On Your Bike!
Following Great Britain’s sterling cycling success in the Olympic velodrome, we thought now would be a great time to inspire you to get on your bike!
As we all know, Skipton and its surrounds boast some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer, so it’s not been easy selecting just five routes. However, with the help of Craven District Council and their fantastic cycle guide, we think we’ve picked the best of the bunch. And because we’ve selected routes of varying difficulty, there’s something here for everyone, whether you’re a starter in the saddle or fancy yourself as the next Chris Froome!
Skipton to Bolton Abbey – Beginner
The Craven District Council guide describes this as a ‘pleasant ride mainly on quiet country roads’, so we reckon even our very own Declan could tackle this one!
Clocking in at a steady seven miles long, and with no pesky hill climbs getting in the way, this is a great option for family bike rides or for those starting out on the road to cycling glory. And if you’re tired by the time you get to Bolton Abbey, you can always do the return leg on the steam train…
Skipton to Gargrave – Beginner
The easiest of our routes, the Skipton to Gargrave circuit is just 5 miles long and mostly flat. It does have a moderate uphill section towards the approach to Gargrave, but just look at this as a way of earning your reward when you settle down for a well-earned drink* at the charming Masons Arms pub!
(*Remember, no alcohol if you’re cycling the return leg home!)
Grassington to Kettlewell – Intermediate
The starting point is a bit further out than the other routes in the list, but seeing as it’s in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales it’s more than worth the extra bit of effort to get there. And Kettlwell’s Blue Bell Inn makes for the perfect halfway resting point for when your bum gets a bit saddle-sore!
Skipton to Glusburn – Intermediate
At nearly 14 miles in length and with an overall incline of 274 metres, we’re stepping up the difficulty level here. But it’s a beautiful ride that takes in the picturesque Airedale Valley, and whilst the first half is quite hilly, the second half rewards you with a more gentle approach to the finish line.
Skipton into Wharfedale – Expert
Well, this is the one we’ve been building up to! This route takes us back to Bolton Abbey, but instead of taking the steam train home you head north to Hebden and Grassington before looping back through beautiful Burnsall and Embsay. There is one big climb towards to the end so be sure to keep some energy in reserve. But what sets this route apart from the others is its length – at 29 miles its easily the longest ride on our list.
Route map (courtesy of www.cyclethedales.org.uk – a fantastic resource for cyclists of all abilities)
So there we have it, our top five Skipton circuits! Did we miss your favourite? If so, don’t be shy in saying so – recommend your route and we’ll force Dec to give it a go!