A guide to cycling in Harrogate. (There's also a Hedgehog guide to the town of Harrogate.)
29th December 2018: consultation on Otley Road cycle route (21st January 2019)
4th August 2018: a visit to Resurrection Bikes for an in-depth look at their work
29th June 2017: Harrogate main hub for UCI World Championships 2019
Hedgehog's guide to Harrogate cycleways.
The Nidderdale Greenway is the best cycleway in Harrogate, and goes about 4 miles to Ripley. It may eventually be extended as far as Pateley Bridge. It follows the route of a dismantled railway (the Leeds to Northallerton railway, which closed in 1969), so it's largely flat. The official opening was on 25th May 2013.
Sustrans worked on the route for about 15 years, before it was realised. They have produced a leaflet/guide to it.
The route is shared by cyclists, walkers (including dog walkers), and joggers. This means all users have to be considerate to others, so that it can be shared without friction.
Hedgehog's Nidderdale Greenway page has a map of the route, photos and descriptions, a guide to Ripley, advice on how to get to the Nidderdale Greenway, a video, and suggestions for improvements to the route.
Read more about the Nidderdale Greenway.
The Beryl Burton cycleway is a traffic-free cycle route from Bilton Village Farm to the Nidd at High Bridge, Knaresborough. It was developed by Sustrans, to enable cyclists to avoid using the very busy A59.
From the Harrogate end, you can access the Beryl Burton cycleway via the Nidderdale Greenway and Bilton Lane. The Hedgehog guide to the Beryl Burton cycleway has a maps, route notes, photos, suggestions as to how to extend your ride, and information about Beryl Burton and her cycling career.
Read more about the Beryl Burton cycleway.
The Yorkshire Showground Greenway was opened in spring 2014. It takes cyclists (and pedestrians) from Hornbeam Park to the Yorkshire Showground and the Wetherby Road.
Part of the reason for creating it was to provide a good route for sustainable travel from Hornbeam Park, the nearest station, to the Showground.
The route from Hornbeam Park goes over Hornbeam Beck, through some trees, to the Showground and Sainsburys on Wetherby Road. From Sainsburys, you can cross the Wetherby Road and continue via Stonefall Park to Plumpton Park shopping area (Homebase Morrisons and more).
Hedgehog's guide to the Great Yorkshire Showground Greenway has a map, route notes, photos, and information about how to get to it from either end.
Read more about the Yorkshire Showground Greenway.
The Harland Way is a Sustrans cycle and foot path between Spofforth and Wetherby, and is theoretically phase 1 of a route between Harrogate and York, the rest of which may one day be built.
It's on the trackbed of a dismantled railway, so it's flat, and a very pleasant ride. The surface for much of the way between Spofforth and Wetherby is compacted gravel, rather than tarmac, so it's not suitable for pure road bikes with thin tyres.
The Harland Way, also known as the Wetherby Railway path, goes to Wetherby, then there's an extension east of Wetherby, as far as Thorp Arch Estate and Retail Park.
Read more about Harland Way.
This Sustrans map shows the cycleways and other cycle routes.
A look at cycle routes in the town of Harrogate, with some comments about how they could be improved, where appropriate. This overview of Harrogate's cycle infrastructure includes Slingsby Walk, East Parade, Victoria Avenue, Otley Road, Beckwith Head Road, a route via Luchon Way, south Harrogate cycle routes, West End Ave, Arthurs Ave, & Pannal Ash Rd, Beech Grove, Harlow Moor Road, Oatlands Drive, and Harrogate to Spofforth.
There are lots of nice rides to do on the road, with lovely countryside around Harrogate. Traffic can make life difficult, but I try to identify some of the better and quieter routes.
There's a Hedgehog guide to a route to the north of Harrogate, the Harrogate, Burnt Yates, & Shaw Mills route; and to longer routes to the north - the Sawley, High Grantley, and Brimham route, the Ripley, Brimham Rocks, Dallow Moor, & Studley Royal route, and the Côte de Lofthouse route.
To the west, there's the Harrogate, Beckwithshaw, Bland Hill, Swinsty reservoir, & Penny Pot Lane route, and a different version of it called the Penny Pot Lane loop.
Read about Harrogate road cycling routes.
This is a mountain bike trail on Yorkshire Water's land at Fewston reservoir, through the Beecroft Plantation and Timble woods.
Read about the Fewston, Beecroft, & Timble woods bike trail.
This route takes a mixture of quiet roads and off-road tracks. It's a great ride, but the A59 gets in the way, and a 250m stretch along the verge of that busy road is unavoidable.
Read about the Knaresborough, Goldsborough, & Flaxby bike route.
Harrogate is blessed with a number of bike shops, including Prologue, the Specialized concept store, Chevin Cycles, and more. All serve a slightly different market, so whatever you're looking for, you should find a Harrogate bike shop to meet your needs.
There are three cycle clubs in Harrogate.
Harrogate Nova is the oldest of the clubs, founded in 1971. They are probably the most involved in racing, but they also have social rides, including the traditional Sunday club run.
The Capuccino Cycling Club is newer, established in 2009, and is growing rapidly. They are a friendly road cycling club, and they aim to enjoy their cycling, with a stop for coffee and cakes on the Sunday club run. When numbers permit, there'll be three groups - steady (15mph), medium (17-18mph), and faster (19-20mph). As well as the Sunday ride, there are Tuesday and Thursday evening rides, a ladies' ride on Saturday mornings, and a social pub evening on the first Friday of each month.
Wheel Easy is the Harrogate cycling club that the most leisurely, with rides on quiet roads and bike paths. They cater for everyone from beginners, to more experienced cyclists.
Harrogate & District Cycle Action is a group which encourages cycling as a healthy, safe, and enjoyable activity for all ages, and as an alternative mode of transport. It campaigns for better cycling facilities within Harrogate Borough, in particular a network of safe cycleways; it is a key consultee for the local authorities (Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council), and other public agencies, on cycling-related issues. It has produced a Harrogate cycling manifesto.
Since early 2014, Harrogate has had a councillor who is designated as cycling champion. Initially, it was John Ennis, then Rebecca Burnett. In 2017, Councillor Phil Ireland took over the role. Hedgehog Cycling has some general and specific suggestions for cycling improvements in Harrogate.
Harrogate has three twin towns: Bagnères-de-Luchon (France), Montecatini Terme (Italy), and Barrie (Canada). There are exciting opportunities for cycling in our twin towns, and links are being revitalised by Harrogate's twinning committee.
Read about Harrogate's twin towns.
PedalNorth is a site with ideas for cycling routes (road and off-road) across the Lakes, Dales, Yorkshire Moors, Forest of Bowland, and North Pennines. You can read about routes, and contribute your own.
This was our guide to the Tour de France in Harrogate on 5th and 6th July 2014, with reports of the plans being put into place, information from the council, ideas about where to stay, and the latest news.
Stage one was the main event for Harrogate, as the riders came up Parliament Street for the finish on West Park. There was a Tour de France Fan Park on West Park Stray. Then on stage two, the race came from York, through Knaresborough and Starbeck, up to the Empress roundabout then the New Park roundabout, before heading out on the Skipton Road towards the Côte de Blubberhouses.
In advance of the Tour, the town was decorated with mini-Tour de France jerseys, and bicycles as works of art, part of the 101 Bicyclettes project. See photos of the Tour decorations.
Re-live the golden weekend of the Tour de France 2014 in Harrogate!
Read more about the Tour de France in Harrogate.
I started Hedgehog Cycling after the announcement that Yorkshire had been chosen to host the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France. It was an exciting time for cycling in Yorkshire. I created guides to the Yorkshire (and Cambridge and London) stages on Hedgehog.
The Tour de France in Yorkshire has been and gone, but Hedgehog
Cycling is still going strong. In keeping with its origins, it
covers the Tour de France, cycling in Yorkshire including the Tour
de Yorkshire, and Yorkshire cycle routes. There's also
cycling-related news from the UK and Europe.
There's a great cycle route from the centre of York to Beningbrough, partly on tarmacked path by the river Ouse, and partly on quiet roads. It ends up at Beningbrough Hall, an C18th National Trust property (where cyclists are entitled to a free cup of tea). Read HedgehogCycling's guide to the York to Beningbrough cycle route.
HedgehogCycling's guide to the York to Selby cycle route, including 'cycle the solar system'. This is a quality route, mainly on a tarmacked path on an old railway track bed, and is perfect for family cycling. Read our guide (with video and photos) to the York to Selby cycle route.