay, all offering refreshments. Robin Hood’s Bay is a real gem, set in a cove with cliffs on either side. In the 18th century it was reported to be the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire coast. Continuing along the old coastal rail line you will see the Abby at Whitby made famous by Bram Stocker’s book Dracula. This busy tourist seaside town provides your next accommodation. There are plenty of places to eat in the town from traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants (not included). Overnight: Whitby, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY FOUR: Whitby to Great Ayton distance approx 30 miles (48 km). The route now takes you inland along the river Esk valley on minor country roads through an area of outstanding natural beauty on the northern edge of the North York Moors National Park. There are many quaint Yorkshire towns in this area where the popular television series Heartbeat was filmed including, Sleights, Danby, Castleton and Commondale. There are opportunities for extra excursions to towns like Grosmont, Glaisdale and Lealholm dotted along the Eskdale Valley Railway line. Steam trains regularly run along these picturesque railway lines in the summer mouths. Great Ayton is a busy market town with a plenty of cafes, teashops, traditional pubs and restaurants. Overnight: Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY FIVE: Great Ayton to Thirsk distance approx. 29 miles (47 km). An extra piece of toast and marmalade may be a good idea this morning because today includes some stiff hill climbs. After a flat easy start the route rises up onto the Cleveland Hills. Your efforts are rewarded by the spectacular views over the North York Moors. There are some challenging off-road mountain bike routes in this area, if you have a fancy trying something a bit more adventurous. The pretty village of Osmotherley provides a good opportunity for your lunch stop with cafés and traditional pubs. There is a choice of routes to take as you approach the Hambleton Hill before descending down from the moors to the next overnight stop in the market town of Thirsk. Again there is a good selection of places to have an evening meal from traditional pubs to hotel restaurants. Overnight: Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England.
DAY SIX: Thirsk to York distance approx. 32 miles (51 km). As you leave Thirsk you will see ahead of you a White Horse carved out of the chalkstone hillside. These are the Hambleton Hills. You can choose to ride towards these for some more serious hill climbing back into the North York Moors National Park. Or you can stay down in the Vale of York which is easy going on quiet country lanes through villages like Dalton and Helperby. Both routes meet at Easingwold, a good opportunity for a lunch stop before the last easy stretch along the river Ouse, finishing with a traffic-free cycle path into York. You’ll find many restaurant choices in York for your evening meal. Overnight: York, England.
The type of Hybrid Bike hired for this tour: Giant Cypress LX (mans frame, ladies available also).
FINAL DAY: York. Today you can enjoy another day in York, before departure.
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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Discount rail tickets to and from York
GRADE C: Between 9 - 12 miles (14 - 19 kms) a day. Strong waterproof walking boots are desirable. You will start walking about 9:30am and finish at approx. 5pm. These grades are for guidance only. For any grade, depending on weather conditions, it may at times be damp underfoot, so waterproof boots are preferable.