Cycling in Helmsley
Situated between the North York Moors, The Howardian Hills and the Vale of Pickering, YHA Helmsley is one of the best locations in the country for cycling. Whether you’re a family, regular club cyclist or world-class mountain biker, with many miles of quiet country roads, bridleways, forest tracks and disused railway lines, plus two dedicated cycling centres at Sutton Bank and Dalby Forest, the area has something to offer cyclists of all abilities and interests.
(FF denotes family friendly routes)
The infamous Rosedale Chimney, one the country’s steepest classified roads, with a section at 33%, tops most cyclist's tick lists when visiting the area, but this is only one of many equally challenging climbs that the North York Moors has to offer: White Horse Bank, Boltby Bank, Blakey Bank, and Carlton Bank. However, if you don’t fancy one of these demanding routes across the North York Moors, then you also have the option of the Howardian Hills to the south of Helmsley. These rolling hills and richly wooded parkland, with lanes connecting picturesque villages make for fine cycling. For the less strenuous, the Vale of Pickering makes for an easy-going ride: quiet, flat lanes through a pastoral landscape.
National Cycle Route 65/66 from Hull to Middlesbrough (The White Rose) runs a few miles to the west of Helmsley through Kilburn, Sutton Bank and Hawnby.
The Pickering and Esk Dale Loop, described by British Cycling as “A tough fifty miles of climbing and moor crossings, but with a variety of roads and scenery you would struggle to match anywhere else in England” can be joined as it passes within a few miles of Helmsley. This is a challenging route only for the experienced rider.
The Bransdale Loop, starting in Helmsley, is another challenging route with some steep ascents and descents that takes you around one of the less well known valleys in the area before returning via Kirkbymoorside (25 miles/40km).
The Ryedale Grand Prix (Sunday 10th 2016 Sunday 18th August), which is part of British Cycling Elite Road Race Series is held 4 miles from Helmsley at Ampleforth College, and has featured as the National Road Race Championship Race in 2005, 2008 and 2012.
Tour of Yorkshire, Following on from the successful inaugural event in 2015, the 3rd day of this year’s event will be passing through Helmsley. A highlight of this year’s Tour will be the first ascent of the infamous Sutton Bank, which the cyclists will tackle before dropping down into Helmsley. The riders will then continue across the North York Moors, before finishing on the promenade at Scarborough. Unfortunately the hostel is already fully booked for the weekend itself, but has beds available in the week before or after if you want to spend a few days enjoying the route the tour takes.
Coxwold Cyslists' Service
This event is second only to the older service held at Meriden near Birmingham. Started in 1927 by Teeside CTC and Canon Gibson Black in the aftermath of WWI, this service, held at St Michel’s Church was, and still remains, a thanksgiving for the enjoyment of the open road and comradeship of fellow cyclists. Coxwold is 4 miles from Helmsley, and the service attracts cyclist from across Yorkshire and Teeside.
Velo 29 hold a number of events across Yorkshire and Teeside during the year. The Daffodils Sportive from Thirsk to Farndale (16th April) and the White Horse Sportive from Stokesley taking in a series of challenging climbs in the western moors (24th September).
Castle Howard Triathlon Combine your love of bikes with a swim and a run. In its sixth year, the growing popularity of this annual event has seen it increase to a two day event in 2015, and it includes events for children as young as eight.
Malton Festival of Cycling (FF)
Started in 2014 this family friendly event looks to continue to grow over the coming years.
Goldeneye North York Moors cycle map
Available online from Sustrans this excellent full colour map shows the NCN network in the area, and includes 10 recommended circular rides and 6 traffic-free family routes, ranging in length from5 to 52 miles.
Cycling Facilities Available:
3x Internal Sheffield Stands (6 secure bike parking spaces)
2x External Sheffield Stands (4 secure bike locking spaces)
Wall Mounted Repair Station with selection of tools.
Portable Washer and brushes.
A basis selection of spares is available for sale onsite.
Other things to do nearby
One of York’s premier attractions, the National Railway Museum is the largest of its kind in the UK, with upwards of 100 locomotives lining the tightly packed site close to the city centre.
One of the county's top theme parks, with rides for all of the family, including Mumbo Jumbo, which has the steepest drop in the world. Visit the website
Walk around the picturesque Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors. Lockton is the start of the 5.6 mile Bride Stones walk, taking in some of the Moors famous geological features.
Mountain Biking in Dalby Forest is a must for biking enthusiasts, with over 40 miles of man made trails at your wheels.
The National Park has over 1400 miles of cycle ways for you to discover. Get out and about on your bike and enjoy the landscape.
Sightseeing has never been so much fun! Hop on and off as much as you like, and see all the sights that the city has to offer. One route, but with 20 stops. Visit the Bus Tour website
Set within 1000 acres of breathtaking landscape, the estate houses the Arboretum Trust - a collection of botanically important trees. Visit the website
Explore the ‘upstairs, downstairs’ life of the Judges, their servants & felonious guests at this stunning house.
This medieval castle’s impressive ruins stand on a rocky outcrop overlooking the River Rye and still dominate the town.
The largest fleet of modern sightseeing boats outside London. Sit back, relax and enjoy York by day or night down the River Ouse. Visit the website
Step back in time with magnificent steam engines and beautiful rural stations. The railway is lovingly preserved and charmingly authentic.
An unforgettable experience and chance to see the veterinary practice that was at the heart of the much loved stories. Visit the website
Located on the NCN Route 65 with access along the riverside into the city centre or North out of York to Beningbrough Hall, The Howardian Hills & the North York Moors – perfect road cycling countr
Get on your bike and head to Dalby Forest, a must for mountain biking enthusiasts with over 40 miles of man made trails for you to explore.
Explore York by bike on one of the City Cycling route maps from hostel. A great way to explore, you can stop any time for a spot of sightseeing or maybe a treat in the famous Betty's Tea Rooms.
3.4 miles This unusual monastery is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain. Don't miss the reconstructed monk’s cell and herb plot. Visit the website