Cycling around Whitby and Rosedale

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Where do we start?  The area between Whitby and Rosedale has miles and miles of country roads, bridleways, forest tracks and disused railways which offer ideal routes for Road Racers, Mountain Biker's, and casual family cyclists of all fitness levels and ages.  

So much so, that both Whitby and Rosedale Abbey were chosen to be on the route of the first Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race in May 2015.

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Both Whitby and Rosedale Abbey Were on the Route of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2015.

We’ve picked-out just six highlights that will keep even the keenest cyclists coming back to Spyglass 1708 in Whitby or to Rosella Cottage in Rosedale for years to come!  

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Rosedale Mountain Bike Route

The Rosedale Mountain Bike route is a 21-mile scenic tour around upper Rosedale and is aimed at serious off-road mountain bikers. 


Mountain Bikers on the Rosedale MTB Route near Rosedale Abbey.

You’ll be up-hill and down-dale and there are some serious single-track sections.  It’s almost 60 per cent off-road.

Moor-to-Sea Route

The Moor-to-Sea Route crosses the stunning moor-lands of North Yorkshire and through beautiful forests to the dramatic coastline.  The Moor-to-Sea cycle route is one of Britain’s best.  

The route links the towns of Pickering – just outside Rosedale – to Whitby in a long distance cycle path taking in majestic scenery all round.  Featuring over 80 miles of forest tracks, lanes, and the former coastal railway, the route can be ridden in stages, or all in one leg.  Sections range from easy riding to more challenging and cycle hire is available in Pickering.

Esk Valley Route

The Esk Valley has its own Sustrans' National Cycle Network route 52.  You could do the whole trip from Great Ayton to Whitby, or simply head across from Rosedale Abbey to Danby and complete the shorter ride down Eskdale to Whitby.  

The Danby to Whitby section is about 22 miles in length so allow at least a day.  Either way, make sure to look out for the distinctive square “52” signs on the sections from Great Ayton to Danby and from Danby onwards.  Note: you can take your bike on the train to get back to Danby at the end of the day – check the relevant BR timetable for details. 

Dalby Forest

The Dalby Forest Cross Country World Cup Venue is fabulous for active cyclists and it is a World class mountain biking competition route.  

The course has been used as a Cross Country World Cup venue and is open for all expert riders to have a go!  You can also hone your bike riding skills at the Pace Bike Park at Dixon's Hollow in Dalby Forest.  The old quarry is now a top-notch bike skills area, complete with hair-raising jumps, corkscrews and ramps.

But Dalby is not just for the experts.  It has a great network of cycle trails which are perfect for those trying mountain biking for the first time.  The facilities and a number of circular routes of two to 12 miles make this an ideal location for all family members.  For younger riders, there are easier rides offering a two mile trail. As well as easy-going green and blue trails for novice bikers, there are also challenging red runs.  And for the experts are the ultra-tough black runs.  Cycle hire is available on location in Dalby Forest and there's a number of places offering guided rides so you can get straight to the best trails.

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Cycling on the North York Moors in Summer is a Joy!


A moderate to hard 13-mile route through the Howardian Hills; mostly off-road with some steep gradients.  Taking in the old Roman Road (“le Street”), lots of pretty woodland, and running close to Castle Howard.

Chimney Bank

The steepest hill in the whole of England and right on the doorstep of Rosella Cottage in Rosedale.  It’s not known as the “chain-breaker” for nothing!  You have been warned.

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Cyclists and Walkers on the Rosedale Mineral Railway Above Chimney Bank.

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