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Route Summary

Cross the breadth of England, delving through old rival counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Rich with cultural sites in a wide variety of English settlements, the Way of the Roses traverses rolling hills and limestone landscapes stippled with caves, waterfalls and pockets of woodland. There are cafes aplenty to keep you well-fuelled as you cycle all the way from coast to coast. With so much to see, this is the ideal touring route.



From Lancaster, with its wealth of museums, the Way of the Roses curves into Lune Valley. It passes the grand Lune Aqueduct and the glacial Great Stone of Fourstones, and traces the northern border of the Forest of Bowland.

© Andrew © firegrind

In Settle, station and signal box mark the start of the scenic Settle to Carlisle Railway; from here, the ride continues east into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its limestone pavements and an optional detour out to the awe-inspiring Gordale Scar.

Art offsets an industrial gouge in the earth at Coldstones Cut, an enormous installation built into the lip of a quarry, while the earth crafts its own smooth, artistic shapes at Brinham Rocks.

Stately homes, gardens, castles and cathedrals are a reoccurring attraction on this route. Preserved by its long-lasting role as a prison, Lancaster Castle stands complete and open to the public, while York Castle's active military history is displayed in every chip in the walls of Clifford's Tower. The utilitarian simplicity of the site is sharply contrasted by the great pointed arches of York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe.

The crowning jewel of the route is arguably the monumental ruin of Fountains Abbey and the surrounding grounds of Studley Royal, with its deer park and world-renowned ornamental water garden. Its tearooms offer the perfect half hour's respite before pushing on to Ripon, where history comes alive in the nightly practice of the hornblower.


Gradual climbs pick up on the way into the Pennines, with an exceptionally steep ascent departing Settle that awards a sweeping downhill approach to Airton. This can be broken into a series of rolling ascents and descents by opting for the northern alternative route through Malham.

The last major steep section lies between Burnsall and Pateley Bridge. Beyond here, the size of the ascents slowly taper off until the route becomes largely flat, save for a few smooth rises between Pocklington and Hutton Cranswick and again just before the route's end in Bridlington.

Route profile



The route involves a few short ventures onto main roads with marked cycle lanes. The longest of these stretches by far leads into Pateley Bridge, and is less than ten miles long.

A short section of stone track between Dunnington and Stamford Bridge might threaten racing slicks, but the route is generally accessible for any bike on any rubber.

Route NEWS

12/06/2017 Update
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Route Details

Length: 171 miles / 274 km
Start & end: Morecambe / Bridlington
Season: 2nd January to 24th December


GRADE more info more info  
C-WR1 4 nights, 3 days £290 £435 Epic More Info Book Now
C-WR2 5 nights, 4 days £360 £485 Hard More Info Book Now
C-WR3 7 nights, 6 days £510 £665 Moderate More Info Book Now
C-WR4 9 nights, 8 days £655 £815 Easy More Info Book Now
C-WR5 11 nights, 10 days £800 £965 Beginner More Info Book Now

The above itineraries show our preferred overnight stops. If accommodation is unavailable at any of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly.

Please note that if you choose not to book luggage transfers for your holiday, you must make sure that you are able to carry all of your luggage with you for the duration of the holiday, whether this be via the use of panniers or any other method you wish. Ensure that you test the weight of your luggage while riding well in advance, so that you are comfortable transporting your own luggage during your holiday. We particularly recommend booking mountain biking holidays with lugagge transfers included.

Pricing Information

Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are riding on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo rider supplement: £45 per person / per night
  • Single supplement: £20 per person / per night

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

  • Extra night (Standard) : £50 per person / per night

What's Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • A comprehensive information pack containing maps and/or guide books, a full itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Travel Information

Detailed travel information is sent to you in your holiday pack, but we have provided a summary below.

By Air
The most convenient major city and international airports are Leeds-Bradford International Airport and Manchester Airport. From Leeds-Bradford International Airport, you can take a direct train to Morecambe or from Manchester Airport, you can also catch a train to Morecambe, changing at Lancaster.

By Rail
You can catch a train to the start of the route, which is within walking distance of all accommodations.

From London - You can catch a train from London Euston to Morecambe changing at Lancaster. The overall journey takes approximately 3.5 hours.

By Car
For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit which has a very useful route planner.

Return to Start
The easiest way to return to the start of the route is by taking a train from Bridlington to Morecambe, changing at Hull and Leeds. The journey takes approximately 5 hours.

Extra Night / Rest Day

The Way of the Roses passes through a variety of remarkable locations that are begging to be explored by cyclists of all interests and walks of life. By adding extra nights into your holiday, you will have plenty of time to learn more about these areas and uncover hidden gems that you may have otherwise missed.

The historic market town of Settle is a wonderful option for an extra night's stay; offering a selection of traditional pubs, tea rooms and restaurants along with plenty of shopping opportunities, including a number of outdoor sports shops should you need to replenish your gear. The local area is also full of interesting sites to explore, such as Victoria Cave, Stainforth Force and Gaping Gill for those interested in the local geography, or avid train spotters can discover the Settle to Carlisle Railway, the Settle Station Signal Box and the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. With so many amazing things to discover, Settle is a remarkable hidden gem that is worth a second look.

For those looking for a livelier place to spend an extra night or two, the city of York is packed with things to see and do to suit all interests and tastes. Visitors can enjoy hundreds of attractions, museums, historic buildings, tours, shops, restaurants and bars within the compact walled city, with a rich history dating back to Roman times. Regarded as one of the UK's premier cycling cities, York is the perfect place to stop and repair or replenish your biking gear, with a range of sports shops, cycle hires, expert advice and cycling tours to suit all abilities. Not only is there a vast range of activities including everything from water sports to ghost hunting, but those in need of a little TLC will also find plenty of spas and health centres in which to indulge in a much-needed massage before continuing on the trail.

Finally, Bridlington is a gorgeous seaside town that would make an excellent choice for a rest day, meaning you can extend your holiday and celebrate the completion of the Way of the Roses in style. As well as all the usual facilities of a coastal town, Bridlington has a fantastic leisure centre including swimming pools, climbing walls, a health suite with a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, a gym and a spa, equipping you with everything you need to recover from your cycling journey. As well as this, there is an endless choice of attractions on offer from golf courses to animal parks, along with plenty of shops and eateries to choose from in which to relax and reflect on your memorable cycling holiday.



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Coast to Coast

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GRADE 1: Beginner

Daily distance: approx. 10 – 20 miles / 16 – 32 km
These itineraries are perfect for beginner cyclists, families or explorers eager to sight-see along the route. Expect plenty of time to relax along the way thanks to short-mileage days, with barely a hill in sight!

GRADE 2: Easy

Daily distance: approx. 15 – 25 miles / 24 – 40 km
With longer-mileage days, these itineraries will suit occasional riders who want a bit more of a challenge. As they still steer clear of steeper or more frequent climbs, they're perfect for quick riding, so you can still make plenty of time for lunch or a spot of exploration.

GRADE 3: Moderate

Daily distance: approx. 20 – 40 miles / 32 – 64 km
Longer daily distances team with a few challenging sections on these itineraries, ideal for regular cyclists confident in their fitness. Exploration stops may require an extra rest day - but there should still be time for a relaxing lunch!

GRADE 4: Hard

Daily distance: approx. 25 – 50 miles / 40 – 80 km
If you're looking to test your abilities as a keen cyclist, these are the itineraries for you. The daily mileages aren't just high, they may also include tough or frequent climbs. Get ready to pedal hard and push yourself!

GRADE 5: Epic

Daily distance: approx. 50 miles + / 80 km +
For these itineraries, you're going to need previous experience cycling long distances over consecutive days. Each is designed to test your strength and your stamina, with high mileage days and tough, frequent climbs.

*** Occasionally our itineraries can straddle between two levels of difficulty, such as 'Easy-Moderate' or 'Hard-Epic' etc. This can be for a number of reasons, such as if there is a wide range of distances between the days of the itinerary, or if the distances are ‘Easy’ but the hills and terrain involved are a bit tricky and more ‘moderate’ etc. If you require more information about any of our itineraries, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance.