So on a Friday after work, we put the bikes in the car and headed north for a week-end that will make our muscles burn. Since we decided to relocate to the UK we have been planning to go on week-end adventure to discover our new home country. After reading about the Tour de Yorkshire in Alastair Humphrey ‘s book “Microadventures
” we knew that this was the prefect combo of exploration and training for our big biking challenge
, a month later.
On two wheels, around Yorkshire!
Yorkshire’s area got a tourist boost when Tour de France crossed it in 2014, and we decided to roughly cycle the same route as the peloton did. The countryside is lovely, there is not much traffic and the roads are in good condition. Fun ahead! We will start and end in the small town of Harrogate.
A long day of 200km of biking
The day had everything you would wish for: grey sky, a bit of sunshine, battling through the heavy rain uphill, trying to steer the bike on a steep downhill, arriving soaked wet at the pub (Rose and Crow in Brainbridge, halfway), leaving it replete thanks to a hearty meal, ending up on road obviously not made for road bikes, falling off the bike, finishing the climb walking and pushing your bike, wanted to quit, regaining energy after reaching the main road, getting really tired after 150km, trying to take the bus to skip the last 20km… in vain, finishing up the loop under the rain, almost tearing up as you see Harrogate ahead and giving everything in the last climb leading us to the very centre of Harrogate, just like the pros had to do. What a day!
I can’t say this was the most relaxing week-end we had. I almost felt asleep in my plate at the restaurant that evening. But what a ride, and how beautiful is Yorkshire! The nicest part is biking through Yorkshire Dales National Park, from there you see more sheeps than cars or people, the road are boarded with these typical stone walls, it has everything that you will imagine from the UK countryside (yes, also plenty of pubs).
Yorkshire National Park: you, your bike and many sheeps!
Cycling the tour de Yorkshire
Start and Finish:
Distance: around 200km
Days: One day or two. Depending on your bike level, it will take you around 10h to 13h (like us!). If doing it one day, make sure you leave early! tackling the challenge to finish the loop in one day had the advantage that you won’t carry too much.
Difficulty: Challenging. The distance is not to be under estimated and you will realize soon that Yorkshire is hilly! The loop has a few challenging climbs, make sure you had a snack before tackling them.
Well deserved break in Brainbridge, half way of our Tour de Yorkshire loop.
Pit stops: There are plenty along the way. Like everywhere in Britain, every village has a pub where you will be able to stop for some food. You choose to stop in the small village of Brainbridge, at the Rose & Crown.
Make it happen – Your very own tour de Yorkshire
Harrogate was the perfect base for the loop, avoiding the big city of Leeds to concentrate our mini adventure in the countryside.
Dragon House B&B
Traditional simple bed & breakfast with friendly owners and a small courtyard to leave your bike! Double room 60/70GBP per night, huge breakfast included.
Restaurant L’Albero Delle Noci
This restaurant managed by a Roman who moved to Yorkshire 20 years ago serves exquise italian and Mediterranean cuisine. A great restaurant to celebrate your achievement at the end of the loop (Main courses: 25GBP)
L’Albero delle Noci: 31 Cheltenham Cres, Harrogate HG1 1DH
Betty’s tea shop
For almost a century, Brits have been having a tea at Bettys. The tea shop is now an institution and a must when passing in Harrogate. You can choose from dozen of variety of tea and cakes served by ladies in embroidered blouses and black pleated skirts. Visiting during the week-end? Book a table
to avoid the loooooong queue.
What to pack
- Cycling clothes for all kind of weather – you never know what will happen!
- Reparation kit
- GPS / Phone + bike console to navigate
You can check the road on Ride my GPS.