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

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?


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.

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 -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.