The three Ridings – North, West, East – are the historic divisions of Yorkshire. My ‘ridings’ are series of bike trips exploring England’s largest county, as defined by its traditional borders.
(Or see full list of all 114 Yorkshire Ridings posts)
- Harrogate: Cherry blossom polishThe nearest you can get to Japan in springtime Britain could be Harrogate. Because the Stray – that picnickable green expanse in the heart…
- Tile Maps Trail 3: Whitby to MiddlesbroughJust two maps left to bag today. But getting from Whitby to the first of them, at Saltburn, was not as easy as the…
- Tile Maps Trail 2: Scarborough to PickeringAh, Scarbados! Yorkshire’s Blackpool, its national beach resort. A bit cold for a dip today, but there were consolations. A ludicrously long bench. A…
- Tile Maps Trail 1: York to ScarboroughI started a three-day trip today, relying for directions on a unique map that’s (a) made of tiles and (b) useless. It’s the mural…
- Middleton: Steamy experience at world’s oldest railwayYorkshire is a country – sorry, county – of superlatives. Of stuff that matters, anyway. The best beer, finest scenery, tallest people, most interesting…
- Kirkdale: Yorkshire’s secret micro-MinsterOf England’s 32 Minsters, 13 are in Yorkshire. York’s is the best known, biggest, and obviously, best. Ripon and Beverley are familiar too; Hemingborough…
Bargain bus trips with a folding bike to 10 destinations under the £2 Flat Fare Scheme in Jan–Jun 2023
Castle Howard: Bridleway Revisited
Goathland: Time travel pub
Goodmanham: Fired up
Helmsley: Star line-ups
Kirkdale: Secret micro-Minster
Masham: Genuine fake Druid’s Temple
Middleton: World’s oldest railway
Ripon: Up secret valley, down rabbit hole
Thornborough: Henge fund
Whitby: Gothic Horror Hill
Rides in 67 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 – Market Weighton – Marston Moor – Masham – Middlesbrough – Middleton –– Millington – Morley – Norber – North Cave – Nun Monkton – Pocklington Canal – Ripon – Rudland Rigg – Rudston – Scarborough – Semerwater – Sheffield – Swanland – Skipsea – Tan Hill Inn – Thirsk – Thornborough – Thorne – Wakefield – Wentworth Woodhouse – Wharram Percy – Whitby – York
Tile Maps Trail
York to Middlesbrough via bike, train – and nine historic railway maps
In the early 1900s, the North East railway company installed over two dozen elegant tile maps with a map 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 the 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, this trip by train (along the lines that survive) and bike (along the courses of those that didn’t) visited all Yorkshire’s surviving in situ maps, and its three replicas at stations.
Day 1: York, Beverley, Bridlington, Hunmanby
Day 2: Scarborough, Whitby, Pickering
Day 3: Whitby, Saltburn, Middlesbrough
The theme tune for the ride is my guitar arrangement of Flanders and Swann’s ‘Slow Train’. Hear it
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’