Wednesday 8 July 2009

Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way

Also known more prosaically as Regional Route 10, the Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way is a 130-mile loop through one of the most scenic and timeless areas of England. Mostly on quiet, largely traffic-free, country lanes, the heavily-undulating route, waymarked by blue signs featuring a ram's head, includes many gruelling, highly-aerobic climbs. To pass from one dale to the next you typically need to climb from the valley floor at around 200 metres up to about 500 metres in the surrounding hills. Still, at the top, you usually get a grand view of the green, green slopes, criss-crossed by dry stone walls and untouched by modern development. Then you can enjoy a fast white-knuckle descent into the next dale where an age-old pub or sedate tea room will be waiting. With few really flat stretches, the Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way is not a route for the faint-hearted, but it is a lot of fun. 8/10