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Select a Tour:1. Yorkshire Dales Cycleway | 2. Weekend in Wensleydale
3. Challenge Rides | 4. Tour De Yorkshire Weekend

Our road cycling tours are for keen road cyclists of all abilities and we offer circular routes staying in different locations each evening as well as tours and day events based in our home town of Ilkley.

Challenge Rides

8 routes available

ROUTEFREEJust you and a map + GUIDE£32pp (Based on group of 5)Add a ride guide + SUPPORT£ Price On ApplicationGet the route and ride guide plus Mechanic/Van Support

“A brilliant day from start to finish. The service offered for the same price as many sportives stands this service over and above, excellent guides, excellent route, pre ride bike check, drink and nutrition on tap, with a mechanic following you all the way.” Warren Langthorne, York

Ride Outline

Check out our video 'A Day Out With YVT' for a glimpse of what to expect.

We have a tried and tested route bank of 8 great days out, all starting and finishing in Ilkley heading in different directions showcasing the wide variety of terrain and scenery in Yorkshire. We have partnered with the Wheatley Arms in Ilkley to use their (off street) car park and toilet/changing facilities as a start/finish point for riders.

Why not plan a day out with a group friends to experience the best of riding in Yorkshire. If you just want the route map, we will provide this + use of the Wheatley Arms facilities for free. If you want to draw on the local knowledge of the area, not worry about route finding or the best cafe stops, why not engage one of our friendly ride guides. If you’ve got a larger group and want the assurance of a back-up vehicle, we can provide that too.

The routes are all very different. They range from a route devised by Simon Warren to experience the best of the Yorkshire Classic, used on the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire each year to a very different challenge, our Bronte Cobbled Classic takes in some of the iconic cobbled climbs out towards Haworth and Halifax.

If you are visiting from outside the area we can arrange overnight stay at one of our accommodation partners, choose from a friendly Bed and Breakfast to a top quality Country House Hotel.

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Route Options

CR 1 Hills of the Tour de Yorkshire84 miles / 7,865ft ascent

Ride Grade 3

Key Climbs: Cote de Barden Moor, Cote de Park Rash and Cote de Greenhow

An opportunity to experience some of the best sections of the Tour de Yorkshire.

The route was designed by Simon Warren covers the best of the final stage, now called the ‘Yorkshire Classic’. You will get to experience the iconic climb of the ‘Cote de Park Rash' (which is not included in the official TDY sportive!) plus numerous other climbs as well as the beautiful scenery and vistas of the Yorkshire Dales. The route firstly takes you over the Cote de Barden Moor before snaking up the Wharfe valley towards Park Rash.

The reward for tackling this beast of a climb is a wonderful 10 mile (mostly) downhill section to the town of Middleham. You then head towards Masham and over Trapping Hill to Pateley Bridge ready for the final big climb of Greenhow, make sure you leave something in the tank for this mighty hill!


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CR 2 Malham and Littondale77 miles / 6,620ft ascent

Ride Grade 2

Key Climbs: Malham Cove, Pen Y Ghent, Langbar

The majesty of Malham Cove looks out over the Village of Malham and has been attracting visitors for centuries. For cyclists, it just happens that a classic road climb runs up the left hand side of the Cove. We have blended a visit to Malham with a loop back through the untouched gem Littondale, the hidden valley.

To start with, the ride skirts up the Wharfe valley and then through the Calendar Girls village of Rhylstone to Malham. The reward for reaching the top of the climb is sight of the impressive world famous limestone pavements. After crossing the bleak moor you descend to Settle for the café stop. After the welcome break you join the route of the famous ‘Etape du Dales’ and climb out of Stainforth past Pen-y-Ghent, one of the 3 Peaks of Yorskshire visited by the iconic cyclo cross race. A treat is now in store as the scenery to your right on the descent is majestic as you enter Littondale. You soon reach Wharfedale and head past Kilnsey Crag. To make this is a triple climb ride, the punchy ‘Langbar’ awaits near the finish, although those with tired legs can easily miss this out if they wish.


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CR 3 Trough of Bowland75 miles / 7,341ft ascent

Ride Grade 2

Key Climbs: Cocking Lane, Carleton Lane, Gisburn Road

Most people think of Yorkshire climbs as short and steep, well this ride will prove you wrong! Three major climbs feature on this ride, all before lunch. They are characterised by Alpine like gradients of 5-9% occasionally creeping into the lower teens.

Most people think of Yorkshire climbs as short and steep, well this ride will prove you wrong! Three major climbs feature on this ride, all before lunch. They are characterised by Alpine like gradients of 5-9% occasionally creeping into the lower teens. The route heads over to Silsden, Connonley and Carleton where the first climb, 4 miles long, starts as you head over the Lancashire border to Colne. Shortly after Colne the next gradual climb of Gisburn Road out of Blacko allows you to hit a comfortable tempo on the consistent gradient of around 7%.

After the descent, you will enjoy some gently rolling country lanes and villages taking you back to Ilkley via Airton, Hetton and Burnsall.


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CR 4 Bronte Cobbled Classic 55 miles / 6,659ft ascent

Ride Grade 3

Key Climbs: Cocking Lane, Thwaites Brow, Shibden Wall, Gibb Lane, Haworth Main Street

Our expert on this region, Mel Hartley, has devised this truly unique ride featuring 3 of Cycling Weekly’s top 14 UK cobbled climbs. Although not long in distance (and it is no disgrace to walk the steepest sections) the combination of cobbles and gradient provide a real challenge.

All the toughest climbs come in the first half of the ride as the route takes you out around Ilkley Moor, then onto Thwaites Brow in Keighley. From there the cobbled fun continues as you head towards Halifax via the infamous ‘Shibden Wall’ not long after followed by the equally challenging ‘Gibb Lane’. The final cobbled climb Haworth main street will seem like gentle relief after what has come before! The final part of the ride crosses the Aire Valley and after the sharp Priest Bank, made famous by the Tour de Yorkshire you soon glimpse Beamsley Beacon standing proud over Whafedale before descending back to Ilkley.


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CR 5 2019 UCI World Championships route 109 miles / 9,636ft ascent

Ride Grade 3

Key Climbs: Kidstones, Buttertubs Pass, Grinton Moor

Your chance to ride the best sections of the 2019 UCI World Championships Mens Elite Road Race, including the section in Swaledale that the actual event missed out due to bad weather. You will ride out through Wharfedale and take on the big climbs of Kidstones, Buttertubs pass and Grinton Moor. Then experience one of the flatter fast sections heading towards Masham before taking a scenic and challenging route back to the start point in Ilkley.

The route misses out some of the urban sections of the actual race route and also the finishing circuit in Harrogate as it is not rideable under usual traffic regulations.


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CR 6 Cote de Lofthouse and the Druids Temple 69 miles / 7,373ft ascent

Ride Grade 2/3

Key Climbs: Askwith Moor, Cote de Lofthouse

This ride has immense character taking in sections of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire route as well as several more minor roads and even a ride past the famous Druid’s Temple near Masham in North Yorkshire!

From the start in Ilkley we head north and soon dig into the gradual climb up Askwith Moor to warm the legs up before heading over to Pateley Bridge. After a left turn just before the village you head up Nidderdale to tackle the challenging and rewarding Cote de Lofthouse, used in both the Tour de Yorkshire and the UCI World Championships. A glorious descent to Leighton Reservoir soon enough delivers you to the foot of the road to the mystical "Druids Temple', which is worth a stop! Offer a sacrifice here if you wish, but make sure you hold onto your remaining energy for the rest of the ride! No big hills from now on, it's undulating terrain through some delightful Yorkshire villages before the final descent for home.


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CR 7 Hebden Bridge and Widdop Moor 61 miles / 7,785ft ascent

Ride Grade 2/3

Key Climbs: Cocking Lane, Barrows Lane, Cote de Oxenhope, Heptonstall Lane, Widdop Moor

This route gives a taste of riders a taste of Bronte country, now famously used in both the Tour de France and the Tour de Yorkshire. There’s a truly distinct character to this part of Yorkshire and if you’ve not been here before, the roads and scenery will win you over big time! Don’t be deceived by the relatively short distance of the ride, the hills are not long but they come thick and fast meaning that the ride will feel much more than the 61 miles!

After a climb out of the Wharfe Valley a more testing rise from the Aire Valley takes you over to Haworth to join a section of the 2014 Tour de France route taking in the famous cobbles and the Cote de Oxenhope Moor. An exhilarating descent will you deliver you to the 'happy valley' town of Hebden Bridge and then shortly onto the (top 100) climb of Heptonstall Lane followed by scenic Widdop Moor. The route then bears east again and riders are treated to a classy descent into Carleton before the final climb of Addingham Moorside heading back into Addingham then onto Ilkley.


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CR 8 Wharfe Valley - Bolton Abbey - Burnsall/Grassington27-32 miles / 1,536ft ascent

Ride Grade 1

A ride for those newer to road cycling or just washing to enjoy a shorter route with the opportunity to stop off along the way!

The route takes you along the quiet ‘back road’ out of Ilkley up the Wharfe Valley to the historic Bolton Abbey and a chance to see the ruined Priory and the Church. We’ll stop for a coffee by the river and ensure everyone is happy with the riding arrangements. From here, the route heads further up the valley to Burnsall, where many scenes from the film Calendar Girls were filmed. plenty of options for cafe stops along the way. Return down the valley to Ilkley on the opposite side of the river through Appletreewick with views over to Simon’s Seat.


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What's Included? (Option 3 Only)

Energy Energy OTE nutrition (bars, gels and drinks tabs) and bananas
Food & Drink Lunch: Sandwiches, fruit and cakes.
Drinks Water and energy drink whilst out on the road
Check & Tech Pre ride bike checkby Cytech qualified mechanic
Ride LeaderAt least one experienced local ride leader per group (typical group size 8, max 10 riders)
Strava Route mapped on Strava, option to download GPX or TCX file
Support Support vehiclewill carry water, spares (tubes, tyres etc). You can also deposit items, eg clothing options, in the vehicle and gain access at certain points on route. Space in the van for 4 people / 4 bikes.
MechanicA qualified (Cytech) bike mechanic will accompany the ride (in the support vehicle) to provide mechanical assistance and repairs. The mechanic will also be available before and after the ride.
Not Included InsuranceWe do not provide any insurance for you or your cycle, so we advise you take out suitable cover
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"Gonna be a good one, excited already here. Great to have local town Skipton involved, thinking of coming? See:… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…"

@yorksvelotours
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