The three Ridings – North, West, East – are the historic divisions of Yorkshire. My ‘ridings’ are bike trips exploring England’s largest county, as defined by its traditional borders.
Read about them below, and be inspired to discover this fantastic part of the world on two wheels.
(Or see full list of all 134 Yorkshire Ridings posts)
- Ouse Gill Beck: Ouse Ure friend?A few miles upstream from York, the River Ure shiftily changes name to become the River Ouse. Why? Where? How? Who? I cycled along…
- Pontefract: Liq of the lips in liquorice townPontefract is Liquorice Town. Or was, anyway. The friendly, lively West Yorkshire place, its name corrupted by sweet-chewers, gave the world ‘pomfret cakes’ –…
- Hull Cycle Museum: When the bicycle rainedAnother cheap day out thanks to the £2 bus fare scheme, the X46 York–Hull service that takes bikes, and the rather good cycle gallery…
- Slow Wharfedale: Timewarps with JBPFor my last main day of fieldwork updating the Slow Travel Guide to the Yorkshire Dales, I took advantage of the last day of…
- Slow Three Peaks: Cafe ups and downsAnother day of riding lovely scenery, updating the Slow Travel Guide to the Yorkshire Dales. Today I was checking out the villages of Three…
- Markenfield Hall: Home sweet 14th-century homeIt’s dubbed ‘the loveliest place you’ve never heard of’. Well, now I have. Markenfield Hall is a (mostly) 14th-century farmhouse just south of Ripon…
Research trips updating the Bradt Slow Travel Guide to the Yorkshire Dales in summer and autumn 2023
Rides in 75 quirky places: giants, narrow alleys, white horses, tiny ferries, fairies at the bottom of the garden…
Barkston Ash – Barnsley – Barwick – Beverley – Bingley Arms – Bradford – British Library – Buttertubs – Castle Howard – Cockayne – Coldstones Cut – Cottingley – Dean Head – Easingwold – Eboracum – Emmerdale – Greenwich Meridian – Filey – Football – Goathland – Goodmanham – Halifax – Hambleton Drove Road – Harrogate – Haworth – Hebden Bridge – Helmsley – Hessay – Hornsea Mere – Huddersfield Canal – Hull – Hunmanby – Ilkley – Ingleton – Kilburn – Kiplingcotes – Kirkdale – Malham – Markenfield Hall – Market Weighton – Marston Moor – Masham – Middlesbrough – Middleton – Millington – Morley – Norber – North Cave – Nun Monkton – Ouse Gill Beck – Pocklington Canal – Pontefract – Ripon – Rudland Rigg – Rudston – Scarborough – Semerwater – Sheffield – Solar System 1, 2 – Swanland – Skipsea – Tan Hill Inn – Thirsk – Thornborough – Thorne – Wakefield – Wentworth Woodhouse – Wharram Percy – Whitby – Whitton Island – York
Tile Maps Trail
York to Middlesbrough via bike, train – and nine historic railway maps
In the early 1900s, North Eastern Railway installed 25 elegant tile maps of their network in stations across Yorkshire and north-east England. Nine survive in their original locations, York’s being a notable example.
The networks proudly displayed on the maps were devastated by 1960s cuts, but the ceramic cartography remains as a testament to both the confidence of pre-WW I Britain, and the post-Beeching railway landscape.
In April 2023, I visited all Yorkshire’s surviving maps and replicas on public view in stations. I travelled by train (along the lines that survived) and bike (along the courses of those that didn’t).
The theme tune for the ride is my guitar arrangement of Flanders and Swann’s ‘Slow Train’. Hear it
My article about the ride appeared in the Sep 2023 edition of Yorkshire Living. You can subscribe to see the magazine free online.
Bargain bus trips with a folding bike to 13 destinations under the £2 Flat Fare Scheme of 2023
Castle Howard: Bridleway Revisited
Goathland: Time travel pub
Goodmanham: Fired up
Helmsley: Star line-ups
Hull Cycle Museum: When bikes rained
Kirkdale: Secret micro-Minster
Markenfield Hall: Home sweet 14c-home
Market Weighton: Col du Tour de Bretagne
Masham: Genuine fake Druid’s Temple
Middleton: World’s oldest railway
Ripon: Up secret valley, down rabbit hole
Thornborough: Henge fund
Wharfedale: Timewarps with JBP
Whitby: Gothic Horror Hill
Yorkshire A to Z, and B to B
Two End-to-Ends of Yorkshire in May–June 2021.
The A to Z went north up the west side of the county, from the first place alphabetically (Abbeydale in Sheffield, down on the southern border) to the last (Zebra Hill near Richmond, up by the northern border). This was a leisurely four-day ride of about 150 miles through magnificent Pennines and Dales scenery, on my tourer.
The B to B went north up the east side, linking two famous bridges: the Humber, down by Hull, and the Transporter, up in Middlesbrough. This was an equally leisurely two-day ride of 90 miles through equally magnificent Wolds and Moors scenery, on my offroad tourer.
Yorkshire’s eight main rivers ridden from source to mouth in 2018–2020. The Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, Aire, Calder, Don and Derwent all flow ultimately into, or become, the Ouse not far from York. Their dales and valleys cover the county.
The rides were 50–130 miles of 2–3 days, on a variety of bikes: folder, trekker, tourer…
In 2017 I enjoyed eight rides that each followed a compass direction directly from my home in York – in the centre of the county – to the cyclable extremity of the historic border.
The rides were 60–100 miles of 1–3 days, on either trekker or tourer…
Top Ten Quirky Yorkshire Phone Boxes
White, green and rainbow coloured booths; libraries; museums; historical rarities; even a bike repair station… Yorkshire has some remarkable phone boxes for cyclists
York Route Guides
Leisure rides round York, with maps, photos and info.
Dick Turpin Trail In search of Swift Nick
York Monopoly Ride the board game’s squares
Inexplicable York The city’s most bizarre sights
York Bridges All nine in one lovely ride
York Lakes and Ponds Hidden gems great for picnics
York Orbital The city’s bike-path ‘inner ring road’