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Challenge Yourself on a UK Bicycle Holiday

This should make you want to ride the Yorkshire Dales. (Photo by Amber, courtesy of Sykes Cottages)

The English county of Yorkshire is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Locally known as God’s own county, the soaring mountain peaks and sweeping moorlands make Yorkshire one of the greenest places in the UK and the perfect place for a biking holiday. With two national parks and a number of designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you are sure to be enchanted by the rugged Yorkshire landscape. Bicycle enthusiasts will find no shortage of trails and courses to challenge their skills. Champion road racers and daring mountain bikers will find a test of their mettle in Yorkshire.

Way of the Roses

The newest of the UK’s coast-to-coast cycle ways stretches 170 miles across the north of England, from the Irish Sea coast in Lancashire to the North Sea coast in Yorkshire. While peddling your way along this well sign-posted route, you’ll pass through the cities of York and Lancaster and innumerable quaint towns and country villages. The terrain is varied, including traffic-free paths, cycle lanes, and country roads – all of which are part of the National Cycle Network. A reasonably fit biker can complete the route in 3 days, but there are some testing areas of steep hills so you may want to give yourself a little extra time if you’re less experienced. Taking it a little slower will also give you time to explore on foot along the way, and maybe treat yourself to a well-earned tasty treat or two! For accommodations, there are a number of options available to you. Maybe consider one of the many Yorkshire holiday cottages available along the way – a great place to lay your head after a long day of cycling!

Three Peaks Cyclo-Challenge

If you seek a bigger challenge, maybe the Three Peaks Cyclo-Challenge is for you. Billed as the toughest cyclo-cross event in the UK, this isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll cover 38 miles. … which doesn’t sound so bad. But you’ll climb and descend the three highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough. You won’t even get to ride the whole distance – 17 miles is on road, 20 miles is unsurfaced road, and 3 to 5 miles is unrideable terrain. The first person to complete the challenge was a 14-year-old school boy in 1959. It took him 6 hours and 45 minutes. Last year’s winner, Nick Craig, completed the route in a staggering 3 hours and 8 minutes, a feat of human endurance few could even dream of accomplishing! This is not an event for an inexperienced rider, and you’ll need the right equipment. But even just visiting the Yorkshire Dales to watch the spectacle would be an experience.

The UK is a great place for a cycling holiday, whether you like to amble down country lanes with a picnic in your basket, or test your endurance and take on an extreme challenge like the Three Peaks. There are many great guiding companies throughout the country who can help you organize a trip or just rent you a bicycle for the day. Either way it’s a great way to see the countryside and will eliminate all the guilt of over-indulging on the local delicacies while on vacation!

This post was written by Amanda, who writes for Sykes Cottages. While she admires the endurance and nerve of those who undertake challenges like the Three Peaks Cyclo-Challenge, you’re more likely to find her peddling along a country path with flowers and foraged berries in her bicycle basket!

WanderingJustin.com thanks Amanda and Sykes Cottages for this great featured introduction to UK bicycle holidays.

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