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Shorter Loops: Beverley Big Skies Bike Ride (With a Twist)

In 2010 a series of eight Big Skies Bike Rides rides was launched that were designed to encourage cyclists to discover the varied and interesting terrain of the Yorkshire Wolds. ‘North Newbald and back from Beverley’ was the first that I rode and would write about on CycleSeven.org. Since then the East Riding of Yorkshire Council developed and expanded upon rides from Beverley, Pocklington and Bridlington amongst others. One of the ERoYC rides from Beverley closely follows the route of the Big Skies Bike Ride – only in reverse. Instead of doing the route clockwise, the notes accompanying the newer variant suggests it should be ridden anti- clockwise “for safety reasons” – it tackles Trundlegate uphill rather than as a descent.

Writing in Cycling Active, Maria David rode a variation of the original route that avoided backtracking on Middlehow Road to Walkington instead returning to Beverley along Walkington Heads to make a loop of it.

So, that’s three versions of a ride from Beverley to North Newbald and back. Here’s a fourth – with a twist…

During the summer I rode to Beverley and set off from the street behind Café Velo and went out towards the Westwood. (The official route favours the minster as a start point, but I was feeling a little fragile and needed a caffeinated pick-me-up first.) Cars are usually packed tightly in to the available spaces along these narrow residential streets, although there are gaps to nip in to on the way to the Westwood. Once over the cattle grid at the old gatekeeper’s cottage the road widens and the speed limit increases to 40mph, a rate at which I rarely drive here, especially when there are cyclists about – and cows – as the road is not particularly wide.

A right turn follows at the T junction where there is the option of taking the shared use cycle path (just watch the cattle grid as you leave the Westwood) in to and partly through Walkington where another right turn at the Dog and Duck pub takes you north before a left turn and a back road broadly parallel to the B1230. Middlehowe Road is normally a very pleasant, smoothly surfaced road that rises gradually to the crossroads at Wold Road. (At this stage I should probably mention that the Garmin Connect link at the bottom of this post allows you to press a Start button and follow the route via online mapping in conjunction with my directions.)

Now, the official Big Skies Bike Rides route has you cycling on over the crossroads, but I prefer a right turn – either way caution: the sightlines to the left are not great – then a quick tap to the next T junction. Turn left and enjoy pleasant riding – mostly downhill – and views on the way in to North Newbald along Walkington Heads. Whether or not you can resist either of the pubs here – the route takes you between both – there is a left turn just before the church and on through South Newbald.

Trundlegate is rather hidden away – a left turn on a right-hand bend – and before the houses at the bottom of this hill are behind me I’m dropping down through the gears – hopefully reserving two or three for the steeper bit – as I try, though usually fail, to keep the momentum going on the way to the gradual right-hand bend on this locally infamous ascent.

With Trundlegate – and Whin Lane – now behind I go over the crossroads on to Little Wood Lane and make my way back along the lumpy road to that crossroads with Wold Road again. I’m not normally one for retracing my route, but here I turn left along this occasionally busy road and then when I reach that T junction for the second time turn right towards Beverley along Walkington Heads.

This is another road that carries a fair bit of traffic at the busier times I try to avoid, but I enjoy the swift downhill ride – which I personally prefer to the option of riding the same road uphill – to the crossroads at Coppleflat Lane and on towards Beverley along Newbald Road that takes you over the other side of the Westwood. Nearly back now and a right turn on to the A1174 towards the traffic lights at North Bar Without which I pass through on the way back to the centre of Beverley, specifically Café Velo again in my case for post-ride sustenance.

NB – if you didn’t fancy the sometimes busy roads travelled after reaching the Wolds Road crossroads as you headed east earlier, you could return along Middlehow Road to Walkington picking up that quiet outbound lane and ultimately retracing the original route. But if you feel confident I think my offering is an enjoyable and rewarding figure 8 variation of the ‘Big Skies Bike Rides: North Newbald and back from Beverley’ – with a twist.


Key features of this figure 8-on-its-side variation:

One passing of the gentle uphill, normally quiet road out of Walkington
(and the short-cut option of a right turn at the T junction with Wold Road and Walkington Heads)
Enjoyable descent west in to North Newbald along Walkington Heads
The ascent of Trundlegate
Downhill back in the direction of Walkington along Little Wood Lane
Downhill east along (the occasionally busy) Walkington Heads back to Beverley
Did I mention Café Velo at the end?

Beverley Big Skies Bike Ride - with a twist

Check out this ride on Garmin Connect or Strava.

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