Way of the Roses Cycling Holiday - Morecambe to Bridlington
Cycling coast to coast across Lancashire and Yorkshire
On this coast to coast cycling trip we cross the breadth of England on two wheels from Morecambe on the west coast to Bridlington on the east coast.
This classic route covers 170 miles (272km) and cycles through some of the most impressive landscapes in the north of England, as well as countless idyllic villages and two of England’s most striking county capitals – Lancaster and York.
There’s a huge sense of achievement in crossing the width of England by pedal power whilst enjoying the spectacular and contrasting scenery en route.
Find out more about the Way of the Roses below where there are details of the route, itinerary and our dates and prices.
This is a hugely rewarding cycling trip that follows the National Cycle Network along a combination of cycle paths, quiet country roads and some short sections on farm tracks.
The trip starts at the seaside resort of Morecambe, with its broad sandy bay and the dramatic mountains of the Lake District as a backdrop. From here we’ll ride through the city of Lancaster and the tranquil Lune Valley on our way to the classic limestone scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. The natural beauty continues as we travel through Nidderdale AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the naturally formed rock sculptures at Brimham Rocks and the superb riding through the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds. There are historic highlights too, with the 12th century World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal and the impressive county cities of Lancaster and York.
A combination of rolling country lanes with some steep climbs. Only a very short section is on an unsurfaced road, with the majority on hard surfaced roads and cycle paths. A road bike, touring bike, hybrid or mountain bike with slick tyres would be perfectly suitable for this route.
- Coast to Coast Cycling – from the Irish Sea to the North Sea.
- Natural beauty – spectacular and contrasting scenery including the Lune Valley, the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Brimham Rocks, the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds.
- Historic Sites –12th century World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal and the impressive county cities of Lancaster and York.
Day 1 – Join Tour Morecambe.
Morecambe is the start point of your Way of the Roses ride and you’ll spent the first night here so you’re in place for the start of your ride the next day.
Overnight: B&B/Guesthouse, Included Meals: None
Day 2: Cycle from Morecambe to Pateley Bridge.
With Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea behind us our cycling journey starts with a pleasant ride on the excellent traffic-free cycle path to Lancaster, with the easy flat riding allowing us to warm up for the steeper gradients ahead. Leaving Lancaster we head along the Lune Valley and after a few miles we’ll encounter our first steep hill of the day, followed by some swooping high-level miles above the Lune Valley. Leisurely riding through the picturesque sandstone villages of Hornby and Wray leads us around the northern edge of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our route crosses the border into Yorkshire, with the broad summit of Ingleborough coming into view to the northeast and quiet undulating country lanes take us eastwards before an enjoyable long descent brings us to the village of Clapham and the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. There’s one cheeky climb after Austwick that gives us a downhill arrival at the market town of Settle. The toughest climb of the entire route takes us out of Settle, but the rewards are extensive views of the dramatic landscape with the criss-crossing dry stone walls and limestone pavement that epitomize much of the Yorkshire Dales. An enjoyable descent to Airton is followed by rolling miles through stunning Dales villages, including Burnsall and Appletreewick in Wharfedale. The next ten miles to Pateley Bridge take us over the wilder gritstone moorland and into the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We reach the highest point on the Way of the Roses (404m) on Bewerley Moor before a steep and winding descent brings us to our night stop at the pleasant market town of Pateley Bridge.
Total distance: 62 miles / 99 km
Overnight: B&B/Guesthouse, Included Meals: None
Day 3: Cycle from Pateley Bridge to York.
Leaving Pateley Bridge we’ll tackle the last steep climb of the whole route which will give us wide-ranging views. Leaving scenic Nidderdale behind we’ll soon have a vast view of the Vale of York to the east, whilst admiring the wonderfully shaped rock formations at Brimham Rocks. We ride onwards to the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal – Britain’s largest Monastic Ruin and most complete 12th century Cistercian abbey, along with the superb Georgian water garden. Just a little further and the towers of Ripon Cathedral summon you to this marvellous Yorkshire town and an ideal place to stay for lunch. The riding from Ripon becomes much easier than the previous miles as we cross the Vale of York. Passing through attractive villages and the town of Boroughbridge we’ll ride alongside the River Ouse which guides us into the magnificent city of York with its towering gothic Minster. This cycle-friendly city is the perfect night stop.
Total distance: 47 miles / 75 km
Overnight: B&B/Guesthouse, Included Meals: Breakfast.
Day 4: Cycle from York to Bridlington.
Riding out of York, the easy cycling continues through the flat countryside past Dunnington and Stamford Bridge – the site of the 1066 battle between the English and the Vikings. The Vale of York comes to an end at Pocklington where our pedalling cadence changes to get us up and down the rolling chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. The ‘big sky country’ of the Yorkshire Wolds, with its wildflower verges hidden valleys and quiet roads was an early inspiration for the artist David Hockney, whose landscape paintings often depict the area. Gentle riding east from Huggate leads us downhill to flatter terrain as we leave the Yorkshire Wolds behind and head for the North Sea Coast, passing through the market town of Driffield and the conservation village of Nafferton with its 18th century houses. A steady climb out of Burton Agnes might reward us with our first glimpse of the North Sea and Bridlington Bay as we reach Woldgate – following the course of the Roman road between York and Bridlington. As we enter Bridlington we’ll pass through the pleasing Georgian old town of this unpretentious seaside resort, eventually arriving at the wide promenade with fabulous views of the chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head in front of us. The shoreline marks the end of our coast to coast ride and what better way to celebrate arriving at the seaside than with fish and chips for tea.
Total distance: 61 miles / 98 km
Included meals: Breakfast
Which bike to bring?
The Way of the Roses route is almost entirely on roads with just a short section on farm tracks, so a road bike or hybrid is suitable for this trip. If you’re intending on riding on a mountain bike, slick or semi-slick tyres are recommended as opposed to fat, knobbly tyres. Suspension is not really necessary but if you do have suspension which you can lock-out (particularly the rear shock on a full-suspension bike) you’ll find the long miles on the road more enjoyable. You’ll need to ensure that your own bike is in good working order – ideally serviced by a qualified mechanic before the ride – and you have sufficient spare parts with you on the ride.
We can provide you with one of our hybrid bikes for an additional £60 (based on 3 days’ cycling) so you don’t have to worry about transporting yours to and from the route. You will be provided with a Ridgeback Meteor hybrid bike, with a frame size that suits your height. The bikes have 21 gears and fast-rolling 700c wheels and are perfect for the Way of the Roses route. The bikes are fitted with a bottle cage and come with a pannier bag, spare innertube and tyre levers, pump and bike lock. If you wish to bring your own saddle and pedals these can be fitted to the bikes for you. Electric bikes are also available for £85 for a 3-day trip.
What you’ll need to bring
The usual cycling clothing and gear including helmet, water bottle/hydration pack. We strongly recommend you wear cycling gloves and padded shorts.
Your main luggage will be transferred each day from your start to end accommodation, leaving you free to ride carrying only your supplies for the day in the pannier provided. Please ensure that your main luggage does not exceed 15kg in weight.
What’s not included
Personal travel insurance, any relevant entrance fees, meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary, any charges for travelling with your own bike (if applicable).
We can organize Way of the Roses cycling trips for private groups of any size and for any duration. Please contact us with your request and we’ll give you a specific price according to your requirements.