Cycling on the tops by David Williams

Wonderful views whilst you cycle around the area

Guest + keen cyclist David Williams talks about his favourite routes from Rough Top.

As soon as you open the door, you’re on a cycle route.  No need to drive or make elaborate public transport plans.  Such a luxury.

Segments of the Tour de France’s route when it weaved through Yorkshire are a few (more than a few but not too many) pedal strokes away.  This includes the longest continuous climb in England up Cragg Vale where you travel 5.5 miles to climb 968 feet.  You have to enjoy going up and coming down hills round here.

My favourite route was a 23-mile loop which takes in dramatic valley descents, gleaming/moody (weather dependent) reservoirs, moorland tops, lamb-filled fields, a great variety of wildlife and all whilst on quiet country roads where you’ll probably pass 4/5 cars if you’re unlucky.  I tried some other routes but none beat this one.  You can do it as a tough effort in under an hour and a half or take your time and take it all in with some lovely places to stop over a few hours.  I don’t think I’d ever get bored of it, as you can see:

No matter the weather, coming back to the cottage was always a pleasure.  With a spacious porch to store bikes and equipment and then to plonk down in front of an open fire to relax in front of after a cold ride.

Rough Top Cottage is the perfect base for cycling in West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and beyond.  I didn’t even try the mountain biking which looks amazing, with off road bikes heavily outnumbering road cyclist to give you a sense of the adventures that can be had in the hills.

I’d recommend the following routes which I enjoyed.  The website also has plenty of others, including family friendly and off-road routes:

My favourite – http://www.cyclecalderdale.co.uk/route/view/tour-of-the-borders



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