Dales Cycleway

Dales Cycleway

A circular self-guided road cycling holiday through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, beginning and ending in Skipton.

3 to 6 nights
133 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £370 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The Dales Cycleway tours Yorkshire, a cyclist's paradise. The land rises and falls all around, transforming quiet lanes into challenging ascents that reward the triumphant rider with panoramic views over the rolling green fields, wildflower meadows, and limestone landscapes of the Dales.

The Dales Cycleway is a complete circuit of the national park, beginning and ending in Skipton. It climbs through isolated stretches of countryside between cycle-friendly villages on a 133-mile loop. If you ever wondered why the Tour de France came through this part of England, the Dales Cycleway is sure to clarify.

The route sticks to surfaced roads throughout, with a lone stretch over gravel on the approach to Malham Tarn.

Skipton / Skipton
133 miles (213 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Racing down brilliant descents like the wild downhill from Cam Gill Road to Kettlewell Beck.

Following the gravel track to the glassy expanse of Malham Tarn.

Delving through the famous dales, including the famously beautiful Swaledale.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
C-DC1 A circular trail beginning at Skipton 3 nights, 2 days riding Demanding / Strenuous£370
C-DC2 A circular trail beginning at Skipton 4 nights, 3 days riding Moderate / Demanding£475
C-DC3 A circular trail beginning at Skipton 5 nights, 4 days riding Moderate£580
C-DC4 A circular trail beginning at Skipton 6 nights, 5 days riding Easy / Moderate£690

Dales Cycleway 3 nights, 2 days riding

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Elevation & terrain
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Skipton where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Skipton to Hawes. 69.5 miles (111km)

Day 2

Hawes to Skipton. 66.5 miles (106.5km)


Depart from Skipton after breakfast

Your Itinerary

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than 2.5 miles from the trail to your accommodation.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£45.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 3 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

The circular Dales Cycleway route encounters many amazing locations, making it almost impossible to see everything during your holiday. If you would like some extra time to explore these wonderful areas more thoroughly, we recommend booking a few extra nights at any of the overnight stops along the way.

You could spend an extra night or two in Skipton either at the start or the end of your cycling holiday, and explore everything this lovely market town has to offer. Skipton has a rich heritage with many excellent examples of its history, including the famous Skipton Castle - one of the best preserved medieval castles in Britain - and the stunning Holy Trinity Church overlooking the high street. There are galleries and museums to visit, as well as a range of leisure and sporting activities to suit every taste. There is also an abundance of excellent shops to explore, including plenty of services to help replenish and repair your cycling kit as required.

Hawes is England's highest town - set 850 feet above sea level - and as such boasts amazing scenery, making this a temping option for an extra night's stay. Home to the world famous Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese and the highest waterfall in England, Hawes is a popular tourist destination with plenty to offer; not only is the town fully stocked with fine shops and tempting eateries, it also boasts a bustling street market, a long-standing outdoor retailer, a range of leisure activities and the spectacular Bolton Castle situated nearby. There is truly something for everyone at Hawes.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 133 miles (213 km)
Duration: 3 nights, 2 days riding
Minimum daily distance: 66.5 miles (106.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 69.5 miles (111 km)
Code: C-DC1 Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Skipton
End of holiday: Skipton

Elevation & Terrain

Route profile

Dales Cycleway Route Profile

There are no prolonged flat sections on the Dales Cycleway. The route rises and falls through the Yorkshire hills, providing a huge number of viewpoints along the way.

The steepest climbs on the route are found between Ingleton and Dent at Whernside; between Cowgill and Hawes; on Cross Top Road; and across Grinton Moor. Perhaps the most dramatic of all is the testing ascent on Cam Gill Road. It leads in turn to a blisteringly quick descent down “Park Rash” to Kettlewell Beck.

Sweeping downhills like this are a reoccurring staple of the route. The best examples swoop into Dent, Muker, and Castle Bolton respectively. One of the great joys of the Dales Cycleway lies in its unfaltering ability to reward hard work with downhill bliss.


  • Primarily low-traffic country lanes
  • A handful of brief road sections
  • One dedicated bridleway to Malham Tarn

The vast majority of the Dales Cycleway keeps to surfaced roads. A lone stretch over gravel on the approach to Malham Tarn marks the only departure from tarmac. Any road bicycle will be ideal on this cycling holiday.

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air – The most convenient major cities and international airports are Manchester and Leeds-Bradford.

By Rail – There is a railway station at the start/end of the trail (Skipton).

From London – Trains run from London Kings Cross station to Skipton.

Return to the Start – This is a circular route, starting and ending in Skipton.

Please note:

Most train lines will allow for bikes to be taken on board. We advise that you check on https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/cyclists.aspx as you may need to book a space for your bike or there may be a limit as to how many bikes the train can store.

Most buses in the UK are unable to store bikes on board, so we would recommend avoiding this form of transport.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.