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1

Morecambe to Settle

The place to stay in Morecambe is undoubtedly the stunning art deco Midland Hotel, an astonishing outpost of the Railway Age on the seafront. But if, like us, your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, choose from one of the many guesthouses in this pleasantly weathered seaside resort, and eat at the excellent Palatine pub.

Take a photo by the Way of the Roses sign on the promenade before setting off. The first seven miles are all easy railway path, crossing the River Lune in Lancaster on a splendid new cycle bridge. Note the Lancaster Canal passing overhead on a sturdy aqueduct.

The friendly little café at Caton marks the start of the country lanes that characterise this route, often unfenced through lush pasture. There’s a few climbs as you dodge along the side of the Lune Valley, but nothing too steep; the gently undulating ride up the Wenning Valley from Wray, long a favourite road with cyclists, is greatly enjoyable.

It might be called the Way of the Roses, but only 19 miles of this 170-mile route is in Lancashire. Clapham is a pretty Yorkshire Dales village, and a good tea-and-cake stop. There was once a notorious cobbled lane here, all tunnels and rocks, but the route has sensibly been rerouted along a new cyclepath beside the busy A65; those with suspension might still like to try their skills at the original route.

The valley of the infant Ribble leads to Settle, best known for its railway to Carlisle but in itself a friendly, not-too-touristy town. Local supermarket legends Booths (like Waitrose, but northern) have an outlet here. Accommodation in Settle is a little pricier than you’ll pay elsewhere, but it’s a good first-night stop if you’re taking the route over four days.

Hotels

from £238Little Leaves
from £55The Royal Oak

Arkholme

from £141Storrs Croft

Arkholme

from £60Brunthill House

Bentham

from £79Burnmoor View

Bolton le Sands

Bolton le Sands (Near Morecombe)

Burton-in-Lonsdale Carnforth

Carnforth

from £75Red Well Inn
from £105The Homestead

Clapham

from £127New Inn Hotel

Claughton

Cumbria & the Lakes

Hest Bank

from £105Coastal View

Heysham

High Bentham

Ingleton

from £70Holly Grange
from £60Wheatsheaf

Kirkby Lonsdale

Lancashire

Lancaster

from £55Crows Hotel
from £35Headway Hotel
from £120The Ashton
from £80The Borough

Langcliffe Near Settle

Low Bentham

Melling

from £103Station House

Morecambe

from £9215 Elms Road
from £0Belle Vue
from £70Craigwell
from £92Enys
from £140Midland Hotel
from £59The Ashley
from £35The Clifton
from £32The Sea Crest
from £58The Sea Lynn
from £27The Trevelyan
from £60The Westleigh
from £76The Wimslow
from £31Westleigh
from £70Yacht Bay View
from £40York Hotel

Morecambe, Lancashire

Near Settle

Nr Settle

from £95The Traddock

Settle

from £80Moor View
from £55Royal Oak
from £0The Stables

Skipton

Slyne-With-Hest Lancaster

Wigglesworth

2

Settle to Ripon

Any coast-to-coast route is going to involve some hills. The good news is that the Way of the Roses is much kinder than, say, the C2C. But it’s still no pussycat – and the climbs start here.

The climb out of Settle is crazily steep… and cobbled. It’s also pretty short; the main action is over in half a mile, so there’s no shame in pushing. You’re rewarded with the surprisingly remote scenery at the top, followed by a string of little villages over the succeeding miles. The tiny narrow road out of Cracoe is particularly enjoyable.

Burnsall and Appletreewick are good places to overnight if you’re tackling the route in three days, and enjoyable stops at any rate. Burnsall thrives on its riverside tea rooms, while Appletreewick has two excellent pubs, camping and a ‘mountain bike livery’.

There’s another tough climb up from Appletreewick to Greenhow Hill, but it’s the following descent where you have to take more care. The B-road down to Pateley Bridge is twisty, steep and often potholed. Take it carefully, especially in wet weather; there have been serious cycling accidents here. Ridden sensibly, it’s very enjoyable.

Pateley Bridge itself is a pleasant Dales town, a good place to refuel for the next climb – pretty much the last one for 60 miles. It leads to Brimham Rocks, a National Trust-owned playground of “weird and wonderful” rock formations, and a genuinely surreal area to cycle through.

The National Trust figures again five miles further on, at Fountains Abbey. This World Heritage Site is a stunning assembly of history: the Cistercian abbey, the landscape gardens, the medieval deer park. Best of all, you can cycle through the grounds, in a remarkably forward-thinking move by the Trust – one which other stately home owners would do well to emulate (yes, we mean you, Blenheim Palace). It makes a fittingly grand approach to the cathedral city of Ripon.

Hotels

from £55The Royal Oak

Airton

from £125Cove View
from £125Stable Cottage
from £113The Byre

Airton

Bell Busk

from £219The Mill Lodge

Bell Busk

Birstwith

Bishop Monkton

Bishop Monkton Nr. Ripon

from £143The Barn
from £125The Granary

Burnsall

Burnt Yates Near Harrogate

Dallowgill

from £80Crag House

Darley, Harrogate

Fellbeck

from £131Sugar Hill Farm

Gargrave

from £96Duck Cottage
from £64River Place

Grassington

from £141Oakbank
from £85Scar Croft

Harrogate

from £58Chequers Inn
from £62Chequers Inn
from £90The Crown Inn

Hebden

from £379Dipper Fold

Knaresborough

Langcliffe Near Settle

Malham

from £55The Buck
from £84The Buck Inn

Malham, Near Skipton

from £69Beck Hall

North Yorkshire

Nr Settle

from £95The Traddock

Nr Skipton

Pateley Bridge

from £0Crossgates
from £0Fellbeck
from £110Grassfield Hall
from £140Grassfield Hall

Ripon

from £130Oak Tree House

Scalegill Mill Kirkby Malham

from £52Dipper

Settle

from £55Royal Oak
from £0The Stables

Skipton

from £140Love Cottage
from £58Masons Arms
from £15YHA Malham
from £0YHA Malham

Threshfield

from £118Grisedale Barn

Threshfield

from £70Bridge House

Wigglesworth

Winksley Banks

from £126The Old Barn

Wormald Green

York

from £110The Crown Inn
3

Ripon to York

Had enough hills for now? No problem. The route is almost entirely flat between Ripon and York, following the Ure and Ouse valley (one of those rivers that changes its name). Neither city needs an introduction from us. Both are tourist hotspots, best known for their cathedral and minster respectively; and both have plenty to distract the touring cyclist for an afternoon or more.

The Way of the Roses meanders down the valley along quiet rural lanes, stopping in at Boroughbridge – less well known than Ripon, certainly, but worth a brief stop. It crosses the Ouse on the rickety Aldwark Toll Bridge, which is free for cyclists; motorists are charged a sky-high 40p. From here the roads get a little busier, but still very tolerable except, perhaps, at school run times.

The route enters York on a tarmac cycle path across the meadows, neatly avoiding the city traffic. Then, instead of continuing along the riverside, it diverts past York Minster onto another traffic-free route, the Foss Islands path. It’s a good route all told, but you’ll miss out much of York if you simply follow it; so lock your bike up by the Minster, and go for a stroll around town.

Hotels

Aldwark

from £93Haddocks Nook

Aldwark

Arkendale

Beningbrough Nr. York

Bishop Monkton

Bishop Monkton Nr. Ripon

from £143The Barn
from £125The Granary

Boroughbridge

Boroughbridge

from £60Grantham Arms

Brafferton

from £60Oak Tree Inn

Central York.

from £176York Penthouse

Fishergate York

from £189Waters Edge

Green Hammerton

Harrogate

from £62Chequers Inn
from £58Chequers Inn

Helperby

Heworth, York

Huntington

from £119Rivendell

Knaresborough

Linton-on-Ouse

Moor Monkton

Murton

Nr York

Ripon

from £130Oak Tree House

Skeldergate York

from £225Jorvik

Tollerton, York

Upper Poppleton

from £56The Red Lion

Vale Of York

Wormald Green

York

from £14Safestay York

York

from £7423 St Mary's
from £179Abbeygate House
from £70Airden House
from £0Amor Matris
from £93Ascot House
from £109Ascot House
from £159Ascot Mews
from £0Astley House
from £13Astor York
from £0B B York
from £50B+B York
from £50Bay Horse
from £152Belfrey House
from £88Big Barn
from £114Biggan Mews
from £89Blakeney House
from £62Blakeney House
from £55Blossoms York
from £61Blossoms York
from £45Blossoms York
from £70Bowen House
from £80Bowen House
from £85Carr Lodge
from £105City 3
from £142Clifford'S View
from £517Ellerburn Lodge
from £89Feversham Lodge
from £41Grange Lodge
from £0Grays Court
from £180Grays Court
from £109Guy Fawkes Inn
from £100Henshaw House
from £84Hilton York
from £67Hotel 53
from £52Hotel Noir
from £52Jorvik Hotel
from £0Jorvik House
from £104Judges Court
from £333Lendal Tower
from £69Little Barn
from £99Martins Court
from £60Middletons
from £45Midway House
from £118Monks Retreat
from £219Murton Grange
from £70No. 21 York
from £110No. 21 York
from £53Old Grey Mare
from £135River Haven
from £13Safestay York
from £129St Denys Hotel
from £182St Peter's
from £85Stableside
from £60The Bay Horse
from £65The Cavalier
from £110The Crown Inn
from £70The Farthings
from £89The Granary
from £89The Hayloft
from £69The Hollies
from £79The Limes
from £84The Limes
from £85The Nags Head
from £116The Old Stables
from £91Walker House
from £29YHA York
from £15YHA York
from £10YHA York
from £0York House
from £59Zills B&B
4

York to Bridlington

The easy riding continues through the flatlands of East Yorkshire, passing Stamford Bridge – site of the other 1066 battle. The journey there involves an unsurfaced bridleway, but it’s easily rideable and avoids the busy A road running parallel.

Pocklington is a real find, an unspoilt market town with an endearing mix of architectural styles. It marks the beginnings of the Yorkshire Wolds, a superb cycling area that has somehow escaped the attention of most riders. The next ten miles of riding are among the best on the whole route, tiny lanes nestling in narrow dales. There’s a small amount of climbing to do – we’re starting from just above sea level, after all – but it’s worth it.

After descending into Tibthorpe, a roundabout route takes the Way of the Roses into the proudly old-fashioned town of Driffield – perhaps best known for its annual agricultural show.

From here, it’s quiet lanes all the way to Bridlington, with a short off-road interlude after Harpham. This area, particularly the Roman Road of Woldgate, is a frequent source of inspiration for painter and Bridlington resident David Hockney.

Bridlington’s cheerful promenade, busy harbour and acres of sand make for a terrific end to the route. Arrive on a summer day and it’s the quintessential seaside resort, still with a touch of the 1950s about it; even on an autumn evening it has an undeniable appeal. But be warned – people have been known to stare out to sea and think “hmmm, maybe my next challenge should be the 4,000-mile North Sea Cycle Route”…

Hotels

Bainton, Driffield

from £100Wolds Village

Barmby Moor York

Barmby on the Moor

Bempton

from £66Copper House
from £67Shyre Stable
from £66The Granary
from £70The Hayloft

Bempton Flamborough Head

from £107Cliff Cottage

Boynton Near Bridlington

Brandesburton

from £145Broad Leaf
from £219Four Bays
from £138Meadow View
from £180Riverview
from £104Woodlands

Bridlington

from £88Comyn
from £65Expanse Hotel
from £107Fairways Lodge
from £25Glencoe Hotel
from £0Happy Days
from £71Holmlea
from £82Mews Cottage
from £77Monarch Hotel
from £20Monarch Hotel
from £0Mont Millais
from £35Mont Millais
from £60Sans Lodge
from £47Shearwater
from £75South Lodge
from £50Spaview
from £70Spaview
from £86The Beach Hut
from £69The Beach Hut
from £55The Belmont
from £76The Brockton
from £30The Chimes
from £54The Glen Alan
from £45The Hollies
from £40The Marina
from £75The Oasis
from £49The Seacourt
from £75The Stonmar
from £67The Tennyson
from £0Trinity
from £0Viking Hotel
from £30Winston House

Bridlington, East Yorkshire

from £70Lincoln House

Brigham

from £90Meadow View
from £122The Byre
from £407The Granary
from £74The Stable

Buttercrambe

Central York.

from £176York Penthouse

Cranswick

Driffield

Driffield

from £62The Star Inn
from £62White Horse Inn
from £108Wolds Village

Fishergate York

from £189Waters Edge

Flamborough

from £0Breil Newk

Harpham

Hayton York

Heworth, York

Huggate

Huggate

from £170Wolds Away

Huntington

from £119Rivendell

Kirkburn

from £78Acorn Cottage

Murton

Nafferton

from £244Beech View

Nafferton

from £58The Star Inn

North Dalton

North Dalton Driffield

Pocklington East Yorkshire

from £175KP Lodges

Pocklington

from £69The KP

Pocklington York.

Sewerby

from £71Beech Cottage
from £101Chesnut Cottage
from £76Oak Cottage

Sewerby Bridlington

from £126The Galery
from £76The Road Hole

Sewerby Nr. Bridlington

from £108Wilson'S Find

Skeldergate York

from £225Jorvik

Tibthorpe Nr. Driffield

from £113The Bolthole

Upper Poppleton

from £56The Red Lion

Vale Of York

Wansford

from £0The Old Barn

Wansford

Wilberfoss

Wilberfoss Nr. York

from £125Casa Dolce Vita
from £150Eden Lodge
from £139Laburnum Lodge
from £129Poplar Lodge
from £0Sandy Lodge

Wilsthorpe

York

from £14Safestay York

York

from £7423 St Mary's
from £179Abbeygate House
from £70Airden House
from £0Amor Matris
from £93Ascot House
from £109Ascot House
from £159Ascot Mews
from £0Astley House
from £13Astor York
from £0B B York
from £50B+B York
from £50Bay Horse
from £152Belfrey House
from £88Big Barn
from £114Biggan Mews
from £62Blakeney House
from £89Blakeney House
from £55Blossoms York
from £61Blossoms York
from £45Blossoms York
from £70Bowen House
from £80Bowen House
from £85Carr Lodge
from £105City 3
from £142Clifford'S View
from £517Ellerburn Lodge
from £89Feversham Lodge
from £41Grange Lodge
from £0Grays Court
from £180Grays Court
from £109Guy Fawkes Inn
from £100Henshaw House
from £84Hilton York
from £67Hotel 53
from £52Hotel Noir
from £52Jorvik Hotel
from £0Jorvik House
from £104Judges Court
from £333Lendal Tower
from £69Little Barn
from £99Martins Court
from £60Middletons
from £45Midway House
from £118Monks Retreat
from £219Murton Grange
from £70No. 21 York
from £110No. 21 York
from £53Old Grey Mare
from £135River Haven
from £13Safestay York
from £129St Denys Hotel
from £182St Peter's
from £85Stableside
from £60The Bay Horse
from £65The Cavalier
from £70The Farthings
from £89The Granary
from £89The Hayloft
from £69The Hollies
from £79The Limes
from £84The Limes
from £85The Nags Head
from £116The Old Stables
from £91Walker House
from £29YHA York
from £10YHA York
from £15YHA York
from £0York House
from £60Yorkway Motel
from £59Zills B&B

Yorkshire Moors & Coast