What are the best bits?
Scenic Bolton Abbey takes some beating as a destination for a family day out or bike ride. The abbey is actually the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian priory.
A trip across the famous stepping stones is mandatory even though there is a bridge next to it!
A stroll beside the Wharfe to the Cavendish Pavilion is also recommended but make sure you save some energy for the rest of the ride.
Buy a platform ticket for the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway and watch the trains as they come and go.
The railway opened in 1888 and was used to transport stone from the Haw Bank Quarry to Skipton for loading onto barges on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal for the onwards journey. The line closed in 1965 and reopened as a heritage railway in 1997.
Ilkley is one of the most genteel towns in Yorkshire. It’s a sort of “little Harrogate”, in many respects. Overlooked by Ilkley Moor and the Calf and Cow rocks, Ilkley has a traditional ‘town in the country’ feel with lots of open spaces, sports grounds and the River Wharfe adding to its distinctive ambience.
The lane between Ilkley and Beamsley is very popular with local cyclists, this narrow lane winds its way through a wonderfully peaceful and pastoral landscape.
It also passes by a quirky postman’s shelter restored in 2008. The original shelter was built in 1926 to replace an earlier one that provided sanctuary for the postman while delivering mail to Nesfield and Langmar twice daily. Today the shelter is the perfect swig stop with a great view back towards the hills.