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York to Beningbrough cycle route

Beningbrough Hall

The York to Beningbrough cycle route is 9 miles (and you'd normally do it 'there and back', so a total of 18 miles). It starts in the centre of York, and heads north west, on a tarmacked path by the river Ouse. It then takes quiet country roads via Overton and Shipton, to arrive at an C18th National Trust property, Beningbrough Hall.

York to Beningbrough cycle route: video

This video shows the route in just over 2 minutes:

York to Beningbrough cycle route: overview map

This map shows an overview of the route:

Overview map of York to Beningbrough cycle route

York to Beningbrough is on National Cycle Network route 65. You can find the map, and zoom in and out, on Open Cycle Map. Sustrans also have a leaflet with an overview of the York to Beningbrough route.

York to Beningbrough cycle route: the start in York

York railway station   Lendal Bridge, York

From York railway station (where you may start the route if you're bringing a bike on the train, or hiring a bike on arrival Cycle Heaven), you turn left on Station Road, which becomes Station Avenue. Continue to the river Ouse via Tanner's Moat. Then, the official route is on the left hand side of the river as far as Scarborough Bridge.

Map of start of York-Beningbrough cycle route, in York

The map above shows the start of the route from York railway station to Lendal Bridge, and up the left hand side of the river to Scarborough Bridge.

Scarborough Bridge, York   Cyclists dismount sign at Scarborough Bridge

When you get to Scarborough Bridge, you need to get across the river. Unfortunately, there is no ramp to cycle up onto the bridge, just the dreaded 'cyclists dismount' sign. You have to get your bike up the stairs, then down the other side. (There is a small smooth corridor by the side of the steps, so at least you can push your bike as you walk up the stairs, rather than having to carry it).

Alternative route out of York

Cobbled street by Lendal Bridge   Dame Judi Dench Walk, York

If you don't want to use Scarborough Bridge, an alternative would be to ride across Lendal Bridge, then turn sharp left back on yourself, down a little cobbled street to the river. Follow Dame Judi Dench Walk along the river bank. The path is narrow until Lendal Bridge Landing, so you may have to wheel your bike. The paving isn't smooth until Scarborough Bridge.

Lendal Bridge Landing   Scarborough Bridge, York

York to Beningbrough cycle route: from Scarborough Bridge to Overton

Map of York-Beningbrough cycle route from Scarborough Bridge

From Scarborough Bridge, you're on a shared use path by the river, called Joseph Rowntree Walk. Naturally, it is at its busiest near the city centre, with quite a lot of dog walkers, and gets quieter as you leave York behind.

Esplanade, York   Clifton Ings, York

You go under the road (Water End) by Clifton Bridge, close to York's Youth Hostel. There's a short wooded section, then you go over a little embankment, and the path continues through a grassy area called Clifton Ings.

York Beningbrough cycle route near Rawcliffe

The map above shows the next section of the route from Clifton Ings.

Cattle grid on York-Beningbrough route   Ring Road A1237 York

The path passes Rawcliffe Bar Country Park on the right, with Rawcliffe Ings water meadow on the left, then it goes under the A1237 Ring Road.

York Beningbrough cycle route map, near Skelton

The map above shows the route from Rawcliffe via Skelton to Overton.

York sign near Rawcliffe   river Ouse near Skelton

Shortly after going under the Ring Road, you arrive at a junction with a decorative 'York' sign, where you go left on a road that passes in front of a row of houses. Continue on a path by the river.

Bench made out of old machinery, near Rawcliffe   Blue tubes feature near Skelton Park golf course

There are benches made out of old machinery, and a 'blue tubes' feature.

Little bridge near Skelton   dismount sign near Skelton

The path goes over a little bridge. There are a couple of patches where the path has disintegrated, and someone has painted an unnecessary 'dismount' sign. As the bike wheel tracks testify, there is no need to dismount. Why are people so keen to tell us to get off our bikes? 

Railway bridge near Overton   Overton village sign

The path ends at the road near Skelton. For a shortened version of the ride, Sustrans' leaflet suggests turning right to Skelton, where the garden centre has a cafe. Otherwise, turn left on the road. It goes under the railway line, then through the small village of Overton.

York to Beningbrough cycle route: Overton to Beningbrough Hall

York Beningbrough cycle route map, Overton to Beningbrough Hall

The map above shows the final section of the route, from Overton via Shipton to Beningbrough Hall.

Hay bales near Overton   Edinburgh 200 miles - railway sign

Immediately after Overton, there are views of open fields, then the road runs between high hedges. You'll encounter very little traffic. There's a bridge over the railway track, and shortly afterwards, you reach the A19 - stay left at this junction, keeping to the minor road. 

The Sidings, Shipton

You pass The Sidings, which offers accommodation in old railway carriages, and has a restaurant and cafe (tea and coffee all day). The road leads to the western edge of Shipton. Here, the route is left, over the railway again. It continues on country roads towards Beningbrough Hall.

Work to the bridge over the railway at Shipton autumn 2015

Road closed Shipton  

At the time of writing (August 2015), Network Rail are carrying out work to the bridge at Shipton. This means that there are signs saying it is closed to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, from 27th July to 23rd October 2015. It is worth asking at the bridge for advice, as the men working there may be able to tell you the best route. 

Shipton village sign   Clifford's Way

If you can't get across the bridge, you could go a short distance towards the village of Shipton. Turn left just before a bench and the village sign, on a footpath called Clifford's Way. At the end of Clifford's Way, turn left on a footpath by the edge of a field. This brings you to an unsupervised railway crossing. Take great care! Once over the railway tracks, there's a path through a field, which comes out at the road.

Railway crossing Shipton   Path through field, Shipton

York to Beningbrough cycle route: Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall

Follow the signs to Beningbrough Hall, about 2 miles from Shipton on quiet roads. It's a stately home, which was built by John Bourchier in 1716 in an Italian Baroque style, inspired by his European Grand Tour. Now it is owned by the National Trust, and it displays paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.

Kiosk at Beningbrough Hall farm shop & cafe   Sheep at Beningbrough Hall

As you ride through the grounds, there's a farm shop and cafe on the left hand side, with cycle parking, and - in summer at least - a little kiosk called the Shepherd Hut, which sells tea, coffee, cake, and ice cream.

Tea in the Walled Garden cafe, Beningbrough   Flower in Walled Garden, Beningbrough

If you continue a little further, you come to a left turn up to the main hall. The cycle parking is in the car park, right by the entrance to Beningbrough Hall. If you've cycled here, you're entitled to go in for half an hour for free, and get a free cup of tea when you buy a biscuit or snack. Brilliant! (The National Trust staff at the entrance were super helpful when I was there - thank you!)

York to Beningbrough cycle route: comments and suggestions

I found this to be a great cycle route. The only inconvenient part is getting over Scarborough Bridge, in York, but it would cost a lot of money to build cycle ramps at either end, and even then, the walkway on the bridge is so narrow that most of the time you probably couldn't cycle it anyway. 

Have you ridden this route? Do you have any comments on or suggestions?

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