​Road cycling

You don’t have to be the next Bradley Wiggins to give road cycling in Nidderdale AONB a try. It’s an awe-inspiring way to explore some of the beautiful scenery, small towns and villages in the Yorkshire Dales.

There are a range of road cycling routes to suit all abilities with a good cycling network of quiet lanes, off-road tracks and a section of the national byway, Britain’s Heritage Cycling Route, for road cyclists.

There are short cycle routes along valley bottoms, suitable for beginners and families to much longer bike rides with hill climbs that will challenge even experienced cyclists. Here are a couple of suggestions of longer road cycling routes to get you started:

  • Northern AONB loop – This is a 40 mile (65km) circular cycle route which explores the northern part of Nidderdale AONB including Pateley Bridge, Upper Nidderdale, Masham and some of the eastern villages. The route passes by The Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal World Heritage Site and Brimham Rocks. 
  • Southern AONB loop – This is a 39 mile (63km) circular route (with the option of an extra 4 miles (6km) each way to Ilkley) which explores the southern part of Nidderdale AONB including the Washburn Valley, the towns of Ilkley and Otley and some of the beautiful villages of lower Nidderdale.

Please be aware that these routes use bridleways and country roads which are also used by horse riders and walkers. Cyclists must give way to these users and be particularly careful when approaching horses from behind - it helps if you call out to let the horse and rider know that you are there. It is important to pass horses & riders and walkers slowly and wide. Please follow the International Mountain Biking Association UK code of conduct and ride responsibly, while showing respect for others, and care for the environment.

Photo Credits: 

Both images: Tour de Yorkshire 2016 at Greenhow courtesy of SWPix / Welcome to Yorkshire