An 800-mile cycle route from the Peak District to Scotland via the Yorkshire Dales has opened

The Great North Trail passes close to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales
The Great North Trail passes close to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales
Have your say

The UK's first long-distance cycling trail that links the Peak District with John O' Groats has opened.

The Great North Trail is a 'ready to ride' route away from main roads that covers 800 miles and passes through Yorkshire.

Cycling UK used established trails such as the Pennine Bridleway and Cross Borders Drove Road to formulate the map, and researched trails, forests roads and old railway lines to come up with the final through route.

Grisedale: The abandoned Yorkshire valley that came back to life
Around 98 per cent of the Great North Trail is on bridleways, byways, cycle routes, unpaved roads and very low traffic minor roads.

The Yorkshire segment of the route begins near Long Preston and passes through Settle, Langcliffe, Stainforth, Austwick, Clapham, Selside and Snaizeholme in the Dales before entering Cumbria. It runs close to Ingleborough.

It continues through the Northumberland National Park - including Kielder Forest - and the Scottish Highlands, and then forks, with ends at two of Scotland's most northerly points, Dunan Mor to the west and John O' Groats to the east.

The southern starting point is the village of Middleton in the Peak District.

This is what it's like to run one of the most traditional pubs in the Yorkshire Dales
Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore said:-

“We know that around a quarter of people who use the National Trails do so on bikes, yet only two of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales are fully open for cycling.

“We’ve created the Great North Trail because we recognised very little has been done to promote national off-road trails. For example, plans to extend the Pennine Bridleway to Scotland were published 20 years ago, but still haven’t been implemented.

“And yet we know there is an appetite for more cycling access to the countryside. Off-road trails can be ideal for families to ride safely, away from traffic and city pollution.”

The Three Peaks: How Yorkshire's most famous walk put a community under strain
The route is available to view online on the Cycling UK website, where you can find an extensive route guide and downloadable route files (GPX), and also on the Ordnance Survey’s online service.