Exploring Harrogate on Two Wheels: The Best Cycling Spots

23 January 2024

Harrogate isn’t just a historic spa town with picturesque, cobbled streets and endless pretty cafes. Granted, there is plenty to do in Harrogate itself, whether it’s a trip to world-famous Betty’s, a walk around the strays or an afternoon at the Turkish baths.

In fact, it’s surrounded by rolling green countryside that is open, largely flat and a paradise for cyclists. With so many beautiful spots that are easily reachable by bike, there are plenty of bike rides to keep you occupied.

The Stray Loop

A few hours in Harrogate and you’ll start to realise what a green city it is. The town centre is surrounded by unspoiled green fields and parklands, often referred to as strays. These are particularly convenient for a bike ride around town.

Join the strays from anywhere and enjoy the lush greenery, tree-lined paths and tranquil atmosphere as you escape the cars and take in the beautiful surroundings of Harrogate.

Nidderdale Greenway: A Picturesque Trail to Pateley Bridge

Harrogate is one of the few gateways into the Yorkshire Dales, which is great news for cyclists. In fact, the area is so bicycle friendly that they have transformed an old railway line into a cycling path that runs the entire length between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge.

A route primed for those who want to escape the city and enjoy the quiet of the countryside, cyclists are treated to riverside views, dense woodland and all the glory of the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. Once you get to Nidderdale, enjoy a spot of cream tea at any of the picturesque cafes there.

Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs

Not far from Harrogate are two more areas of outstanding natural beauty: Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs. An easy ride from the city with a road bike, the reservoirs offer a certain kind of peace and serenity, thanks to their mirror-like surfaces. The walks around them are equally as beautiful.

Depending on what kind of bike you have, you can either bike or walk around the lakes. Neither of them are much over an hour by foot, so it’s also a lovely opportunity to combine a bike ride with a sizeable walk.

Beryl Burton cycleway

Another traffic free route is the route from Old Bilton to the Nidd at High Bridge in Knaresborough. With bicycle paths stretching the whole way, you needn’t worry about cars as you’re cycling through the forest lanes, stopping now and then to snap a Roe Deer feeding in a neighbouring field.

Depending on which way around you do it, you have the choice to end your ride at the World’s End pub in Knaresborough or the Gardener’s Arms pub on Bilton Lane. After all, isn’t that the best part of a bike ride in Yorkshire?

Yorkshire Showground Greenway

Even closer to the centre of town is the Yorkshire Showground Greenway that runs between the Sainsbury’s on Wetherby Road and Hornbeam Park. It’s also a great alternative commuting route as you can avoid traffic completely.

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