Preston to Harrogate A59

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by bobg, 25 May 2008.

  1. bobg

    bobg Über Member

    Crosby Merseyside
    I'm off to visit my son in Harrogate ( and maybe pop into Spa Cycles) but there seems to be no "nice" riding route, the A59 being the most direct. Does anybody use this road and would they advise me to think again, or is there a decent alternative. I was tempted by the Liverpool Leeds canal and also wondered if 28mm touring tyres would suit.. I dont have a mountain bike. Thanks
  2. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    The A59 is direct, but it's very busy and not particularly scenic IMO. The canal is a great route, I use it regularly but 28mm tyres will be a problem, I use 35mm and even so, I avoid some stretches because there is no towpath.

    Right now it's possible on 28's because it's as dry as a bone, some sections will be arduous not enjoyable, but if any rain falls, forget it
  3. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    >but if any rain falls, forget it

  4. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    You wouldn't catch me cycling far on that road - I've had to cross it a few times and that was bad enough! There was a lot of fast-moving traffic.

    I can think of lots of nice routes, but they would take in extra hills and add distance. How fit are you and would you be up for a more difficult 'scenic' route? Are you actually starting from Preston? Your location says Crosby, Merseyside.
  5. OP

    bobg Über Member

    Crosby Merseyside
    Thanks all, Mmm not sure what to do know. I Googled A59 and got a load of stuff about cyclists being " mowed down" etc which rather put the damper on it... Yup I'm starting from Crosby but I mentioned Preston because I quite often ride up there on my day jaunts. I've not done 100 in one day yet but do 60s pretty regularly although round here its pretty flat. I was mulling over using my tourer and taking a bivvy so I'm in no hurry to get there and scenic would be nice so I'm up for any recommendations :thumbsup:
  6. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    Okay - I'll fire up my mapping software and see what I can come up with!
  7. OP

    bobg Über Member

    Crosby Merseyside
    Thanks CJ that's very much appreciated, all my OS maps cover the Lakes or Wales and the "world Altas" doesn't exactly cover B roads... :sad: Think I'll have to invest in that software..
  8. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    What I use out on the bike somewhere unplanned is the OS Road Map 4 Northern England 1:250,000. Too big for me to pedal off in a day and with just about enough detail to use minor roads without too many surprises.

    You can go up the Ribble valley and wibble about on the smaller but hillier roads on each side, but I have found the A678 from Blackburn up to Colne to be ok, with a lot of the heavy stuff taken by the M65. Then A6068 or the back road north of it past Shaw Head (a fair climb) and down to Cross Hills. B6265 to Steeton, then north to Silsden and either the A6034 and back road through Addingham or the substantial climb over Nudge Hill to the east. Cross the river at Ilkley and take the quiet back road through Askwith, go north then east past Farsley Hall to cross the Washburn at Leathley Bridge, then follow the B6161 and B6162 over Leathley Bank and into Harrogate.
  9. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    It is not a nice road. It featured in the Sunday Times Magazine quite a while ago. It was described as one of the most lethal roads in the UK. Having said that I have cycled from Harogate to Skipton with no ill effects. Having said that, there was one ocassion when I wanted to use it but was diverted off it because of a multiple car crash with four fatalities.....
  10. OP

    bobg Über Member

    Crosby Merseyside
    cheers Asc and Vernon, I'm well and truly put off the A59 now:ohmy:

    just dusted iff the tourer and found it was shod with 32's, and downloaded some free software to have a squint at ASC's route. If it ever stops raing and blowing a ***** gale I'll head for the open road ... really looking forward to it, its been years since I had a "proper" ride". Almost inspired to head off to the Lakes for a few days.... thanks again ;)
  11. Mooster

    Mooster Well-Known Member

    I live in Preston and have cycled to the inlaws in Harrogate. My basic route was:
    Preston - Longridge - Chipping - Slaidburn - Tosside - Grassington - Pately Bridge - Harrogate
    This was a nice route and about 70 miles
  12. dodgy

    dodgy Guru

  13. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    Hi Bob.

    As ASC1951 suggested, you could take the A-road through Colne and head for Silsden. That would be the easiest to navigate and if you avoided the busiest times of day, might not be too bad. I also thought of proposing the route mentioned by Mooster - those are very nice roads, but you are actually starting from Crosby so you'd be going a bit out of your way. I might as well give you my suggestion too, although it sounds as though you might have already set off! Blimey - more suggestions are coming in as I write this!

    There is a youth hostel at Haworth which is on my route. It would be a strenuous 80 miles to get to that in one day, but that would leave you a much easier hilly 25 miler for your second day and you wouldn't have to carry camping gear.

    I plotted a rough route from Crosby to Leyland on quiet roads and that looks to be about 33 miles. I'm sure that you can work that bit out for yourself anyway.

    My map shows a cycleway leaving Leyland eastwards on the B5248. It crosses the M6 and goes on to Whittle-le-Woods. My route then passes under the M61 and meanders NE through Brindle, Hoghton, Samlesbury Bottoms, to Mellor.

    The cycleway then heads in a more easterly direction through the outskirts of Wilpshire and over a couple of nice hills (I rode over them recently) through York (the village, not the city!) to Whalley. There's a nice cafe at Whalley abbey. I'm sure that the abbey would be signposted.

    Passing through Whalley, climb up to traffic lights at the junction with the A680. Directly opposite the lights there is a car park at Whalley picnic centre. Toilets and drinking water can be found there, and usually an icecream van by the gate.

    You could take the A-road to Padiham, but it would be a shame because that is busy, and there is a very nice quiet alternative scenic route. Turn right at the lights (or left as you exit the picnic centre), then almost immediately take the lane bearing left off the main road. That takes you 4 miles round the back of Read to Padiham.

    Head towards Burnley on the A671, but turn right onto the A646 on the outskirts of Padiham.

    It's basically a long drag from Padiham up through the traffic lights at Rose Grove. Beyond that there's a nasty steepish climb up to the traffic lights at Manchester Road. Descend the other side and stay on the A646 through the junction with the A671 and 3/4 mile further on you come to Walk Mill. Turn left and climb a steep little hill up to Mereclough. Turn left towards Burnley, go past the Kettledrum and about 1/4 mile further on turn right for Worsthorne.

    Eventually climb to a crossroads at Haggate and turn right there. Descend into the village then after a long draggy climb, bear left (note the World War II pillbox in the field above left!) and descend to Coldwell. The activity centre there has a good cafe and is open most days until about 4 pm.

    Climb to the crossroads and turn right. after that it is up and down and round to Trawden village. I usually take the right turn out of the village and do the steep climb over to Laneshaw Bridge. The easier way to get there would be to pass through Trawden on the B6250. take a right onto the A6068, then turn right at Laneshaw Bridge.

    After that it is a long climb up to the moors, including some steep bits. Follow the signs for Oakworth, and from there drop down into a steep-sided valley and grovel your way back up to Haworth. The YH is in the Mytholmes area of the town. It would be quite a nice place to stop for the night.

    From Haworth I would climb up to Harden, then descend to Bingley. There is a steep hill to climb to get to Menston and on to Otley. I'd take the B6451 out of Otley, cross over to the B6161 and that takes you over to Harrogate.


    I think all of the suggestions are fine. Just don't go via the A59!!! Enjoy the ride.
  14. wallabyhunter

    wallabyhunter New Member

    Perth WA
    Hey all.

    as previous ppl have said, I cannot see any enjoyment in riding the A59. I live in Aus but have driven the A59 to Skipton many times & with a cyclist's eye it appears BAD!

    2nd Dodgy Dave, How did you do that? I have tried to link to Google maps & the US map is always on the screen. (see I cannot get the route to appear. BTW from my limited knowledge that looks like a great route to get to Harrowgate. I will certainly use it to get from Preston to skipton in June.

    & 3rd (sorry to go OT) how do you d/l a route from Google Maps to a GPS?


    24 days & 3 hours to go... ... but who's counting?
  15. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    I haven't tried this but it sounds like it would be what you are looking for.

    I do my route-planning using MemoryMap and that can directly link to my Garmin Etrex GPS.
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