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Cycle Routes

Ryedale Cycling Routes

We have put together a range of suggested cycle routes in the area for cycling enthusiasts. Routes are being added to this list regularly so please check back for more information.

Moor to Sea Cycle Route
Linking the towns of Scarborough, Pickering and Whitby this route features 80 miles of forest tracks, lanes and the former coastal railway. Of course it can be tackled in smaller stages and visitors can hire cycles along the route.

White Rose Cycle Route (NCN)
Cycle from Hornsea to Middlesbrough via the River Ouse, the quiet country roads of the Vale of York and on to the foothills of the North York Moors taking in Byland Abbey.

Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route
The new Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route is a circular route around the enchanted rolling hills and coastal cliffs of the East Riding, Ryedale and southern Scarborough borough.  The route has hidden valleys, wildflower verges, varied wildlife, clean beaches and big skies, and passes through picturesque villages, market towns and by historic houses and churches. Well signed in both directions as part of the National Cycle Network.

Forest Cycling
Some of the UK's finest mountain bike routes can be found at Dalby Forest, near Pickering.  With over 50 miles of trails, from peaceful routes to challenging climbs and technical descents there is something for all levels of ability.  If you are a real thrill seeker why not see if you can conquer the infamous Black Route?  The World Mountain Bike Championships were held at Dalby Forest in 2010 and 2011 attracting the world's top mountain bikers. The Forestry Commission provide some great mountain biking opportunities in Dalby Forest, a range of graded routes are available from easy, moderate, difficult and severe.

Big Skies Bike Rides
From the Ryedale Market Town of Malton, you also can also enjoy the Big Sky Rides of the Yorkshire Wolds, a colourful chalkland landscape reaching to the Yorkshire Coast.  The area is so quiet and unspoilt, it often has the feel of a lost world – even on a country lane, you’ll often just have birdsong for company, and the off-road trails along ridgeway bridleways are uninterrupted for miles (other than by a curious sheep or a startled hare).  The Wolds famously inspired internationally acclaimed artist David Hockney – who also first discovered the area on a bicycle!  You can download a great selection of circular day rides on quiet country lanes, bridleways and cycle paths – or try the 150 mile challenge of the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route.  Hitch a ride on Sustrans National Routes 66, 166 or 167 to get there.

Download Big Skies Bike Rides that take in the rolling chalk hills, long views and, of course, big skies of the Yorkshire Wolds.  There are three OS-mapped circular day rides on quiet roads and country lanes that pass through Ryedale, many of which are accessible by train from Malton Station.

Great Wold Valley - 21.1 miles (34km) from Hunmanby
Sledmere Country - 17.5 miles (28km) from Sledmere
Thixendale - 21.5 miles (35km) from Malton or Norton on Derwent

Bike Rides and Rambles Howardian HillsHowardian Hills Bike Rides
For the ultimate in sightseeing by bike, try this new route exploring Ryedale’s rural idyll:

The ‘Castle Howard and Nunnington’ road tour (download below) takes a 23 mile circular trip through Castle Howard’s historic parkland, with spectacular views of the stately home’s iconic domed silhouette and the glorious 120-acre garden of trees at neighbouring Yorkshire Arboretum, which becomes a colourful autumnal kaleidoscope as the leaves change colour.  You ride north along Europe’s longest lime tree lined avenue, via the motte and bailey humps of Slingsby Castle to the National Trust’s Nunnington Hall, a picturesque manor house on the River Rye.  Next onto the stunning regency village of Hovingham dominated by its imposing 18th century Hall (and you can take a quick detour to Ampleforth Abbey, renowned for its cider and beer, and Stonegrave Minster, one of England’s earliest churches).  Then onto Terrington village with its multi award-winning Lavender Farm and stunning views across the Vale of York, before returning to Castle Howard.

The route is not just historic, it is a celebrated ‘Tea Room Trail’ boasting some of Yorkshire’s best tea-rooms (in fact, 11 of them!), not least Welburn’s Leaf & Loaf artisan bakery, deli and pottery; Terrington’s lavender scones and ice-cream; Ampleforth Abbey’s home-grown apples and home-baking; Nunnington’s fayre fresh from their organic orchard; Hovingham Bakery and Tea-room’s famous old-fashioned home-baked recipes; Yorkshire Arboretum’s leafy bower; and Castle Howard’s four restaurants and tea-rooms.   And that’s not counting the pubs en route: Hovingham, Slingsby and Nunnington all providing hearty meals as well as a good ol’ pint.  A shorter 9-mile version of the route for mountain bikes – which explores Castle Howard’s parkland.

Cycle the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Malton in North Yorkshire.

A series of three 'guided' routes in the Howardian Hills from Malton are OS-mapped circular day rides on back-roads and country lanes, many of which are accessible by train from Malton Station.

Route 1 covers a route from Castle Howard and takes in Hovingham and Nunnington Hall. It can also be accessed at Malton, if you would like to arrive by train.

Ride One - Castle Howard and Nunnington Hall.(PDF)

Route 2 covers the Rye valley to the north of the AONB.

Ride Two - Over the River Rye.(PDF)

Route 3 goes out into the Yorkshire Wolds and includes Kirkham Abbey on the south eastern edge of the AONB.

Ride Three - Leavening Brow and Kirkham Gorge.(PDF)

A further publication titled 'Bike Rides and rambles in the Howardian Hills' gives you an overview of the walking, cycling and mountain biking opportunities in the Howardian Hills. The guide also provides information about visiting Castle Howard, Nunnington Hall and The Yorkshire Arboretum - all of which have great walker/cyclist friendly cafes and free parking.

Bike Rides and Rambles in the Howardian Hills AONB.(PDF)

Mountain bikers also have an opportunity to explore the AONB on a variety of guided routes. North Yorkshire County Council have produced two leaflets with routes centred on Appleton-le-Street and Hovingham. (PDF's)

Find out more about the Howardian Hills AONB and further cycle routes throughout the area.

Sutton Bank
Even if the hills are ‘gentle’, the views can be spectacular: the North York Moors National Park Centre at Sutton Bank, near the Ryedale Market Town of Helmsley, has grown into one of the best moorland centres for cyclists, with ‘top of the world’ cycling on family-friendly, purpose-built trails connected to a vast network of bridleways and quiet country lanes.  Sutton Bank is famous for its panoramic clifftop views across the county – described by James Herriot author as ‘the finest in England’ – and from the National Park trails you really do have the best seat in the house (and without pedalling a single hill).  You can get plenty of top tips on the area from the friendly staff in the Centre or at Sutton Bank Bikes which has bike hire, a cycle shop, service centre and bike wash, and also offers courses and guided rides.  The Centre also has a tea-room, famed locally for its hearty meals and delicious cakes!

If you’re seeking thrilling views, rather than thrills, then many of the area’s cycle routes, both off and on-road, pass through Terrington village with its multi award-winning Lavender Farm and the best panoramic views in Yorkshire – even on murky days, you can spot York Minster’s towers far in the distance.  Nearby, you can also ride along Caulkleys Bank in Nunnington over the summer and be treated to the spectacular purple haze of the North York Moors National Park’s famous heather moorland reaching far across the horizon.

Heritage Cycle Trails in North Yorkshire
There are many long and short distance routes to follow within the North York Moors National Park but for any cycle ride it is helpful to have breaks planned into the trip, and goals along the way.  With this in mind, the two cycle trails mapped on the English Heritage leaflet both start and end at English Heritage sites.

The two rides are designed to allow cyclists the opportunity to take in some of Yorkshire's rich heritage by exploring the historic properties en route.  You can choose to cycle just one leg of the route or do the whole route in one day.  New cycle racks have been installed at several English Heritage sites to enable cyclists to secure their bikes while they take time out to explore the stunning properties and each sites has refreshment facilities to reinvigorate before the next leg of the trail.

These trails are designed for experiences cyclists; the terrain of North Yorkshire can be very hilly, and some of the tracks are uneven.  However, it is possible to break these trails up into shorter, more manageable sections for a more leisurely ride.

Helmsley - Rievaulx - Byland (Approx.24km / 15 miles)

Best of British ‘King of the Mountains’
If you’re seeking a real road-bike challenge and your own polka dot jersey, the area has some of Britain’s toughest climbs, regularly attracting the country’s cycling elite (and fascinated bystanders), including the infamous Rosedale Chimney at Rosedale Abbey with a 1:3 gradient.  There’s also White Horse Bank (25%), nearby Boltby Bank (20%), and Carlton Bank (30%).  The views from the top are always breath-taking (if you have any breath left).  Whether you choose to cycle the hills or not, each of the climbs are surrounded by miles of uninterrupted cycling, many connecting to longer-distance, ready-made and traffic-free cycling trails - and there’s always a gentler alternative.

Cycle Routes

Ryedale Cycling Routes

We have put together a range of suggested cycle routes in the area for cycling enthusiasts. Routes are being added to this list regularly so please check back for more information.

Moor to Sea Cycle Route
Linking the towns of Scarborough, Pickering and Whitby this route features 80 miles of forest tracks, lanes and the former coastal railway. Of course it can be tackled in smaller stages and visitors can hire cycles along the route.

White Rose Cycle Route (NCN)
Cycle from Hornsea to Middlesbrough via the River Ouse, the quiet country roads of the Vale of York and on to the foothills of the North York Moors taking in Byland Abbey.

Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route
The new Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route is a circular route around the enchanted rolling hills and coastal cliffs of the East Riding, Ryedale and southern Scarborough borough.  The route has hidden valleys, wildflower verges, varied wildlife, clean beaches and big skies, and passes through picturesque villages, market towns and by historic houses and churches. Well signed in both directions as part of the National Cycle Network.

Forest Cycling
Some of the UK's finest mountain bike routes can be found at Dalby Forest, near Pickering.  With over 50 miles of trails, from peaceful routes to challenging climbs and technical descents there is something for all levels of ability.  If you are a real thrill seeker why not see if you can conquer the infamous Black Route?  The World Mountain Bike Championships were held at Dalby Forest in 2010 and 2011 attracting the world's top mountain bikers. The Forestry Commission provide some great mountain biking opportunities in Dalby Forest, a range of graded routes are available from easy, moderate, difficult and severe.

Big Skies Bike Rides
From the Ryedale Market Town of Malton, you also can also enjoy the Big Sky Rides of the Yorkshire Wolds, a colourful chalkland landscape reaching to the Yorkshire Coast.  The area is so quiet and unspoilt, it often has the feel of a lost world – even on a country lane, you’ll often just have birdsong for company, and the off-road trails along ridgeway bridleways are uninterrupted for miles (other than by a curious sheep or a startled hare).  The Wolds famously inspired internationally acclaimed artist David Hockney – who also first discovered the area on a bicycle!  You can download a great selection of circular day rides on quiet country lanes, bridleways and cycle paths – or try the 150 mile challenge of the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route.  Hitch a ride on Sustrans National Routes 66, 166 or 167 to get there.

Download Big Skies Bike Rides that take in the rolling chalk hills, long views and, of course, big skies of the Yorkshire Wolds.  There are three OS-mapped circular day rides on quiet roads and country lanes that pass through Ryedale, many of which are accessible by train from Malton Station.

Great Wold Valley - 21.1 miles (34km) from Hunmanby
Sledmere Country - 17.5 miles (28km) from Sledmere
Thixendale - 21.5 miles (35km) from Malton or Norton on Derwent

Bike Rides and Rambles Howardian HillsHowardian Hills Bike Rides
For the ultimate in sightseeing by bike, try this new route exploring Ryedale’s rural idyll:

The ‘Castle Howard and Nunnington’ road tour (download below) takes a 23 mile circular trip through Castle Howard’s historic parkland, with spectacular views of the stately home’s iconic domed silhouette and the glorious 120-acre garden of trees at neighbouring Yorkshire Arboretum, which becomes a colourful autumnal kaleidoscope as the leaves change colour.  You ride north along Europe’s longest lime tree lined avenue, via the motte and bailey humps of Slingsby Castle to the National Trust’s Nunnington Hall, a picturesque manor house on the River Rye.  Next onto the stunning regency village of Hovingham dominated by its imposing 18th century Hall (and you can take a quick detour to Ampleforth Abbey, renowned for its cider and beer, and Stonegrave Minster, one of England’s earliest churches).  Then onto Terrington village with its multi award-winning Lavender Farm and stunning views across the Vale of York, before returning to Castle Howard.

The route is not just historic, it is a celebrated ‘Tea Room Trail’ boasting some of Yorkshire’s best tea-rooms (in fact, 11 of them!), not least Welburn’s Leaf & Loaf artisan bakery, deli and pottery; Terrington’s lavender scones and ice-cream; Ampleforth Abbey’s home-grown apples and home-baking; Nunnington’s fayre fresh from their organic orchard; Hovingham Bakery and Tea-room’s famous old-fashioned home-baked recipes; Yorkshire Arboretum’s leafy bower; and Castle Howard’s four restaurants and tea-rooms.   And that’s not counting the pubs en route: Hovingham, Slingsby and Nunnington all providing hearty meals as well as a good ol’ pint.  A shorter 9-mile version of the route for mountain bikes – which explores Castle Howard’s parkland.

Cycle the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Malton in North Yorkshire.

A series of three 'guided' routes in the Howardian Hills from Malton are OS-mapped circular day rides on back-roads and country lanes, many of which are accessible by train from Malton Station.

Route 1 covers a route from Castle Howard and takes in Hovingham and Nunnington Hall. It can also be accessed at Malton, if you would like to arrive by train.

Ride One - Castle Howard and Nunnington Hall.(PDF)

Route 2 covers the Rye valley to the north of the AONB.

Ride Two - Over the River Rye.(PDF)

Route 3 goes out into the Yorkshire Wolds and includes Kirkham Abbey on the south eastern edge of the AONB.

Ride Three - Leavening Brow and Kirkham Gorge.(PDF)

A further publication titled 'Bike Rides and rambles in the Howardian Hills' gives you an overview of the walking, cycling and mountain biking opportunities in the Howardian Hills. The guide also provides information about visiting Castle Howard, Nunnington Hall and The Yorkshire Arboretum - all of which have great walker/cyclist friendly cafes and free parking.

Bike Rides and Rambles in the Howardian Hills AONB.(PDF)

Mountain bikers also have an opportunity to explore the AONB on a variety of guided routes. North Yorkshire County Council have produced two leaflets with routes centred on Appleton-le-Street and Hovingham. (PDF's)

Find out more about the Howardian Hills AONB and further cycle routes throughout the area.

Sutton Bank
Even if the hills are ‘gentle’, the views can be spectacular: the North York Moors National Park Centre at Sutton Bank, near the Ryedale Market Town of Helmsley, has grown into one of the best moorland centres for cyclists, with ‘top of the world’ cycling on family-friendly, purpose-built trails connected to a vast network of bridleways and quiet country lanes.  Sutton Bank is famous for its panoramic clifftop views across the county – described by James Herriot author as ‘the finest in England’ – and from the National Park trails you really do have the best seat in the house (and without pedalling a single hill).  You can get plenty of top tips on the area from the friendly staff in the Centre or at Sutton Bank Bikes which has bike hire, a cycle shop, service centre and bike wash, and also offers courses and guided rides.  The Centre also has a tea-room, famed locally for its hearty meals and delicious cakes!

If you’re seeking thrilling views, rather than thrills, then many of the area’s cycle routes, both off and on-road, pass through Terrington village with its multi award-winning Lavender Farm and the best panoramic views in Yorkshire – even on murky days, you can spot York Minster’s towers far in the distance.  Nearby, you can also ride along Caulkleys Bank in Nunnington over the summer and be treated to the spectacular purple haze of the North York Moors National Park’s famous heather moorland reaching far across the horizon.

Heritage Cycle Trails in North Yorkshire
There are many long and short distance routes to follow within the North York Moors National Park but for any cycle ride it is helpful to have breaks planned into the trip, and goals along the way.  With this in mind, the two cycle trails mapped on the English Heritage leaflet both start and end at English Heritage sites.

The two rides are designed to allow cyclists the opportunity to take in some of Yorkshire's rich heritage by exploring the historic properties en route.  You can choose to cycle just one leg of the route or do the whole route in one day.  New cycle racks have been installed at several English Heritage sites to enable cyclists to secure their bikes while they take time out to explore the stunning properties and each sites has refreshment facilities to reinvigorate before the next leg of the trail.

These trails are designed for experiences cyclists; the terrain of North Yorkshire can be very hilly, and some of the tracks are uneven.  However, it is possible to break these trails up into shorter, more manageable sections for a more leisurely ride.

Helmsley - Rievaulx - Byland (Approx.24km / 15 miles)

Best of British ‘King of the Mountains’
If you’re seeking a real road-bike challenge and your own polka dot jersey, the area has some of Britain’s toughest climbs, regularly attracting the country’s cycling elite (and fascinated bystanders), including the infamous Rosedale Chimney at Rosedale Abbey with a 1:3 gradient.  There’s also White Horse Bank (25%), nearby Boltby Bank (20%), and Carlton Bank (30%).  The views from the top are always breath-taking (if you have any breath left).  Whether you choose to cycle the hills or not, each of the climbs are surrounded by miles of uninterrupted cycling, many connecting to longer-distance, ready-made and traffic-free cycling trails - and there’s always a gentler alternative.

Search Accommodation

Use the form below to search fantastic deals on Ryedale Hotels, B&Bs, Self-catering accommodation.

Type:
Check-in:
For:
Near:
Rating:
Property Name:

Things to do during your stay

Please use the form below to find attractions in Ryedale.

Category group:
or Category:
Near:
Facilities:
Free entry
Children Welcome
Disabled facilities
Dogs accepted
Facilities for groups
Accessible by public transport
Venue Name:

What's On during your stay

Please use the form below to find events in Ryedale.

From To
Category:
Near:
Facilities:
Free entry
Children Welcome
Disabled facilities
Dogs accepted
Facilities for groups
Accessible by public transport
Event Name: