Cycling the Way of the Roses

Coast to coast across Lancashire and Yorkshire, with six circular day rides

By Rachel Crolla

Guidebook to cycling the Way of the Roses across Lancashire and Yorkshire, from Morecambe to Bridlington. A 170 mile coast to coast across the north of England split into 3 days, with alternative 4 and 5 day itineraries outlined. Maps and route profiles are provided for each stage, with advice on preparation, equipment and accommodation.



Possible year-round but preferable April-October.


Morecambe, Lancaster, Settle, Burnsall, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, York, Stamford Bridge, Pocklington, Millington, Driffield, Bridlington.


A 170-mile challenge within the reach of cyclists of all abilities. The Way of the Roses is possible on a road bike or a hybrid. A three day itinerary of 50-60 miles per day is described, along with longer and shorter options. Six individual day rides of a similar difficulty are also included.
Must See

Must See

Cycle from coast to coast from Morecambe to Bridlington through the spectacular scenery of the Lune Valley, the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale, the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds. Cycle on peaceful minor roads and traffic-free sections on dismantled railways.
13 Apr 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Overview

    Guidebook to the Way of the Roses, a 170-mile coast-to-coast cycle route across Lancashire and Yorkshire. The three-day journey (alternative two, four and five day itineraries are also outlined) begins in Morecambe and finishes in Bridlington, linking scenic country lanes, minor roads and traffic-free cycle paths. Six excellent day rides, located in the vicinity of the main route, are also described.

    Clear and concise route description is accompanied by 1:100K mapping and gradient profiles, guaranteeing problem-free navigating. Also included is handy advice on practicalities such as preparation, equipment, accommodation and travel logistics to and from the start and finish of the route.

    A challenge within the reach of cyclists of all abilities and a satisfying traverse across country, the Way of the Roses takes in idyllic villages, castles, cathedrals, abbeys and prehistoric sites, along with stunning natural features such as the Three Peaks, Brimham Rocks and Flamborough Head.

  • Contents

    Why do the Way of the Roses?
    How tough is it?
    Logistics – getting there and back
    How many days?
    Cycling the route east to west
    Where to stay
    What kind of bike?
    What to wear
    Maps and apps
    Cycling dos and don’ts
    What’s in a name?
    Cycling in Roses country
    Using this guide
    The Way of the Roses
    The three-day ride
    Day 1 Morecambe to Burnsall
    Day 2 Burnsall to York
    Day 3 York to Bridlington
    Day rides
    Route 1 Arnside and Silverdale tour
    Route 2 The Way of the Dales
    Route 3 Brontë country and the dark satanic hills
    Route 4 Otley and Knaresborough round
    Route 5 Around the Wolds in a day
    Route 6 Bridlington to Scarborough extension

    Appendix A Accommodation
    Appendix B Useful contacts

  • Updates
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    Nov 2018

    Distances given on page 10, for days 1& 3, East to West require reversing.

    Day1 should be 62 miles and Day3 53miles.

  • Reviews
    This is another very good guide that does all it should, with the added benefit of six additional day rides

    The Way of the Roses is a Sea to Sea route, which, unlike some of the others, is, as Rachel Crolla points out, almost entirely suitable for road bikes. Mind you with so much to see over its 170 mile course, speed is unlikely to be on the riders mind - unless, like Rachel’s partner, you ride it as an all-in-one-go challenge.

    For those familiar with Cicerone guides, this follows their standard format. For newcomers, the usual format comprises of an introduction, followed by lots of useful information. This includes logistics, suggested itineraries, suitable bikes, maps, apps, signs, accommodation, equipment, etc.

    Then comes the route; detailed description and snippets of interesting info to sharpen the focus and get the touring juices flowing. In this volume, as with other Cicerone guides to relatively short routes, some day rides. In this case there are six; exploring round the route in five cases, with the sixth being an extension from Bridlington to Scarborough.

    As ever, the detail of useful contacts, and various lists, brings up the rear - in the appendices.

    With its termini at Morecambe and Bridlington, the Way of the Roses sets out along the river Lune, skirts the Forest of Bowland, traverses the Yorkshire Dales, crosses the Vale of York via the historic city itself, before crossing the Yorkshire Wolds to the sea-side. Those unfamiliar with Yorkshire may find the Wolds a particularly charming surprise. For the rest, the scenery is amongst the best in England, spectacular at times, bucolically rural at others. It is signed as part of the National Cycle Network.

    As with most guides, experienced cyclists will find some advice to debate. However, a lot of cycling is a matter of opinion and preference and, in any case, this is a guide, not a rule book. Rachel is a keen roadie - actually she is very much an outdoor all-rounder - and the text reflects this. Some of the phrasing and information seems to have a distinct roadie flavour, but there’s plenty in the guide for those who go slower or want be out for longer. Three and five day itineraries are suggested, though two days would suit some, and it has, as we know, been done in a single blast. The choice is yours: spend a day or a week - the guide will still help you.

    All in all this is another very good guide that does all it should, with the added benefit of those six additional rides along the way. It will fit easily in a cycling jersey pocket. I even managed to squeeze it under the cover of my favourite bar-bag. My preference is to have the maps for finding the way and using the guide for planning, and for consulting where things are not quite as straightforward as they should be. But, once again, that is a personal thing. Many will opt to download .gpx files from the webpage. You’ll also find updates there, too.

    Overall, another relevant and very helpful guide in the Cicerone canon.

    Reviewed by Steve Dyster for Seven Day Cyclist

    A joyful celebration of all that’s great about cycling in the British countryside.

    The Way of the Roses is a 170-mile coast to coast route across northern England which traverses both Lancashire and Yorkshire. Rachel Crolla’s Cycling The Way of the Roses is a companion guide to the trip with six bonus day circuits to tackle while you’re in the area – or if it whets your appetite to return. The Roses is wonderful. The vast majority of it crosses beautiful countryside and multiple places of interest. Ignore for a moment the down-at-heel elements of Morecambe and Bridlington, both former seaside hotspots that have seen better days, and it is a joyful celebration of all that’s great about cycling in the British countryside. There are hills, flatlands and country lanes aplenty, and Crolla does a marvellous job of capturing the spirit of the journey in an inspirational guide. I’d ridden the route a number of years ago, not long after it opened in 2010, but reading the guide made me want to grab my bike and do it all again – but differently.

    Crolla does a marvellous job of capturing the spirit of the journey in an inspirational guide.

    Living on the route in Settle, it’s fair to say that I’m very familiar with the first 50 miles from Morecambe to Appletreewick, but for the rest of it there’s plenty I would want to include in another Roses ride.

    The author points out where there are interesting places and sites to visit either on or within a short detour from the route. Her descriptions made me want to check out the unfamiliar ones for myself. The guide plots the course in detail over a suggested three-day itinerary, but there’s lots of useful information for planning a Roses traverse over any number of days, down to contact details for accommodation, café recommendations and suggested detours.

    The book includes map snippets which would be useful en route along with essential general info, so it would find its way into my pannier, although a re-read ahead of setting off would be highly recommended. I would also use it alongside the official map of the route. Now all I have to do is pedal.

    Julia Murfin for Freewheeling France.

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Rachel Crolla

Rachel Crolla

Rachel Crolla is an outdoors all-rounder who loves hiking, biking, scrambling and climbing. Rachel is an outdoors writer and photographer who is also trained as a journalist and teacher. She has hiked and climbed across the UK, Europe and the USA. In 2007 Rachel became the first woman to reach the summit of every country in Europe, and co-wrote the Cicerone guide book Europe's High Points soon afterwards. She is passionate about enthusing the next generation of hikers and cyclists with a love of the outdoors.

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