Looking for a gentle introduction to cycling in the English countryside? The North York Wolds Cycle Route is certainly set up for that.
Unwind on this beautiful circular tour of the Yorkshire Wolds. Follow quiet country lanes for ‘big sky’ cycling and pedal on back roads with long views.
The ‘Wolds’ comprise a great arcing chain of chalky hills north of the Humber Estuary (near Hull). You can literally see for miles across this gently rolling, colourful chalk land and agricultural landscape. Then, suddenly, you'll be winding your way through a hidden dry valley. Coincidence or not, these are just some of the scenes that were painted by the internationally acclaimed artist David Hockney. He actually first discovered the Yorkshire Wolds on a bicycle! The Wolds are a landscape that inspired one of Hockney's famous paintings: Woldgate. Along the way, your bike ride passes by famers' markets, hidden villages, grand country houses, wildflowers, some sea cliffs, nature reserves, historic priories, and some of the Yorkshire Wolds' most fascinating landmarks.
The ride is in a clockwise direction, the best way of experiencing it we believe. You'll cycle west from Beverley to Market Weighton and Pocklington, as far north as Malton, across to Bridlington in the east and then back to Beverley through Driffield. If you're in for cream tea, independent shops or a pub visit, the beautiful East Riding towns & villages will certainly cover you.
Arrive in Beverley, which in medieval times was in the top 10 most important towns in England. It was the place of pilgrimage to Beverly Minster on the site of an early church built by John of Beverley, Archbishop of York. The town is named after the beavers that used to roam around the rivers here.
Today you should have time to visit the minster, a huge cathedral-sized church dating back to 1404. Also visit St Mary’s the 12th century daughter church of the minster that was built to serve the town's trading community. Beverly has a lively outdoor market and a surviving medieval town gatehouse. You'll find many other interesting buildings as you walk around town, including the Guild Hall.
Accommodation: A family-run bed & breakfast which boasts character and charm with the original features of a Victorian town house, close to the town centre. Each room is individually designed, with free Wi-Fi as well as a TV. There is a spacious lounge and a secluded, walled garden.
Roll out of the suburbs of Beverley in the morning and then through the big sky agricultural landscape, punctuated with small strips of forest plantation. Next is a good run into Market Weighton, perhaps for lunch. Once the location of Britain’s largest sheep market, it is also the birthplace of William Bradley, the UK's tallest recorded man. Today the village is celebrated for its quintessentially English farmers' market, duck pond and pretty red tile roofs. From here there are a few mild climbs and descents passing Londesborough Park & Gardens and the dry valley of Cleaving Coombe to bring you into Pocklington – a historic market town. Peace and tranquility can be found in the town's renowned gardens at Burnby Hall. Pocklington is a town of charming, independent shops and boutiques. The beautiful church dates back to before the 15th century and the illustrious Pocklington School has produced luminaries such as William Wilberforce, the slave abolitionist who began his anti-slavery campaign whilst boarding here.
Accommodation: An old posting and market inn dating back to Elizabethan times.The inn underwent extensive reconstruction in the early nineteenth century, whilst still retaining some of its original features and has been refurbished. There is a friendly ghost called Charlotte, as featured on British television’s Most Haunted. Rooms are ensuite with free Wi-Fi, television, hospitality tray and hairdryer.
A series of climbs and the valley of Pasturdale bring you up to Huggate, with its duck pond and small inn where Hockney once stayed. In his youth, Hockney spent two summers stacking corn, cycling and “falling in love with this part of the world.” Heading on you roll around on top of the Wolds before descending with your bike into Thixendale. Nearby is the Robert Fuller Gallery - the artist paints wildlife at his estate with cameras set up in several places. An undulating ride brings you to Kirkham on a point above the river Rye before heading north east into Malton. This is a market town that has provided a welcome for travellers from at least Roman times and is now claimed to be ‘Yorkshire’s food capital’ busy with local stores, bakeries, butchers, micro breweries and restaurants. If you have time, or if you want to take an extra day here, 11km (6.8miles) away is Castle Howard; an ornate, gilded 18th century stately home set in landscaped grounds with fountains, trails and lakes. Even closer to Malton is Eden Camp Museum, an ex-World War II prison camp, now an interesting modern history museum.
Accommodation: A traditional inn at the heart of Malton village with attractive rooms with free Wi-Fi. There is good pub food from locally sourced providers.
Your third day of cycling soon gets underway with a steep climb up Fizgig Hill, after Settring Village. The cycling then goes back to more gentle undulations through the fertile farmland and hills of the Wolds, by now a familiar pattern. Finally you descend into Cans Dale and over South Dale to arrive in Hunmanby. The village is nestled between the coast and Yorkshire Wolds and its name is Danish. Originally Hundemanbi, meaning ‘farmstead of the hounds men’, the name relates to the hunting down of wolves on the Yorkshire Wolds.
In 1907, a landslip revealed a burial site from the 2nd or 1st century BC, in which a chariot was buried horse and all. A tumulus on a local farm was opened up to reveal an ancient burial site containing 15 skeletons, Roman pottery, a flint axe and arrowheads. Stroll around the village and admire All Saints Church with its unusual Admirals Arch.
Accommodation: A converted 18th century inn, rooms have TV, hospitality tray and free Wi-Fi.
Today is quite a long day, but generally with gentle cycling. Although it adds a few kms, you can take a ride off route to the RSPB sanctuary of Bempton Cliffs. The site is famed for its breeding seabirds including puffins and razorbills (April to July). More than 200,000 seabirds live on these 100m high chalk precipices over the sea.
The next place of note is the seaside at Bridlington, where you should make time for a paddle and an ice cream. Just before the town is Sewerby Hall, a Grade I listed Georgian country house set in 50 acres of landscaped gardens. They have recently been restored to it’s Edwardian elegance. Then its back inland, gently climbing up Rudston Beacon and descending into Burton Agnes. Visit its Elizabethan manor house, with its haunted hall and a Norman manor house. You finally drift into Driffield (‘Dirty-Field’ in Anglo Saxon). It is named the Capital of the Wolds and another East Riding market town. From here Wolds produce was shipped down the canal to Hull and out to the rest of the world. You have lots of choice in pubs and restaurants here.
Accommodation: A class apart, our 18th century listed hotel just oozes style and good taste, with 16 individually styled bedrooms and suites. In keeping with the hotel's rich history and quaint market town location, you’ll also find antiques and fine arts throughout. The hotel boasts an oak panelled restaurant and bar with around 300 single malt whiskies and hand-pulled real ales.
From here the Yorkshire Wolds Cycleway concludes with a shorter day in typical Wolds style. Wind around the roads that connect the farms together with the little market villages. The old man-made medieval landscape arrangement still exists. You may notice Dutch influence in some of the buildings in this area. You pass through many farms and a couple of picturesque villages such as Etton and Cherry Burton. Arriving back in Beverley, we trust the town will be as welcoming to you as it was to King Charles II - after being refused entry to Hull, he stayed in a guesthouse here for 3 weeks shortly before the start of the English Civil War.
Accommodation: The same family-run bed & breakfast as on day 1.
|Single room, incl. breakfast||866.00|
|Double room, incl. breakfast||656.00|
|Extra night, per room incl. breakfast||140.00|
There is a variety of accommodation along the Yorkshire Wolds cycling route ranging from bed & breakfasts, lodges and pubs to small hotels. They are run by cycling-friendly hosts offering en-suite or private facility rooms with a tasty breakfast to get you ready for the day ahead. Further facilities such as washing & drying and packed lunches are available in some accommodations, you will be advised on your listing of what is available.
If you decide not bring your own, you can rent a bicycle through us. You can choose from a range of bicycles suitable for your route. As well as providing you with the different options available, our team can organise the rental for you. Just contact us for details.
Once all confirmed, you will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel or at an alternative meeting point. When your bike is handed over to you, you'll also be provided with items such as the keys, chain lock, helmet and spare inner tube.
From 1 person (supplement applies)
The Yorkshire Wolds cycle is moderate (3) grade with daily cycles of between 32-62 km (20-38.5 miles) on undulating to hilly terrain. The cycling is on low traffic sideroads and cycleways. <br>
It is suitable for adults of all ages and fitness levels but not for children. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this cycling tour of the English countryside.
7 nights included on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
Hotels, inns, guesthouses, and B&Bs
7 breakfasts included
The overnight accommodations are on a bed and breakfast basis, you will have a selection of cold and hot options each morning to choose from, including full English breakfast.
Packed lunches can be booked and paid for on arrival at your accommodation. They offer a good selection of sandwiches, snacks and drink for you to then take with you on your bike ride. On most sections of this Yorkshire Wolds cycling route you will also pass a café and/or shop.
For evening meals you will have a variety of lovely pubs and restaurants to choose from or your accommodation can provide a tasty meal.
Daily departures between late March and mid-October
Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
Bike hire not included; approx. £280 or e-bikes £340
One piece of luggage per person transferred between accommodations, not exceeding 20kg
The nearest Airport is Leeds/Bradford. After a shuttle bus to Leeds railway station you will then travel to Beverley by train via Hull.
Manchester Airport is approx. 2.5hrs away by train to/from Beverley.
Beverley is on the rail network, on the line between Hull and Scarborough. London King's Cross to Beverley trains generally depart hourly via Hull and possibly via Doncaster. The journey takes 3-4 hours. Also from the North there are regular trains from York via Hull in 1.5-2 hours.
See nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and planning. You are advised to book tickets and reserve a seat (and your bike) in advance. Tickets are usually cheaper when booked in advance.
Hull is only 10miles (16km) away and it takes approximately 25 minutes for a taxi to drive to/from the Ferry Terminal. Daily services run between Hull - Rotterdam (NL) and Hull - Zeebrugge (BE).