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Cycling the Dales

The Yorkshire Dales has always been popular with cyclists (both road and mountain bikers alike) thanks to the myriad of quiet roads and multi-terrain cycling routes that crisscross the spectacular and varied countryside.

It is no surprise that the area was chosen to form the central part of stage one of the Tour de France in 2014.

Many top UK riders have trained here for years and the Dales provides fabulous cycling opportunities from gentle routes in the peaceful valleys to some pretty challenging climbs (and the sweeping descents that go with them!) over the contrasting rugged moorland that separates them.

There are also plenty of things to see and do on the way including quaint hamlets and villages that offer plentiful refreshment stops. Guests often remark that they see more sheep than cars during their rides and you certainly feel closer to the surrounding countryside when you are on two wheels!

Bikes can be hired locally but for those guests who bring their own, there is plenty of room to lock them away in the outside storage areas.

Road cycling

Whether you want to burn some serious miles or just have a modest pedal in a family group, there are abundant cycling options right on the doorstep.

You can easily devise rides of your own using the maps kept at The Old Vicarage but there are also some established routes such as The Yorkshire Dales Cycleway - that you might want to dip into.

Mountain biking

If your style of cycling is more inclined to the rough stuff then you will not be disappointed as the Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the finest cross country mountain biking in the country with an excellent network of bridleways and off-road routes.

The trails are on a mixture of surfaces from wide stone tracks, to heather moorland and paths over limestone grassland - all winding their way through tremendous landscapes of high fells, limestone uplands, dry stone walls and valley pastures.

There is great history behind the trails and you will often be following in the footsteps of miners, packhorse ponies, monastic trade routes and roman supply routes.

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