Tadcaster, Wetherby, Aldwark and York loop

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This cycling route takes in the following places : Tadcaster, Bramham, Wetherby, Walshford, Whixley, Aldwark Bridge, Linton-on-Ouse, Beningbrough, the centre of York and back to Tadcaster. This route is about 47 miles, mostly flat, with much off-road riding on made-up tracks, a lot of quiet country roads plus a small amount of busy road and farm track. There is a lot to see.

Follow the route on Google Maps

Follow the route on a Sustrans Map (includes Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 background map).

The Route

Tadcaster. Plenty of scope for refreshment and a cycle shop.

Tadcaster airfield: now a field, was an airfield in the Great War. The odd-shaped barn is actually one of the original aircraft hangers.

A1(M): The fields to the North are the site of the Battle of Bramham Moor, fought at an early stage in the War of the Roses. There is an information panel providing details of the battle.

The route now follows the newly constructed A1(M) to Walshford Bridge on a specially constructed cycle path passing Bramham (shop and refreshments) and Wetherby (shops etc.). Although a noisy route to begin with, this is much more pleasant than peddling alongside the A64. North of Wetherby the route follows one lane of the old A1 and makes for a smooth, gently graded ride.

Walshford Bridge: cross the A1(M) and turn North at the roundabout on a marked cycle lane for about half a mile and then turn right towards Whixley. The start of some quiet country lane cycling. There's a level crossing on the way - a sort of throw-back to the past.

Turn left in Whixley and start following farm tracks towards Little Ouseburn. There are a few holly trees on the route which were covered in literally millions of berries when I passed this way. In theory the final part of this section should follow the bridleway, but as the signs for this and any track have been removed, following the footpath on the farm track seems a better option than struggling across the fields.

After a short stretch of busy road turn right into Little Ouseburn, which has an amusing Brontë connection. I stopped for a nice pint at "The Green Tree".

Aldwark Bridge: is a toll bridge across the River A mile before the bridge the route joins the Sustrans trans-pennine "Way of the Roses" route, and then the national route 65 (which is part of the North Sea route). There is now a very pleasant ride along relatively quiet country roads until the outskirts of York, passing a number of interesting places:

Overton is a small, quiet hamlet, and just after passing under the railway bridge turn right on to the cycle track which takes you into the centre of York. This is a really pleasant route that takes you right into the heart of the city and beyond.

York: Cross to the west bank of the River Ouse by the footbridge on the side of the Scarborough Railway Bridge and follow the cycle route along the west side the river, under the Millenium Bridge until the cycle path turns sharp right up a narrow path. You may need to walk here. Turn left and cross the road on to York Race Course. Follow the signs across the course and head towards the new York College, then follow the footpath left towards Copmanthorpe (see the detail). From here there are options for the route taking you to Tadcaster. The quickest way is to suffer the noise and general unpleasantness of the cycle track running alongside the A64. Another alternative is to cross the railway, and turn left to pass through Copmanthorpe and follow the line of the Roman Road to Tadcaster, which is now a bridleway. However, the recommended route is to suffer a little way along the A64 and then, after passing Askham Bryan college, turn right and go through Bilbrough towards Tadcaster on the back roads.

However, please TAKE CARE when crossing the A64 slip roads.

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