Cycle touring is a great way to explore the area, and is a totally different experience to going on a day ride. The Yorkshire Dales Cycleway takes you around the whole area, the Way of the Roses takes you through the south of the Dales, while the Pennine Cycleway passes through, and the Lancashire and West Yorkshire Cycleways bring you into the Dales. There are 48 hour and weekly car park passes available for National Park car parks so you can leave your vehicle whilst touring.
For more information about the routes mentioned, select from the following links or use the search facility below:
Start location: Skipton (circular tour)
Distance: 130 miles (210 km)
The Yorkshire Dales Cycleway (YDCW) takes you on a fantastic tour of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, crossing a wonderful landscape of heather moorland, dramatic limestone scenery and linked together by beautiful valleys and villages. The Dales are famous for their flower filled meadows and high fells, scattered with stone barns, dry stone walls and an abundance of waterfalls.
Detailed information and route descriptions are available from our dedicated YDCW pages.
Start location: Morecambe
End location: Bridlington
Distance: 170 miles (274 km)
Britain's newest 'coast-to-coast' cycle route opened in September 2010 and has quickly become a classic. The Way of the Roses route runs for 170 well signed miles between Morecambe on Lancashire's Irish Sea coast and Bridlington on Yorkshire's North Sea coast. It passes through the historic cities of York and Lancaster, and lesser known gems such as Settle, Pateley Bridge and Ripon.
Between the broad sweeps of Morecambe and Bridlington Bays, you'll be cycling across a beautiful, changing landscape comprising the Lune Valley, Forest of Bowland, Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale AONB, Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds. The route consists of traffic-free paths, on-road cycle lanes, country lanes and quieter roads, all part of the National Cycle Network.
It's a challenging, but rewarding cycle touring break or longer holiday, and both end points (as well as several points in between) can be reached by train. You can find out more on the Way of the Roses website, and the map is available from Sustrans online shop.
Start location: Derby
End location: Berwick-on-Tweed
Distance: 350 miles (580 km)
Another major cycle route that passes through the Yorkshire Dales National Park is part of the National Cycle Network Route 68, also known as the Pennine Cycleway. This is a magnificent 580km (350 mile) route running from Derby on the southern edge of the Peak District to Berwick-on-Tweed on the Scottish border. It enters the National Park at Gargrave and runs through Settle to Clapham, then follows the same route as the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway to Ingleton and Dent, before carrying on to Sedbergh and Appleby.
The route is served by trains on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle route with stations at Gargrave, Settle and Appleby.
Further details are available from the Sustrans website.
Start location: Ilkley (circular tour)
Distance: 150 miles (240 km)
The West Yorkshire Cycle Route is a 150 mile circular route that roughly follows the West Yorkshire county boundary. It connects with the Yorkshire Dales area at Ilkley and comes very close around Skipton. Primarily for leisure cycling, the route is mainly on road and is intended for use by all roadworthy bicycles. The route is signed in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, and is identified by the route logo, a white rose with a green background.
Start location: Whalley near Clitheroe
Distance: 260 miles (418 km)
The Lancashire Cycleway comprises two circular routes which meet in the historic village of Whalley in the Ribble Valley. Where possible it follows minor roads and takes you through a host of different landscapes from the rugged Bowland Hills and West Pennine Moors to the rich pastures of the Fylde Plain and the outstanding coastal scenery at Silverdale. Further details are available on the Lancashire Cycleway page of Lancashire County Council's website.
Distance: 196 miles (315 km)
The Lakes and Dales Loop is a 196 mile on road cycle route through spectacular Cumbrian countryside, taking in both the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. The Dales section runs from Kirkby Lonsdale and takes in the little known valley of Barbondale to reach Dent and Sedbergh. You then travel close to the River Lune as it finds its way between the Howgill and Lake District fells to reach Orton. The route then traverses the Westmorland Dales to Appleby.
The full route then continues on circling the Lake District. Although this is an area known for its hills, the Lakes and Dales Loop actually has relatively little climbing.
Full details of this tour can be found on the Lakes and Dales Loop website.