Bike route: Hall of plenty on charming ride

You now have a choice of fairly easy rides for the pleasure cyclist opposed to rides that challenge the inner athlete. This ride is leisurely that has stop-off points and some history along the way. I rode with a friend and apart from the odd stretch on A roads we rode side by side, enjoying conversation.

This ride is leisurely that has stop-off points and some history along the way. I rode with a friend and apart from the odd stretch on A roads we rode side by side, enjoying conversation.

The route starts in Cawood, between Selby and York, and is mainly along the flatter part of North Yorkshire with one or two climbs to stretch the legs. As it’s circular you can join the route at any part. Halfway point is Lotherton Hall on the eastern side of Leeds.

Should you want to make a day of it there are plenty of attractions to enjoy at the hall. Park along Old Road in Cawood. It’s a one-way street with access from Thorpe Lane.

1Turn left out of Old Road to the traffic lights, turn right at the crossroads and head to Ryther, Ozendyke and Ulleskelf. From Ulleskelf the road climbs to the A162 where you turn left to Towton. Enjoy the slight descent through Towton and turn right at the end of the village to Lotherton. Climb to Towton Moor and the site of the Battle of Towton. Palm Sunday in 1461 saw the battle, the bloodiest on English soil, result in Edward lV become the first Yorkist king. Prepare for a descent and climb to Lotherton Hall.

2Turn left into Lotherton Hall if you fancy a drink and a rest. Once refreshed exit by retracing your entrance from the B1217 and turning right and right again on to Lotherton Lane. There will be a short, shallow climb before your first descent along Copley Lane. Be ready to turn sharp left up Coldhill Lane. This is a short, sharp climb. Freewheel into Saxton, past the cricket club and turn right in the village along Headwell Lane. Then up and down to the A162.

3In a few yards turn left along Main Street in Barkston Ash, past the Boot and Shoe pub and follow the road out of the village heading to Church Fenton. This a nice stretch to enjoy, especially if the sun’s out and the wind is behind you. Over the railway bridge into Church Fenton, over the mini roundabout to swing left past the Fenton Flyer and then turn right along Brackenhill Lane. In a few hundred yards turn right just past the allotments heading towards Biggin.

4Cross the B1222, be prepared to stop, heading for Bishop Wood. Up over the railway bridge and into the wood. Leave the trees by the entrance to Scalm Park and cross Broad Lane heading for Wistow. Into the charming village and turn right with the church on your left nip down a lane that runs to the left of the chip shop. Turn left at the bottom of the lane and leave the village past the modern village hall. Turn left up over the flood defence and follow the road as it twists through farm land into Cawood past the church.

5Turn tight at the T-junction, (cafe stop at Grangeside Nursery to your left), and head for the village centre to what remains of Cawood Castle. This was the summer palace for the Archbishops of York who would decant from the city to spend time there. Cardinal Wolsey was arrested here by Henry VIII’s men and taken to London. He died in Leicester on the way. Turn around and turn left back along Old Road. You are now back at the start.

Difficulty Rating: HHHHH

Time: Two hours with no stops (at 12mph average)

Distance: 25 miles.

Cafe and toilets: Lotherton Hall LS25 3EB

Download the gpx file at http://www.mapmyride.com/view_workout?w=2058622265

Attraction: Lotherton Hall, (http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/Lotherton-Hall.aspx) for details of prices and events

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