Best day rides from Yorkshire’s towns and cities

canal boat on Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley

Canalside life at Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley

Wheel chair cyclist on Spen Valley Greenway South Bradford

Spen Valley Greenway near Oakenshaw, South Bradford, National Route 66

Child on bike next to waterfall near Ripley Castle on the Harrogate to Ripley Route

Near Ripley Castle on the Harrogate to Ripley route

With some of the National Cycle Network’s most beautiful routes you are truly spoilt for choice for walking and cycling options in Yorkshire.

Whether you’re looking for stately homes, nature reserves or canalside life, there is a great bike ride just waiting to be discovered. 

Best for history…York to Beningbrough

This beautiful 9-mile ride starts from the historic and picturesque city of York, a must on most UK visitor's itineraries, and winds its way north towards the impressive Beningbrough Hall, a fantastic 18th century mansion, park and gardens with interactive galleries and pictures from the National Portrait Gallery.

Best for wildlife…Barnsley to Old Moor RSPB Reserve

This short 6.5-mile route takes you from Barnsley train station on a traffic free path to the RSPB Old Moor Reserve, which is teaming with birds and wildlife. It’s an award winning reserve where you can spot kingfishers, lapwings, tree sparrows and at dusk, you can listen out for the shrill calls of little owls. 

Best short ride…Barton-upon-Humber to North Ferriby

This route in Hull is a 7-mile round trip and is mainly on flat traffic-free paths and enables you to explore both sides of the Humber Bridge with parks, a nature reserve, picnic spots, spectacular views of the bridge. Not to forget you can cycle over the Bridge itself! The route description starts at Barton-upon-Humber station, but you can equally start the route at Hessle or North Ferriby stations.

Best city escape…Harrogate to Ripley Cycle Route

This 4-mile route connects Bilton, North Harrogate, and Knaresborough with Ripley on a fantastic 4-mile converted railway line. There are currently unsigned on-road connections between Ripley and the Way of the Roses cycle route to the North and the stunning Yorkshire Dales to the west. 

Best for countryside…Penistone to Dunford Bridge

This beautiful, traffic-free ride takes you from the busy market town of Penistone to the rolling moors of the Peak District at Dunford Bridge. Fully surfaced, and ideal for children, the path follows the route of the old Great Central Railway, winding through glorious countryside, with stunning views across the valley, and a wealth of wild flowers.

Best for coastal views…Scarborough to Hayburn Wyke

This lovely 7-mile route takes you along the coast from the seaside resort of Scarborough with its spectacular Castle and two sweeping sandy bays, along a traffic-free converted railway line, the "Cinder Track” to the secluded cove of Hayburn Wyke in the North York Moors National Park.

Best for shopaholics…Sheffield to Rotherham (via Meadowhall)

This surprisingly green 9-mile route takes you between two of South Yorkshire’s main urban areas, Sheffield and Rotherham, using a traffic-free greenway along the canal and the River Don Valley, passing the shopping mecca of Meadowhall.

Best for canalside life…Leeds to Saltaire

This popular and attractive 15-mile ride begins in vibrant Leeds and winds its way out of the city along the traffic-free towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The route is full of historic interest and some surprisingly scenic countryside.

Best for urban adventure…Bradford Red Bridge Route

This great 4-mile route takes you between two of Bradford’s best open spaces - City Park and Bowling Park, travelling over the iconic Red Bridge on the way. You can cross Bowling Hall Road to the north east of Bowling Park and visit Bolling Hall which is now a museum and a great way to explore Bradford's heritage.

Discover more rides in Yorkshire

Do your own Slow Tour of Yorkshire

Discover the National Cycle Network

Whether you walk, cycle, run or ride a horse, there's plenty of opportunity for adventure and getting involved!

children cycling

Cycling is a great way to have fun as a family and these routes have lots of things to see and do along the way.

cyclist admiring route view

Love the National Cycle Network? Sponsor your favourite mile and help us keep it in top condition.

Check out our volunteer vacancies in your area.

kids out on a bike ride

Your donations will help maintain the National Cycle Network and provide safer routes for everyone to enjoy.