Guidebook review: Cycling the Way of the Roses

Published by Lyn on 15 June 2018

With so many of our readers based in the UK, we occasionally run book reviews for the other side of the Channel. Julia Murfin reviews the Cicerone guidebook for cycling the Way of the Roses.

Cycling the Way of the RosesCycling the Way of the Roses
By Rachel Crolla (Cicerone, £11.95)
Sustrans companion map

The Way of the Roses is a 170-mile coast to coast route across northern England which traverses both Lancashire and Yorkshire. Rachel Crolla’s Cycling The Way of the Roses is a companion guide to the trip with six bonus day circuits to tackle while you’re in the area – or if it whets your appetite to return.

The Roses is wonderful. The vast majority of it crosses beautiful countryside and multiple places of interest. Ignore for a moment the down-at-heel elements of Morecambe and Bridlington, both former seaside hotspots that have seen better days, and it is a joyful celebration of all that’s great about cycling in the British countryside. There are hills, flatlands and country lanes aplenty, and Crolla does a marvellous job of capturing the spirit of the journey in an inspirational guide.

I’d ridden the route a number of years ago, not long after it opened in 2010, but reading the guide made me want to grab my bike and do it all again – but differently.

Climbing out of Millington Dale towards Pocklington on day one of the Way of the Roses route.

Climbing out of Millington Dale towards Pocklington on day one of the Way of the Roses bike route.

Living on the route in Settle, it’s fair to say that I’m very familiar with the first 50 miles from Morecambe to Appletreewick, but for the rest of it there’s plenty I would want to include in another Roses ride.

The author points out where there are interesting places and sites to visit either on or within a short detour from the route. Her descriptions made me want to check out the unfamiliar ones for myself. The guide plots the course in detail over a suggested three-day itinerary, but there’s lots of useful information for planning a Roses traverse over any number of days, down to contact details for accommodation, café recommendations and suggested detours.

Hewenden Viaduct with its 37m high arches.

Hewenden Viaduct, near Cullingworth, with its 37m high arches.

The book includes map snippets which would be useful en route along with essential general info, so it would find its way into my pannier, although a re-read ahead of setting off would be highly recommended. I would also use it alongside the official map of the route. Now all I have to do is pedal.

Cycling the Way of the Roses (£11.95) isby Rachel Crolla. You can support independent guidebook writing and publishing by buying it direct from Cicerone, specialist cycling and walking guidebook publishers.

About our reviewer
Julia Murfin is a journalist and PR based in the Yorkshire Dales. She spends as much time as she can on her bike or fellrunning on the hills of northern England. 

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