Yorkshire cycling website
Mill Road bridleway to Goldsborough
This is a circular cycle route from Knaresborough to Goldsborough and Flaxby, then back to Knaresborough. It can be done as an extension to a ride from Harrogate to Knaresborough on the Beryl Burton cycleway. This route starts from the east end of Abbey Road.
The ride is on quiet roads and off-road. The only exception is between Goldsborough and Flaxby, where a few hundred metres of the A59 are unavoidable, and there is no provision for anyone on a bike or on foot. I pushed my bike along the grass verge on that section.
The map below shows the Beryl Burton route between Harrogate and Knaresborough in pink, the Waterside/Abbey Road route alongside the Nidd in orange, and the Goldsborough/Flaxby circuit in blue:
Streetmap have an Ordnance Survey map - this is a link to Knaresborough, as a starting point.
Start from the far eastern end of Abbey Road, by the Nidd in Knaresborough. Turn right onto the B6164 to cross the Nidd on Grimbald Bridge.
Cycle path next to B6164 Knaresborough
The pavement is wide here, and it has been split in two, for walking and cycling. It gets you off the busy road, and I was quite excited to discover it. I thought, that's me sorted, I'll take the cycle path to the point where I turn off. Then came the disappointment. As usual, it's just an isolated bit of cycle lane. You follow it to the Saint James Retail Park, then it just stops, with no suggestions as to what to do next.
St James Retail Park, where the cycle lane stops without warning, and without any suggestions as to what a person on a bike is supposed to do
So if you happen to be doing exactly the stretch where the councils decided they could fit a cycle path, or whatever other logic they applied, it's fine. If you're starting or finishing somewhere else - tough. It's incredibly poor.
I used the cycle path for a short distance, then turned right on Wetherby Road - a quiet road with an alleyway at the end, that brings you to the roundabout at the B6164/A658 junction (by Barker & Stonehouse). From the Ordnance Survey map, it looks as though this route is a bridleway. I made my way round the roundabout as a pedestrian, and continued on the pavement for the short distance to the turn-off on the Mill Road bridleway.
Start of Mill Road bridleway
The bridleway descends to the river Nidd. There's an attractive bridge by a weir at Goldsborough Mill Farm.
Bridge over the Nidd at Goldsborough Mill Farm
An Archimedes screw can be seen here.
Weir and Archimedes screw at Goldsborough Mill Farm
People and herons fish on this stretch of the river. I've seen house martins in the afternoon and swallows in the evening.
Heron at Goldsborough Mill Farm
There are some gates to go through, then the track (Mill Road) goes up, away from the Nidd, and towards Goldsborough. I saw yellow hammers in the hedges.
View from Mill Road towards Goldsborough
Goldsborough is a lovely village. When you reach it, you go straight on on Midgeley Lane, then turn right on Church Street to the centre of the village and the Bay Horse Inn.
Bay Horse Inn, Goldsborough
Here, turn left on Station Road, which takes you all the way to the A59.
The A59 is a problem. It's like a dystopian vision of the future, unfortunately made real in 2018. I waited about 10 minutes just for enough of a gap in the traffic to get across the benighted thing. It's a barrier to local, sustainable travel.
The A59 is just too busy to consider cycling on it. There should be a path for people who want to walk or cycle, but there isn't. Really, there should be a path alongside it all the way from Harrogate to York. In any event, there should be a path for the 250m from the Goldsborough turn to the Flaxby turn - not just for this bike ride, but for local people. You should be able to get between these two neighbouring villages without having to drive.
In the absence of a path, I pushed my bike along the grass verge of the A59. That was not fun.
The road up to Flaxby is quiet enough. Turn left in Flaxby on Shortsill Lane, then left on a track where there's a sign for Castle Farm.
Castle Farm turn
The track takes you to Castle Farm, and there's a little right-left dogleg through the farmyard. After the farm, the path is less well-defined and narrower. There are horses in the fields.
You pass some cottages and a farm at Hay-a-Park, and from there the road is tarmacked again. At Hall Farm, the road divides in two, then the two routes meet again a short distance further on. Take the right fork to avoid going past people's houses.
Next, you pass Knaresborough Rugby Club, then you go under the railway, and you're back in built-up Knaresborough. Park Lane is traffic-calmed and 20mph; Stockwell Lane and Park Row are a little busier. There are traffic lights at the junction with the A59, and you go straight across here. The B6163 on the other side of the crossroads is steeply downhill to the Nidd. It brings you back to Waterside/Abbey Road where they meet at Low Bridge.
1) Don't just provide a short, isolated stretch of cycle lane alongside the B6164 in Knaresborough. Put some thought and some resources into it, and consider what it will be like for the people who use it. Even cyclists can't teleport themselves to their destination when your infrastructure runs out without warning. Do it properly. Let's have safe, convenient cycle routes, forming a complete network.
2) Provide for people travelling on foot or by bike along the A59. In particular, provide for them between Goldsborough and Flaxby.
The best and most popular cycleway in Harrogate, the Nidderdale Greenway goes about 4 miles to Ripley, using the trackbed of a disused railway. It opened in May 2013.
This circular road cycling route starts in Harrogate, and heads up to Pateley Bridge then Lofthouse. It climbs the Côte de Lofthouse, which featured on the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire, then returns via Grewelthorpe, Kirkby Malzeard, Galphay, Studley Royal and Ripley to Harrogate. It's on quiet, country roads, features beautiful scenery, and there's the challenge of a steep ascent.
Read about this Côte de Lofthouse road cycling route.
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