Our pick of the best bike rides in West Yorkshire and beyond

There’s something for everyone, from the complete novice to the seasoned club rider.

Yorkshire and cycling.  They’re a perfect match.  Spectacular scenery and a glut of route options combine to make God’s own country a truly great place to ride a bike.  

There’s something for everyone, from the complete novice to the seasoned club rider.  We’re spoilt for choice.   

In need of some inspiration?  Here are our top picks from West Yorkshire and beyond. 

Something for everyone

Canal towpaths: Exploring Yorkshire’s industrial heritage

Canals were once the arteries of the industrial revolution and now they’re the arteries of modern Yorkshire, providing cycling and walking links, both for transport and leisure, and opening-up access to some of our best countryside.  We’ve completed a series of upgrades on the region’s towpaths, including the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the Rochdale Canal, the Calder & Hebble Navigation, and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. 

Better by bike: Making the most of city life in Bradford and Leeds

Why not combine a bike ride with a trip into Bradford or Leeds?  Beyond the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway, which connects the two places with a route largely segregated from traffic, both cities are benefitting from a growing cycling network.  And with cafes and restaurants, shops, cinemas, museums, theatre and music, you won’t be short of things to do when you get there.     

The Castleford to Wakefield Greenway

Looking to shake up your walk or cycle? The Castleford to Wakefield Greenway is the perfect spot to while away some time. Traffic-free routes, such as this one, not only connect us with the places we need to go, they’re a focal point for the community, providing welcoming spaces for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy cycling and walking.

The Wonders of Wakefield CycleTrail (WoW) / Wakefield Wheel

Choose from a 21-mile or 38-mile circular route devised and signed by the Wakefield District Cycle Forum.

Leeds Urban Bike Park

Located in Middleton Park, Leeds Urban Bike Park facilities boasts cross country mountain bike trails suitable for all abilities, a BMX pump track and mini pump track, and a club house.

Nidderdale Greenway - Harrogate to Ripley

The Nidderdale Greenway is a four-mile converted railway line connecting Bilton, North Harrogate, and Knaresborough with Ripley.

York to Beningbrough

This beautiful nine-mile ride takes you from the historic city of York, on a flat traffic free path alongside the River Ouse before taking quiet country lanes towards Beningbrough Hall, an 18th century mansion, park and gardens.

Hard days out

Hebden Bridge Great Descents

This route is everything a classic mountain bike route should be: great trails, great views, testing climbs followed by exhilarating descents and, of course, a good pub at the end. 

The Mary Townley Loop

Pack your pork pies, this challenging 47-mile circular route climbs up and down the steep-sided valleys of the South Pennines, which provide the border between Yorkshire and Lancashire. The route is part of the Pennine Bridleway, a 205 mile national trail from Derbyshire through to Cumbria.

Dales Classic

No list of top bike rides would be complete without The Dales. This route, starting from Grassington (but could easily be started from Skipton) whets the appetite as much as it will sap the legs. It is only a portion of what the Dales has to offer but it has four significant climbs, including Buttertubs Pass, which was included in the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France in 2014. Expect beautiful views, steep gradients and a fast and flowing final stretch down Wharfdale to finish.

Ronde Van Calderdale

Taking its name from the biggest bike race in Belgium, the annual Ronde Van Calderdale or ‘RVC’ hasn’t been going that long, but it has gained a loyal following with clubs from around the country visiting every year. What brings them to Calderdale is 13 steep, cobbled climbs over 75 miles, some of the most fearsome sections of road in the country (including the appropriately named ‘Shibden Wall’, part of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire) and a finish on Halifax’s Trooper Lane, with cobbles and gradients of more than 25 per cent. The RVC is considered one of the toughest bike rides in the country, and it’s right on West Yorkshire’s doorstep.

The ride from your front door

It is really easy to forget just how much fun going on a cycle from your front door is.  What are you waiting for? Start planning your route with our handy online map.

Get in touch

Share pictures of your cycling adventures, however big or small, with CityConnect on Facebook (@cyclecityconnect), Twitter (@cityconnect1) and Instagram (@cityconnect1).

From route information to free adult cycle training and support for businesses, find out how we can help you cycle and walk more