This cycle route, chosen as Stage 5 of the Sustrans Slow Tour of
Yorkshire, is from Skipton,
along a back road to Bolton
Abbey. It's 7 miles one way, so 14 miles there and back. This
Sustrans leaflet for the ride.
When I did this ride, the main B6160 to Bolton Abbey was closed for
maintenance. As a result, the back road was much busier than normal.
I encountered a lot of cars, a tipper truck, and white vans. On a
single track road, it quickly becomes stressful, whether the
vehicles are overtaking or coming in the opposite direction. Amongst
the vehicles were three taxis, and none of the taxi drivers passed
I asked a local cyclist, and he said the road is normally much
Other than that, it was nice scenery, and a rolling road - always
up a bit or down a bit.
Skipton to Bolton Abbey cycle route: map
The map shows the route from Skipton to Bolton Abbey in yellow, and
a further short section to the Cavendish Pavilion café in green.
Skipton to Bolton Abbey cycle route: route notes
Skipton to Embsay
Skipton Free Library
I parked at the Museum car park in Skipton (quite expensive).
You leave Skipton on the A6131, passing the church and castle on
your left, and going steeply uphill. This is no fun at all - I was
going quite slowly, there's not much space, and there was a lot of
traffic. I wouldn't want to be attempting that with children.
You pass Baileys car park (also expensive, but might be a better
option), then turn left towards Embsay on what is called Skipton
Road. Although theoretically a minor road and a designated cycle
route, I found that this was also pretty busy. You go under the A65,
then under the railway, and arrive at the village of Embsay.
If you want to avoid the worst of the traffic, Embsay would be the
place to start this ride. Also, if you're driving to the start, you
can park for free on the street in Embsay.
Pass the pub on your right, the Cavendish Arms. Turn right by the
paper shop and Post Office, on Shires Lane.
The Cavendish Arms, Embsay
Embsay to Bolton Abbey
Embsay to Bolton Abbey Road
At the next junction, turn right on Low Lane. It's a narrow country
road, with green and pleasant land either side. A little more than
half way to Bolton Abbey, you reach the small village of Halton
After Halton East, it's mainly downhill to Bolton Abbey. As you
come into the village, the main car park, visitor centre, and WC are
on your right. (There's a charge for parking at Bolton Abbey, but no
entrance charge to the estate, so it's free to visit by bike). A
little further on is one of the cafés, Tea
on the Green.
Tea on the Green
If you turn left in Bolton Abbey, onto the B6160, the first right
(signposted for the church of St Mary & St Cuthbert) takes you
down to the ruins of the Priory, and the stepping stones across the
Wharfe. See Bolton
Abbey's map of the site.
Stepping stones, Bolton Abbey
If you're plannng on tea and cake, go a bit further on the B6160,
then fork right down to the Cavendish
Return by the way you came.
All photos © Hedgehog Cycling
Skipton to Bolton Abbey cycle route: comments and suggestions
I think I was unlucky that the B6160 was closed when I did this
ride. Diverted traffic made it a stressful rat-run route, instead of
a calm, country lane.
If you can start from Embsay not Skipton, that would take out the
worst section in terms of traffic.