Cycle Britain

Cycling The Way of the Roses

Introduction to the Cycle Route

Imagine returning to work after a weekend spent cycling across England. Well, cycling the Way of the Roses offers precisely that opportunity. The Way of the Roses is a 170-mile route that crosses England from Morecambe to Bridlington. After leaving the Irish Coast behind and pointing your wheels toward the North Sea, you’ll alternate between tranquil countryside such as the Lune Valley and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, historic cities like Lancaster and York, and quintessentially English villages such as Settle and Pateley Bridge. This is a cycling adventure to remember, through stunning natural beauty and impressive cultural heritage.

The well-signposted route takes advantage of quiet country lanes and traffic-free cycle paths. (Cycle Britain is an official Komoot partner so you also receive an easy-to-follow GPX file when you book with us!). The Way of the Roses is an official Sustrans route. It’s a hilly and challenging cycle – the strenuous climb from Settle peaks at a 30% gradient! – but one which, over Cycle Britain’s three day-itinerary, is accessible to any bold cyclist.

Cycling the Way of the Roses
Howard

What makes The Way of the Roses so Special?

There are several Coast to Coast cycling routes at other latitudes in the UK – Hadrian’s Wall and the C2C from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay – so why should you ride The Way of the Roses?

History

This cycling route traverses the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire and takes its name from their historic feud. For 32 years during the 15th century, these counties were engaged in a series of bloody civil wars: the War of the Roses. Both the House of York, represented by a white rose, and the House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose, were fighting for control of the English Throne, however, these wars eventually eliminated the male lineage for both houses and led to the rise of the Tudors.

This grand history is most obvious in York, where you can be excused for thinking you have pedalled back in time. Once through the city’s walls, the 13th-century gothic cathedral, York Minster, takes centre stage, but the half-timbered buildings, prominent castles and quaint shopfronts will all arrest your attention and add to the impression you are a medieval time-traveller!

Pateley Bridge is another highlight along the route; first recorded in 1175, this village is a historic market town and, more recently, a popular stop for cyclists. Indeed, the Tour de France whizzed through the village in 2014 and the town is a regular feature on the Tour de Yorkshire.

Stunning Scenery

The Way of the Roses navigates the Yorkshire Dales National Park and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; Forest of Bowland, Nidderdale, and the Howardian Hills. You’ll also pass other delights without such formal designation such as the picturesque Lune Valley and the bucolic Yorkshire Wolds.

The Way of the Roses is one of the lesser-pedalled Coast-to-Coast options, often overlooked in favour of those beginning in Cumbria, but this simply allows you to enjoy some solitude as you ride through this picturesque region of the UK and makes it feel like a true cycling adventure.

Sense of Achievement

I love finishing a long-distance bike tour on the coast, where the road simply runs out and the sea blocks any further progress as if to say, ‘You’re finished. You can’t go any further.’ The accomplishment of cycling from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, having crossed the entire country is something you’ll remember for a long time to come! This sense of achievement is further heightened by the challenging route. In three days you’ll have tackled 2,500 metres of ascent.

TESTIMONIAL FROM 2021 – Chris

“I’d like to start by mentioning that I have travelled the world enjoying a lot of beach holidays in my time, but little did I know that this cycling tour across my own country was to be one of my greatest! It definitely goes down as one of my finest ever sporting achievements – made even better that I could do this with my daughter. I can’t thank Alan and Alex enough for their constant support and encouragement during the whole of the tour as there were times when I thought that I wouldn’t make it but there was such a great camaraderie amongst us, I was never going to fail in my quest to ride my first Coast-to-Coast. But the tour was more than just cycling it also was about the beautiful scenic countryside that we rode through and always knowing that Alan and Alex were there to make sure that you were always safe and that you could never get lost, and also providing regular rest stops with plenty of food and drinks available to fuel ourselves for the long journey ahead and twin that with the lovely accommodation that we stayed in overnight with access to some lovely cooked food i.e. evening meals and hearty breakfasts. Cycle Britain were very responsive in relation to favourite meals/snacks! We were really treated like royalty by Alan and Alex as they not only transferred our luggage from the support van to our room, they even booked us a table in the restaurant. Nothing was too much trouble for them as nothing was left to chance in their quest to provide a perfect Coast-to-Coast cycling experience for us all on the tour. It was also nice that the other cyclists on the tour were a pleasure to share the experience with too. It was as if Alan and Alex had specifically hand-picked them to make sure that we all got on. 

I was also impressed with the tips on bike maintenance and how to handle our bikes safely on steep descents as this came in very handy during our journey. I honestly can’t thank Cycle Britain enough for the care and attention to detail that was taken to ensure that myself and my daughter had one of the greatest Coast-to-Coast cycling experiences ever as it’s something that we will definitely never forget especially the lovely coach ride back to Morecambe – it made us feel like professional cyclists!! Thanks again Cycle Britain, great memories to treasure forever it was also great value for money.”

Chris 

Completed the Cycle Britain Coast-to-Coast Tour (Way of the Roses) – September 2021

Why book with Cycle Britain?

Cycle Britain specialises in providing cycling holidays in Britain, and we offer packages for every budget and style of cycling. All of our ‘Way of the Roses’ cycling tours come with accommodation and a free daily baggage transfer. We recognise that it can be difficult to return to Morecambe from the finish line in Bridlington, which is why all our tours also come with a free transfer back to the start, for you and your bike!

Our guided packages include a cycling guide who is qualified by British Cycling as a Level Two Ride Leader. More important than a formal certificate, however, they are passionate about travelling by bike, particularly in Britain! Our charismatic guides will accompany you throughout, providing cycling tips and sharing their detailed knowledge of the route. With Cycle Britain, you’ll discover things you’d otherwise miss!

Our fully-supported packages include vehicular support from the Alex Wagon. The van will meet you throughout the day to arrange feed stations, refill your water bottle and offer a morale boost up the steepest hills. The van can also carry a day-bag of things you may want to access throughout the ride.

Our self-guided packages allow you the freedom and independence to head off on your adventure at your own pace. We will book your accommodation and luggage transfer, and provide you with a GPX file and all the information you’ll require to complete the route on your own.

We believe cycling holidays are about the whole experience; what you eat, where you sleep, what you see along the way. Our tours are painstakingly researched and planned to allow you to have the best experience possible. When booking with Cycle Britain, you can be sure of comfortable and memorable accommodation, great tips on where to eat and what to visit along the way. Our tours also offer a chance to connect with and enjoy the camaraderie of other cyclists. We limit our tours to small group sizes, a maximum of 12 riders, to allow you to really get to know one another.

Cycle Britain have teamed up with a local charity, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, who offer an opportunity for terminally-ill, disabled and disadvantaged children to visit a farm where they can play, laugh and enjoy being children. Each year, we arrange several fundraising Coast to Coast cycle rides for the charity. These are great fun to ride and raise money for a great cause.

If you’re interested and want to find out a little more about this tour, call us on 01925 564281 or drop us an email at hello@cyclebritain.co.uk -We can answer any questions you might have.  Check out our dates for September and 2022– but be quick, they’re going fast.  With current uncertainty around international travel, there’s never been a better time to take a cycle tour with Cycle Britain.

TESTIMONIALKIRSTY ADAMS

“My cycling obsession started during the first lockdown as a way to keep fit and active, it was my Dad who became my inspiration to start cycling.  We always cycle together and wanted to experience something new and set ourselves a challenge. Whilst looking for organised tours, Cycle Britain popped up on my social media and from there I was set on booking a tour. I was first interested in the Hebridean Way Tour until I saw the Coast-to-Coast tour.  From showing an interest on the Cycle Britain FB page Alan was extremely helpful and contacted me to discuss the whole process from booking to completing the tour – he even recommended suitable accommodation for the night before the tour. The tour was expertly organised throughout.  Alan and Alex checked our bikes and ensured we had the correct tyre pressure (which was useful as I had no idea what the correct pressure should have been). Alan was very helpful throughout the tour giving me valuable information on how to brake safely and ride the steep descents safely, he also gave a discussion on cross-chaining which I found useful and was something I was guilty of.  Alan has taught me so much with regards to being confident on my bike and given me some essential skills I will use forever.

Hats off to “chef” Alex for making our lunches and ensuring we were fully fueled up for the trip, he ensured he catered to all of our dietary requirements, the food was amazing and endless, I really couldn’t have asked for more from the tour with regards to food, we were really looked after. Throughout the tour there were regular snack stops for us to refill our water or have a quick snack if we were feeling low on energy. The accommodation Alan had organised was perfect and located in some beautiful areas that I would definitely revisit, the first night of the tour we were booked into a beautiful country pub and had some amazing food, Alan had also booked a table for our evening meal which was a great touch. The second night we stayed in York and what a great location it was – only a 10-minute walk into York where we had some excellent food. Alan also ensured breakfast was provided each morning, even when the York accommodation didn’t provide breakfast, Alan made sure he organised our breakfast which was again another personal touch that I couldn’t fault. 

The journey of the Coast-to-Coast is one I will never forget and was such an amazing experience to share with my dad, I have visited some of the most beautiful places our country has to offer that I didn’t even know existed, not only that Alan was extremely knowledgeable on the local history of each area, this added an extra touch to the trip and expressed Alan’s passion of the route.  The organization of the tour was faultless and Alan made sure that each and every one of us gained something positive from the trip, he always ensured I was ok and offered help and encouragement when I needed it especially when I did not feel confident in being able to complete the route. I was one of the slowest in the group but I was never made to feel like I was slowing the group down as everyone on the tour was so supportive and encouraging towards me, this helped to improve my confidence. The support vehicle was also never far behind should I need it and tracking our location in case I went off course or needed help, this made me feel at ease as I knew I could not get lost of left behind.  Alan had also organised a minibus back to the start which was something I had wondered about and grateful for, and transferred me back to the start safely and in a timely manner. 

This trip will stay with me forever and is one of the most amazing achievements that I have ever done, I cannot stop talking about it to everyone, I would definitely use Cycle Britain again as they ensure that everything is taken care of. I have also met some fantastic and interesting people on the tour as well as the people in the places we visited, I have done many routes and definitely I thought I had seen it all until I did this tour. Alan and Alex were perfect and extremely supportive throughout the whole process, especially when I doubted my ability to complete the tour, they gave me the confidence to believe in myself.

Thank you so much to Cycle Britain for giving me the experience of a life time and leaving me with some of the most amazing memories.”

Kirsty

Completed the Cycle Britain Coast-to-Coast Tour (Way of the Roses) – September 2021