Cycling in the Yorkshire Dales

24 circular rides and a 6-day tour

By Harry Dowdell

Guidebook to cycling in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Describes 23 of the best circular day rides in the region, plus Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France (Leeds to Harrogate) and a circular 200 mile, 6-stage 'La Vuelta a Dales'. Day rides range from 14 to 57 miles. All routes are graded and include gradient profiles and 1:100K mapping.



all-year-round cycling but the best time is spring to early summer when the hay meadows are in flower and the birds of the high moors have returned to breed


the routes are centered on Pateley Bridge, Grassington, Ingleton, Settle, Reeth, Sedbergh, Hawes and Leyburn


routes are graded as short, medium and long and classified as moderate, hard or challenging. There are no easy rides in the Dales. The routes are suitable for all but the novice cyclist. Those with less experience may need to rest a little more often
Must See

Must See

cycling throughout the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Routes include all the major dales and challenging climbs of The Fleak, Birkdale, Coal Road, Tan Hill, Oxnop, Buttertubs, Greets Moss, Park Rash, Trapping Hill and Fleet Moss
11 Apr 2019
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
  • Overview

    This guide describes 23 day routes, graded by a combination of distance, climb and overall gradient, all suitable for road bikes and illustrated by detailed maps and profiles. In addition a six-stage tour takes in all the highlights, including Grassington, Leyburn, Hawes, Kirkby Stephen, Ingleton and Settle. And for those who really want to test themselves, the route of the Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France, a 206km loop from Leeds to Harrogate, is also included, with an option to close the loop without adding many extra miles.

    Appendices include a route summary table to help you choose your route, lots of information about facilities for cyclists along the routes, taking bikes on public transport and basic bike maintenance.

    The Vuelta a Dales takes in the best dales, passes and viewpoints as it passes through Grassington, Leyburn, Hawes, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh, Ingleton and Settle. The Yorkshire Dales have always welcomed visitors who enjoy the views. For cyclists, the national park and the areas overlapping its boundaries provide a splendid mix of varied scenic landscapes, an extensive network of roads and peaceful lanes and many cycle-friendly cafés and tea shops. With almost every turn revealing yet another stunning view, the Dales are an ideal area to explore by bike.

  • Contents

    Geology of the Dales
    Human habitation
    Getting there and getting about
    When to go
    Food and drink
    What to wear
    What to take
    Choosing your bike
    Using this guide
    Pateley Bridge
    Link Route Leeds Bradford Airport to Askwith
    Route 1 Nidderdale, Washburn and Wharfedale
    Route 2 Brimham Moor, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
    Route 3 Masham and Burn Valley
    Route 4 Round Barden
    Route 5 Malhamdale and High Limestone Country
    Route 6 Malhamdale by way of Bordley
    Route 7 Malhamdale, Silverdale and Littondale
    Route 8 Dentdale and round Whernside
    Route 9 Ribblesdale and round Ingleborough
    Route 10 Dales and Tarn
    Route 11 Langcliffe Scar and Malham
    Route 12 Tan Hill
    Route 13 Wensleydale, Mallerstang and Tan Hill
    Route 14 Richmond
    Route 15 Lune Valley and Barbondale
    Route 16 Circuit of the Howgill Fells
    Route 17 Barbondale and Holme Open Farm
    Route 18 The Big Cheese
    Route 19 Semerwater
    Route 20 Coverdale and Langstrothdale Chase
    Link Route Northallerton to Leyburn
    Route 21 Swaledale and The Fleak
    Route 22 Aysgarth Falls
    Route 23 Jervaulx Abbey and Middleham
    Tour de France 2014
    Route 24 Tour de France 2014 Stage 1: Leeds to Harrogate
    La Vuelta a Dales
    Stage 1 Settle to Pateley Bridge
    Stage 2 Pateley Bridge to Leyburn
    Stage 3 Leyburn to Hawes
    Stage 4 Hawes to Muker
    Stage 5 Muker to Sedbergh
    Stage 6 Sedbergh to Settle

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Useful contacts
    Appendix C Campsites along the Vuelta a Dales
    Appendix D Cycles on public transport
    Appendix E Basic bike maintenance

  • Updates
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    June 2019

    Suggested link access to Sedbergh page 133 added to downloads.

    May 2019

    Stage 3: Cafe stops.

    Zarina's in Kettlewell has closed alternative option is The Cottage Tea Room.

    April 2019

    Route 7: Malhamdale, Silverdale and Littondale

    Katie's Cuppas is closed.

    Appendix D: Cycles on public transport

    Transpennine Express now require 24 hours advance booking for cycles. Still no charge. Folding cycles no change. New trains being introduced will take 4 cycles. telephone reservations now use option 3.

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Harry Dowdell

Harry Dowdell has loved cycling for as long as he can remember. His first cycle tour was around the North York Moors while still at school and he has since enjoyed touring in Ireland, France, Spain, Slovenia and Norway. He cycles regularly in Spain and at home in Yorkshire, where he pays the bills working as a fitness instructor.

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