Goldeneye North York Moors: Cycling Country Lanes & Traffic-Free Family Routes

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The North York Moors National Park occupies a region of elevated rolling moorland, forming a steep escarpment on the north and west, and a rugged indented coastline to the east. To the south, the ground slopes more gently towards the Vales of Mowbray and Pickering. The Moors are cut up by a series of small streams, deeply incised to create a landscape of real charm. These flow down to the Vale of Pickering. Each Dale having its own characteristic: Scenic Ryedale, lonely Bransdale, the daffodils of Farndale, the industrial echoes of now quiet, Rosedale. 

To the north, the River Esk cuts a swathe eastwards on its way to Whitby. To the south, the Howardian Hills, and The Wolds, make for fine cycling: rolling hills with lanes connecting picturesque villages. For the less strenuous, the Vale of Pickering makes for an easy-going ride: quiet, flat lanes through a pastoral landscape.

To be confronted with the variety and complexity of the cycling routes, trails and paths in the North York Moors can be a bewildering experience.  For it appears that the National Park, Forestry Commission and, the local District Councils, are all trying hard to promote cycling (bike) routes. This is indeed encouraging for the growth of cycling, but it can be confusing.  Our purpose is to provide clear, easy to use and easy to follow, cycling maps, and to illustrate these in a comprehensive form. 

Recommended Routes/Trails

National Cycle Network (NCN) & Regional Routes

1. NCN 1.  This forms part of the North Sea Cycle Route and runs from the Humber Bridge to Whitby via Scarborough and includes the traffic-free Scarborough to Whitby railway path – see details below.

2. Moor To Sea Cycle Route: This 133km/80 mile route links Pickering with Scarborough and Whitby, and features forest tracks, lanes and the former coastal railway.  The northern route, RR 52, runs through Great Ayton along the Esk Valley to Whitby.

3. The White Rose Route, NCN 65, goes from Hull to Middlesborough via York (205km/123 miles) and takes in much of Yorkshire’s fine market towns and heritage sites.  There are off-shoots, NCN 656 & 657.

4. Yorkshire Wolds Circular Route, 240km/146 miles.  NCN1, NCN 164, 166 & 167 in a clockwise direction.  Al Churcher’s Route 1 is a fine introduction. 

Traffic-Free Family Routes/Trails

1. Boltby Forest. Start from Sneck Yate car park (beside Hesketh Dike).  Ten miles, and more, of byways and bridleways suitable for mountain bikers and fit teenagers with connections to the Cleveland Way – see below. (B5) 

2. Cleveland Way. This is a rough, broad track suitable for a mountain bike. And, thus you need to be fit and adventurous, for the views are splendid with some hill climbs. Best after dry weather. Not for young children.  Park at Sutton Bank. (B6)

3. Dalby Forest.  There are a number of waymarked trails for all levels, starting with the Ellerburn Cycle Trail, to the severe Black Route, and the mad-cap Dixon’s Hollow Bike Park. The trails are graded and some are suitably family-friendly for young families. Bike hire. Café at Low Dalby.   (G6)

4. Rudland Rigg.  Park about 7-miles north, of Kirkbymoorside. This is an adventurous, rough moorland track suited for mountain bikers.  You may well believe you have reached the Top of the World. To avoid a 900 ft descent, turn around when you reach the top of Greenhow Moor just after crossing the old Rosedale Mineral Railway line.  10 miles up, and 10 miles back. (D4)

5. Scarborough – Whitby Railway Path along NCN 1. 38km/23 miles. One of Britain’s great cycling trails (on a level with the Camel Trail), encompassing superb coastal views, woodland, heather-coated moorland, a thrilling viaduct, great pubs and tearooms, and a wonderful fishing village in Robin Hoods Bay.  For children, it is recommended that the Scarborough to Whitby direction is best, and young families may take about 5 hours. Refreshment stops at Cloughton, Ravenscar, RHB and Whitby.  Suggest you organize a chauffeur to drop you off, or collect, at each end. (K5)

6. York to Overton.  Start from Marygate close to the River Ouse. This is a 4-mile riverside path that runs parallel with the River Ouse, crossing Rawcliffe Meadows, home to wild flowers and birdlife. (C10)

Product Details
Publisher Goldeneye
Series Goldeneye - Cycling Country Lanes
Product Type Sheet map, folded
Pages 24 pages
Dimensions 245 x 125 (mm)
Date 15 Apr 2022
Item weight 0.06 Kg


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