Way of the Roses

Route Details

  • From - to: A coast to coast cycle route from Morecambe on the north west coast of the UK to Bridlington in the east
  • Distance: 170 miles
  • Type: Challenging
  • Terrain: A wide variety including traffic-free paths, on-road cycle lanes, country lanes and quieter roads
  • National Cycle Network: Route 69
  • Current closures /diversions on this route

Route Description

The Way of the Roses is a special cycle route that was built to celebrate 15 years of the National Cycle Network.

Most cyclists choose to travel from west to east as it often provides a tail wind, but the route is well-signed in both directions and has good rail connections at both Morecambe and Bridlington. The route travels from Morcambe to Lancaster, Settle, Cracoe, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, Boroughbridge, York, Pocklington, Driffield and Bridlington. 

Wherever you start and finish, make sure to take your picture next to the Way of the Roses information board and sign at either end!

The route crosses the northern part of the red rose county of Lancashire before the broad breadth of Yorkshire, the white rose county, passing some of Britain's most stunning countryside and fascinating heritage sites. Such areas include the Lune Valley, the Forest of Bowland AONB, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale AONB, the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds. A great place for a refreshment break and one of the most interesting sites on route is the Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal World Heritage Site near Ripon.

With many other great attractions such as the historic city of York, the Way of the Roses cycle route is a journey to remember. The route has been put together with years of experience of creating other fantastic long distance cycle routes like the legendary Whitehaven to Newcastle Sea to Sea route and the Coast and Castles Cycle Route.  

Planning your trip

If you want to organise places to stay or a baggage transfer, take a look at the Way of the Roses website which has lots of useful information to help you plan your trip.  It also has information on the distances of each section of the route so that you can estimate how long the ride will take you based on your ability. 

If travelling west to east, the hardest hill climbs you will face are between Settle and Brimham Rocks, with the hill out of Settle being the biggest challenge. If you do decide to ride the route east to west the hardest section is climbing Greenhow Hill out of Pateley Bridge.

Things to see and do

The Way of the Roses route showcases the best that Northern England has to offer - from rich cultural heritage to stunning natural beauty. Make sure you stop off to enjoy the array of museums, historic buildings or simply to admire the wonderful scenery.  With so much to see and do, here is just a taster of what's on offer:

  • Lancaster Castle
  • Williamson Park, Lancaster
  • White Scar Cave, Ingleton
  • Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre
  • Malham Cove
  • Malham Tarn - There is an option to detour on Way of the Roses between Settle and Airton in agreement with the National Park and the Highway authority. Look for Malham Tarn detour signs which will take you along part of Regional Route 10; Regional Route 10 is also shown on the official Way of the Roses map. Refreshments and camping are available at the Tarn from summer 2015.
  • Linton Falls
  • Parcevall Hall, Skyreholme
  • Fountains Abbey, Fountains
  • Ripley Castle
  • York Minster
  • Beningbrough Hall, York
  • Jorvik Viking Centre, York
  • Burton Agnes Hall
  • Flamborough Lighthouse, Bridlington

Related maps

Route gpx download

This route is available as a gpx download that is compatible on all major gps devices.

Download: Way of the Roses.gpx

This route contains a Sustrans Greener Greenway

A greenway is a corridor of undeveloped land, reserved for recreational use and environmental conservation.

Read more about our Greener Greenways
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There is currently a temporary signed diversion in place in York. Cyclists are now directed to go down Dundas Street and rejoin the Way of the Roses to avoid planned works taking place behind the Hiscox building. Diversion due to be removed in April 2019. 

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.

A spectacular coast to coast cycle route passing through both the red rose county of Lancashire and the white rose county of Yorkshire.