Yorkshire is a great place to learn how to cycle and offers quieter routes for children so they can cycle in safety, surrounded by the great outdoors. These out of the way routes range from forest trails, to rolling hills and canal towpaths.
During the summer, nothing is more relaxing than the York to Selby Cycle Route. This gentle 15 mile ride along one of the first traffic-free cycle paths takes you from the walled city of York, south to the historic abbey town of Selby. It passes local landmarks such as the famous Millennium Bridge and ‘the planets’, a scale-model of the solar system.
Much of the towpath of the historic Leeds-Liverpool Canal has been upgraded to allow cycle use. The journey out from cosmopolitan Leeds takes you along a wonderful green corridor, giving easy cycling and linking some great attractions. There are some fascinating sights to see, from the medieval Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds, the Saltaire World Heritage Site in Bradford, to the beautiful and picturesque East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, run by the National Trust.
A stunning, traffic-free ride takes you from the busy market town of Penistone to the rolling moors of the Peak District at Dunford Bridge. Fully surfaced and ideal for children, the path follows the route of the old Great Central Railway, winding through glorious countryside. The Barnsley to RSPB Dearne Valley - Old Moor short 6.5-mile route, takes you from Barnsley train station on a traffic free path to the RSPB Dearne Valley - Old Moor, which is teeming with birds and wildlife. It’s an award winning reserve where you can spot Kingfishers, Lapwings, Tree Sparrows and at dusk, you can listen out for the shrill calls of Little Owls.
THE CINDER TRACK: A lovely traffic-free coastal route traveling between the seaside resorts of Scarborough and Whitby. It takes in panoramic views, secluded coves and historic sites.
MOOR TO SEA CYCLE NETWORK: Discover fabulous views of heather moorland, ancient forests, rolling farmland and spectacular coast along the Moor to Sea Cycle network linking the historic towns of Scarborough, Pickering, Whitby and Great Ayton.
THE MALHAM TARN FAMILY CYCLE TRAIL: A gentle 7km ride through Britain’s finest limestone scenery, a generally flat route along grass and gravel paths. The waymarked ride takes you through the heart of the wonderful Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
WOLDS WAY: Follow the enchanting rolling hills and coastal cliffs of the Yorkshire Wolds. Discover hidden valleys, wildflowers and wildlife. Enjoy big skies whilst passing through picturesque villages, market towns and historic houses and churches. One moment you’re running through a broad dry valley or exploring a secret vale, the next you’re heading through thick woodland. Well signed as part of the National Cycle Network, the terrain is rolling chalkland, with only a few steep but short climbs on mainly quiet roads and country lanes with some cycle paths. Following the route clockwise is easier. There are tearooms, cafés, pubs and food shops at varying intervals and there are various options for the start and finish, with Beverley, Bridlington, Driffield and Malton all having train stations.
SPURN POINT: Starting from the village of Easington this ‘there and back’ route ventures through Kilnsea along the Spurn Peninsula to the wild rugged Spurn Point. This is a flat 22.5 km route on quiet roads with refreshments at Kilnsea and the visitors’ centre at Spurn Point.
SPEN VALLEY GREENWAY: This fantastic cycling and walking route runs along a disused railway line from Oakenshaw near Bradford, all the way to Dewsbury. The path is well surfaced and entirely traffic free and as such, it is ideal for families with young children or anyone looking for a nice easy ride or walk. The greenway ride boasts great views and trailside sculptures and statues.
BRONTË COUNTRY: When the Tour de France started in Yorkshire in 2014, the peloton wound it’s way into Brontë Country and into the village of Haworth. These cobbled streets are now famous throughout the world, with the challenging thoroughfare home to period fronted shops and cafés. Cycling in this area of Yorkshire is inspirational. Ride across the high moors, be exhausted by the tough ascents and thrilled by the exciting descents. Discover the incredible ride from Haworth to Hebden Bridge where awesome views never end. No cycling tour of West Yorkshire would be complete without climbing the famous Cragg Vale Incline - the longest unbroken ascent of any road in England. From the village of Mytholmroyd, the road rises 968 feet to open moorland. Enough to give your gears and lungs a tough workout.