Patchwork farmland extends as far as the eye can see; thousands of seabirds dart in and out of dramatic cliffs hugged by the North Sea; impressive gothic spires interrupt the skyline of medieval cities. A holiday along the Yorkshire Wolds Cycling Route is a fantastic adventure.
This Collection takes you on a relaxed journey through the Wolds in seven stages. Starting in Beverley, you will ride 170 miles (274 km) in total, averaging 25 miles (40 km) per day. Following flat, quiet lanes, this route is back-road cycling at its best and perfect for experienced riders and amateurs alike.
I’ve ended each stage in a town or village where you can resupply and find a bed for the night. This also makes it easy to lengthen your rides; keen cyclists could finish the route in three to four days. If you want to extend your journey even further, you could add on the Way of the Roses cycle route which intersects the Yorkshire Wolds Cycleway (more information here: komoot.com/collection/887582/from-historic-cities-to-rolling-hills-cycling-the-way-of-the-roses).
If you are looking for a cycle tour for the whole family, this is a great option. The back-roads are quiet and well-surfaced. However, your children should be competent sharing the road with some cars as there aren’t many totally traffic-free sections.
Whether you like a fast road bike or a stedfast steel Surly, any bike is suitable for this adventure. The roads are generally in good condition, just keep your eyes peeled for the occasional pothole.
The route will take you through centuries of Yorkshire Wold's history. Along the way, you will visit ancient churches in rural villages, ruined medieval villages and impressive stately homes such as Castle Howard and Burton Agnes Hall.
The stunning chalk landscapes and dry valleys are not only rich with history, but also wildlife. Stage 4 takes you to Bempton Cliffs, a rare puffin and gannet breeding ground. From rugged cliffs to flat plains and nature reserves, this route unveils the varied delights of the Yorkshire Wolds.
If you get peckish en route, you will find plenty of places to stop for food. The region is known for its Yorkshire Puddings, and you will even visit Bridlington, known as the ‘Lobster Capital of Europe’. We’ve included some stops at some popular cycling cafes as well.
You can easily reach the start of the route in Driffield by train, as the town has direct links to Hull, Sheffield and York. Known as ‘the Capital of the Wolds’, Driffield is a pleasant town with everything you need to set off on your journey – open skies and a spectacular region await!
For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/live/departures/beverley
For more info on the Yorkshire Wolds, visit: yorkshire.com/places/east-yorkshire/the-wolds
Leading through beautiful landscapes to magnificent churches in medieval towns and villages, stage 1 is a wonderful taste of the Yorkshire Wolds. Your adventure begins in Beverley, a charming town with a gothic church and impressive Georgian streets. The first 7.1 miles (11.5 km) head uphill, through the village of Walkington. You shouldn’t notice the gradual incline too much as the gradient is never higher than three per cent. A glorious downhill stretch brings you to South Newbald and onto North Newbald, a great place to stop for lunch. You won’t find many other food options until the end of the stage, so it’s a good idea to make the most of the pubs and cafes here. Next, a short climb leads back into the marvellous Wolds’ countryside as you ride along country lanes. Just before Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit Nature Reserve, the route joins the Hudson Way, a walking and cycling route along a disused railway line. Take care here as this section is prone to mud. If you are riding a road bike, consider continuing along Spring Road instead. After a small detour to visit the beautiful All Hallows Church in Goodmanham village, you arrive in Market Weighton, your final stop. Home to Britain’s largest sheep market, this quintessentially rural town is a pleasant place to relax. You will find a huge range of accommodation including campsites, B&Bs, and more.
With rolling hills, luscious forests and sloping parkland, stage 2 is a green escape in the Yorkshire countryside. Within minutes of setting off from Market Weighton, you will be surrounded by peaceful nature. If you have decent tyre tread, you could take the off-road Wolds Way path which runs parallel to the official route here. After a small incline, you arrive in Londesborough where you can visit the historic Londesborough Park, a great place to stop for a picnic lunch. The next stretch is a flat ride through farmland and woods towards Burnby, home to a Grade II-listed church. Continue along Burnby Lane as it carves through Moordales and Burnby Moor and into Pocklington. A popular gateway to the Yorkshire Wolds, it’s worth spending some time exploring this historic market town. You can visit the tranquil Burnby Hall Gardens and relax in one of the many cafes. From Pocklington, the route gradually rises and falls through the tranquil countryside, passing a pretty lake, Millington Beck and Whinny Hill. Next, Millington village welcomes you with two pubs and a handy bicycle repair shop. You will then ride through the enchanting Millington Woods before dropping down into Huggate. There is limited accommodation in the village at the Wolds Inn, which also serves food.
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Today you will clock up 29.5 miles (47.6 km) as you ride from Huggate to Malton, discovering more of the charming Yorkshire Wolds. Hills are the word of the day as you climb 1,509 feet (460 metres) through the countryside, but don't worry it's not too steep. From Huggate, follow lanes that head gradually uphill, before taking a sharp right to the top of Garrowby Hill. The road then descends towards Thixendale, wiggles up through rolling hills, and drops down to Leavening. Here, you can quench your thirst and hunger at the Jolly Farmers Inn, which hosts the annual ‘World Championship Yorkshire Pudding Eating Competition.’ Continue along rural lanes to Westow and on to Kirkham. Home to Kirkham Priory, this picturesque village on the banks of the River Derwent is well worth exploring. Cross the river and take a sharp uphill to join a cycle path along the A64. After a few hundred feet, you will rejoin back-roads and ride past the Crown & Cushion pub and onto Castle Howard, an impressive stately home. From here, head eastwards up and over more emerald hills for 6.2 miles (10 km) when you reach Malton, your final stop. Known as Yorkshire’s food capital, Malton has heaps of great restaurants and cafes, as well as farmers markets and foodie events. You’ll find everything you need for a comfortable stay including various accommodation and a train station.
Ancient forests with mossy floors, nature reserves thriving with butterflies, and deserted medieval villages – stage 4 is a wonderful journey through historic landscapes. From Malton, cross the River Derwent and ride through Norton. After a short stretch along the busy Beverley Road, you will veer left onto a lane that leads through patchwork farmland to Settrington, a quiet village which once rebelled against King Henry VIII during the Bigod’s Rebellion. The route climbs steeply from the village to the Settrington Beacon. With a gradient of up to 17%, expect to push your heavy touring bike here. Enjoying lovely views over the Wolds, you can now enjoy a relaxed stretch through beautiful landscapes with barely a car in sight. At Duggleby, I’ve included a small detour to visit Wharram Percey and Wharram Quarry Nature Reserve. Next, ride through Kirby Grindalythe and on to Sledmere, a quaint village with a historic church and Sledmere House & Gardens. Sledmere Farm Shop and The Triton Inn are good places to stop for lunch. The final 8.3 miles (13.5 km) are an easy downhill ride along a lane to Helperthorpe. The road is slightly busier here as you ride between Weaverthorpe and Butterwick, finally reaching Foxholes. You will pass a few grocery stores on the way (in Butterwick and along the road just before Foxholes) in case you need a snack. A pleasant Wolds village, Foxholes has limited accommodation. You’ll find a comfortable bed at the Manor Farm B&B in the centre.
From green countryside to rugged cliffs, stage 5 showcases varied landscapes as you ride from Foxhole to the sea. Your day begins with a 1.5 mile (2.5 km) climb along a hedge-lined lane hugged either side by pretty farmland. The open countryside is occasionally interrupted by a farm or hamlet, but otherwise you are free to enjoy this section in peace. The lane descends into Burton Fleming, where you can stop for a pit stop at the Burton Arms pub. From here, another lovely road winds through golden fields of hay and arrives in the red-brick village of Grindale. Here, you will veer left to Bempton, a thriving town with shops, cafes, pubs, and a train station. Bempton is a popular holiday destination as it’s a stone’s throw from the coast, where you’re now headed! The route takes you on a small detour to visit some of the best spots along the coast in this area. After visiting the magnificent Bempton Cliffs, you will ride back through Bempton towards Flamborough where Flamborough Head Lighthouse and Danes Dyke are waiting to be explored. It’s definitely worth taking your time here to fully appreciate the glorious coastal landscapes and wildlife. After visiting Sewerby Hall, you ride to Bridlington, the final stop on stage 5. A popular seaside resort, Bridlington has heaps of attractions from museums to beaches and golf. As such, you will also find plenty of accommodation options in the town.
Stage 6 is an easy 24.1 mile (38.8 km) ride heading inland from Bridlington to Driffield. With only 459 feet (140 metres) of elevation gain, it’s flat most of the way. Enjoy the salty breeze along Bridlington’s seafront before joining a small lane into the countryside on the outskirts of the town. Enjoy this quiet section of countryside before turning left to Burton Agnes where you can visit the spectacular Burton Agnes Hall. Next, cross over the railway line and wind your way to Harpham, a small village with a rich history and a friendly pub. Continue along the lane as it follows the Kelk Beck, passing Conygarth Hill. Just after Lowthorpe, you will cross back over the railway tracks twice on your way to Nafferton, a thriving town with plenty of places to stop for supplies. This unassuming town was once home to mesolithic hunter-gatherers who set up camps in the area. After 2.3 miles (3.7 km), you will arrive in Driffield, marking the end of stage 6. Known as ‘The Capital of the Wolds’, Driffield is a great town with loads of food options to indulge after your ride. You’ll find everything from takeaways to old coaching inns, and even a cycle friendly cafe – the Bike Cave. There’s also lots of accommodation to choose from.
Your final day of exploring the Yorkshire Wolds Cycleway takes you from Driffield to Beverley. Today you can expect glorious countryside, friendly cycling cafes, beautiful churches, and flat roads all the way. On the outskirts of Driffield, cross over the Driffield Navigation and ride into the rural heart of the Wolds. You can typically expect to see tractors, stacked hay bales and fields of crops as you ride into Skerne. Continue along lanes for another 3 miles (5 km) and you will arrive in Hutton Cranswick, a friendly village with a SPAR supermarket, farm shop, pub and chippie. You won’t find many other places to stop until later on, so pick up some snacks here. There’s also a train station. After a short stretch on the busy Beverley Road, rejoin lanes that wind through the picturesque East Ridings countryside – this area is an absolute haven for cyclists. You can enjoy the wonderful uninterrupted landscapes for 8.4 miles (13.6 km) when you pass through South Dalton and Etton villages and on to Cherry Burton. The last leg leads through the countryside, through Walkington and finally into Beverley, marking the completion of the Yorkshire Wolds Cycleway. With Georgian streets, upmarket shops, historic pubs and an excellent music scene, Beverley offers something for everyone and is a great place to end your adventure.With direct train links to Sheffield, York, and Hull you can easily return home by rail from here. For train tickets and time tables, see: thetrainline.com/live/departures/beverley