It’s great to explore the Yorkshire Dales by bike. We have a network of minor roads and the mountain bike-friendly byways, bridleways and ‘green lanes’ that cross the area.
See more and feel more in touch with the countryside when you’re on a bike. Cycling here may not always be on the flat, but any effort in climbing hills is always rewarded with fantastic views of the Dales landscape. Need to walk? No problem! Just take your time and enjoy the wonderful surroundings.
You’ll have earned that cake or pint of locally brewed beer. Plus you’re helping to protect this wonderful area by moving around in a sustainable way.
The Swale Trail
New in 2018 is the Swale Trail – a 20km (12 mile) easy mountain bike route along the length of Swaledale from Reeth to Keld. You can complete the route in a number of sections with Gunnerside providing a good break in the middle with its pub, cafes and toilets. The route is aimed at people with older children and those with some cycling experience and links together stone tracks and trails with quiet tarmac trails. This is a great way to explore this stunning valley.
The final bits of work are being done at the moment – although you can ride it whilst this is taking place. Download the Viking challenge that we have devised in the PDF format or you can pick one up from our visitor centres.
The route is not just for cyclists – you will meet walkers and horse riders – remember to Share the Trail. Call out hello, and pass wide and slow.
On the road
We’ve a huge range of routes for road cyclists from family-friendly short valley bottom routes to the infamous Buttertubs Pass and the challenging 210 km (130 mile) Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way.
If you’re an experienced road cyclist, why not base yourself in one of the main villages and pick off a few routes over a weekend? Grassington and Settle are easily accessible from the south, while Hawes or Reeth will take you to the heart of the Northern Dales, and Kirkby Lonsdale and Kirkby Stephen open up the western part of the National Park.
For more on road cycling see the Cycle the Dales website.
The Dales are known as one of the UK’s finest adventurous mountain biking areas. We have more than 900 km (600 miles) of bridleways, byways and green lanes to explore, often taking you up into remote moorland. Take on tough climbs and technical descents, all in remote, unspoilt countryside.
Our trails are a heady historic mixture of Roman roads, monastic highways, mining tracks and drovers roads. Most are on gradients that keep you in the saddle rather than off and pushing! Check out the routes on our Mountain biking section.
Cycling in the Yorkshire Dales video
Be inspired with our taster video with just a hint of the Tour de France!
Stop the spread
Invasive Non-Native Species and diseases threaten the landscapes and wildlife of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and can impede access to and enjoyment of our wild places. Some species such as Giant hogweed pose a direct threat to your safety and non-native tree diseases threaten the character and integrity of our native woodlands. These species can easily be spread from site to site via tiny fragments or seeds, or as spores in mud and leaf litter caught up in treads and on frames of bikes or clothing. Please help to stop the spread of these species to and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park by making sure your bike, footwear and clothing is clean before you come, and using the Check Clean Dry protocol at the end of your ride. Find out more about non-native species.