Best Leeds cycle routes

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Best Leeds cycle routes

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July 14, 2014 10:38 am Published by
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With the tour road show now having moved back to France, and the roads of Yorkshire returning to a sense of normality, many who have been grasped by cycling fever over the weekend of Yorkshire’s Grand Depart may be looking to expand on their initial new-found interest and take on cycling as a hobby. If you’ve incested in a new set of wheels, here are our top picks of the best Leeds cycle routes.


One of the major climbs from day one of the Tour this year, Buttertubs Pass proved to be a challenge for some of the best riders in the world, so to us amateurs, it’s a great local route to head out to on an evening or weekend when searching for a real challenge. At 2.4 miles in length, it’s a climb of reasonable length, connecting Hawes in Wensleydale to Muker in Swaledale. Amidst some truly spectacular moorland, expect sporadic sections of steep climbing interlaced with more manageable, gentle gradients as you progress up the pass, climbing over 700 feet in height.

Otley and Wharfedale

If you’re a Leeds resident looking for a quick and easy route outside of the city and into the countryside, heading up through Headingley in the direction of Otley is a wise move as within five or six miles of the city centre you are in open countryside enjoying the views of ‘God’s Own Country’.

Fleet Moss

Probably not the smartest route for a cycling rookie, Fleet Moss is definitely a route for the more seasoned climber. Not excessively long, but definitely challenging at just over six miles, this is a real classic of the Yorkshire Dales. Passing through the towns of Hawes, Wensleydale and Gayle, the route then offers the first steep climb of the journey. Offering respite with a flatter section, allowing you to catch breath, the steep climb of Fleet Moss then kicks in. Over the 3.4 miles, you’ll climb over 1,100 feet, so be prepared for real exertion if you fancy really challenging yourself.

Tan Hill

Finishing up with a climb more suited to the cycling novice, Tan Hill is a longer, more gradual route. At just a shade over six miles, it’s certainly not a overly long route, and you’ll probably want to plan this climb as part of a longer route, as you would with all the aforementioned ┬ásections. With an elevation climb of 676 spread out over the six miles, it’s nothing too strenuous, and would be the perfect climb for someone looking to gradually introduce themselves to countryside climbing; once you’ve hit the peak of Tan Hill, you then get the enjoyment of a great descent back to the destination of Reeth.

Photo Credit: Pieter v Marion via Compfight cc

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