Things to see and do on the route

Section 1: Skipton to Malham

The route starts in the busy market town of Skipton, 'Gateway to the Dales', takes you through Eastby and over a moorland climb to reach Wharfedale. The wooded area of lower Wharfedale is visited before the route crosses spreading farmland to Malhamdale. Highlights of this section include Barden Tower, a former hunting lodge, and the cliff of Malham Cove. You also pass through some lovely villages including Eastby, Appletreewick, Burnsall and Hetton.

Section 2: Malham to Ingleton

The highlights of this part of the cycleway are the peaceful upland waters of Malham Tarn, the town of Settle, and the villages of Clapham and Ingleton. In Clapham you could take the opportunity to visit Ingleborough show cave, and Ingleton is the start of the magnificent waterfalls walk.

Section 3: Ingleton to Hawes

This section takes you through five of the Yorkshire Dales: Kingsdale, Deepdale, Dentdale, Widdale and Wensleydale. Each has its own distinctive scenery and character. The route reaches into some of the quietest corners of the National Park before descending into the lively market town of Hawes. Dent village is stunning with its cobbled streets, and further up the valley you will see the Settle-Carlisle railway that passes high above on the viaducts at Arten Gill and Dent Head. The descent down into Dentdale is steep and there are a number of gates across the road, some of which are hidden round corners!

Section 4: Hawes to Grinton

From Hawes the route lies down Wensleydale to the beautiful village of Askrigg which featured in the filming of 'All Creatures Great and Small'. Just out of Hawes you can visit Hardraw Falls. A steep climb takes you high onto the moors of Askrigg Common. The descent (steep sections) into Swaledale and the trip down dale will make it clear why Swaledale is held by many to the most beautiful of all. Reeth is just off the route but worth a visit.

Section 5: Grinton to Kettlewell

This section marks the start of the return journey south, returning to Wensleydale over the high moors before making the long climb up Coverdale and over the watershed to the attractive village of Kettlewell. The descent to Kettlewell again has some steep sections and hairpin bends. You pass close by the dramatic Castle Bolton, and Aysgarth Falls are not far off route. Also nearby is the Forbidden Corner offering the chance to revert to childhood exploring the secret passages and grottos.

Section 6: Kettlewell to Skipton

The final stretch travels along Wharfedale to Bolton Abbey. The contrast between the wide, limestone dominated middle reaches of the Dales seen in the early section and the narrow gritstone valley closer to Bolton Abbey will be apparent as you travel to your final destination of Skipton. Grassington is a great little town with cobbled square, and Appletreewick has two well known pubs. Bolton Abbey is well known for its riverside walks and the remains of the Abbey, and the road from here takes you past Hesketh Farm Park.

Northern Loop: Dent to Reeth

If you choose the northern loop option then you will travel down Dentdale to Sedbergh - a lovely little market town. You then travel up the Lune Valley with the Howgill Fells on your right and the outlying Lake District fells on your left. You pass through the charming village of Orton before crossing the limestone area of Great Asby Scar. Kirkby Stephen is a great little town and then it is a long climb up to Tan Hill - the highest pub in Britain. Then it is all downhill - well nearly - for 13 miles to Reeth.

Section one: Skipton

Section two: Malham Tarn

Section three: Dent

Section four: To Swaledale

Section five: Castle Bolton

Section six: Wharfedale