My other half and I used to go on bike rides before little M arrived on the scene and today was the first that we have done as a family and it was brilliant. M got used to a bike seat on a trip to Centre Parcs earlier in the year and he loved it. My other half has recently got one to get M from nursery and to generally ride around our lovely city of York as it has some great safe (and flat) cycle tracks.
I found a great route which goes from York railway station all the way to Benningborough Hall, good old National Trust. There is an option to do a shorter route stopping at Skelton. This is what we did so that it wasn’t too long for M. He has never gone more than 40 minutes before and this was going to be about 2 hours and was about 8 miles so we wanted to break him in slowly. He was very excited and couldn’t wait to get his helmet on and get going, rounding us up as well making sure we all had our helmets; he can be a bit bossy. The route is mostly off road and follows the cycle route 65 most of the way which is perfect as you are not worrying about cars. We also started early so that it wasn’t too hot.
The route takes the path beside Museum Gardens in the centre of the city and follows the path along the river. York is such a fabulous city to live in, it always surprises me how quickly you are out of the city and into the countryside and today the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the flowers were just perfect.
We made our way up river and then into Rawcliffe Meadows which I have never been to before but will definitely be coming back to explore more. It was so lovely cycling past all the beautiful meadow flowers, white and red clovers, yellow buttercups and grasses blowing in the wind. The landscape constantly changes throughout this ride from riverside, meadow, light woodland, open fields to pastoral land even some rather picturesque pylons. There is so much for little ones and older ones to see and some great places you could stop off along the way to stretch legs and have a bit of an explore.
We turned around at Sketlon as we felt that it was long enough for M on this journey and we still had to cycle back home. I think we will attempt the whole route to benningborough sometime soon after a few more shorter rides. At Skelton there is a garden centre where you can get a cup of tea and a bite to eat but we had packed a little something and stopped at some lovely seats in a shady patch of the track. M took his magnifying glass as normal and when we stopped he wandered around looking at flowers and any bug he could find including the lovely glittery bugs which adorned our chosen snack point.
The cycle back was just as lovely, M kept saying how happy he was and that just made everything more perfect. All of this wonderful nature is right on our door step and so easy to get to. All the cycle paths on this route are more or less flat and apart from a few areas of overgrown vegetation very accessible for bikes, buggy’s and wheelchairs. We did have to watch out a couple of times for a few rogue stinging nettles but we all came out un-stung. I would be happy to do this route on my own with M and it is lovely to be able to do something without the car so if you can, I would definitely recommend getting out on your bikes and exploring on two wheels.
Our route map link: York-Beningbrough-Hall-detailed-map (1)