Yorkshire's varied landscape of wild hills, tranquil valleys, high moors and spectacular coastline offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. See www.outdooryorkshire.com for more details.
Yorkshire's hosting of the start of the 2014 Tour de France saw a huge upsurge in interest in cycling, and resulted in the establishment of the Tour de Yorkshire (www.letour.yorkshire.com) annual cycle race from 2015. The county has a vast network of country lanes that are perfect for road cyclists, although the national parks also attract lots of motorists so even minor roads can be busy at weekends.
Mountain bikers can avail themselves of the network of bridleways, former railways and disused mining tracks now converted for two-wheel use. Dalby Forest (www.forestry.gov.uk/dalbyforest), near Pickering, sports purpose-built mountain-biking trails of all grades from green to black, and there are newly waymarked trails at the Sutton Bank National Park Centre.
Feature: Yorkshire's Best Rides
- Moor to Sea Cycle Route (www.moortoseacycle.net) A network of routes between Pickering, Danby and the coast includes a 20-mile traffic-free route that follows a disused railway line between Whitby and Scarborough. The whole lot takes five to six days.
- Yorkshire Dales Cycleway (www.cyclethedales.org.uk) An exhilarating 130-mile loop, taking in the best of the national park; the website also details the route followed by Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France. There's lots of scope for off-road riding, with about 500 miles of bridleways and trails.
For shorter walks and rambles, the best area is the Yorkshire Dales, with a great selection of walks through scenic valleys or over wild hilltops, plus a few higher summits thrown in for good measure. The East Riding's Yorkshire Wolds hold hidden delights, while the quiet valleys and dramatic coast of the North York Moors are also home to some excellent trails.
Feature: Yorkshire's Best Walks
Cleveland Way (www.nationaltrail.co.uk/clevelandway) A venerable moor-and-coast classic that circles the North York Moors National Park on its 109-mile, nine-day route from Helmsley to Filey.
Coast to Coast Walk (www.wainwright.org.uk/coasttocoast.html) One of England's most popular walks: 190 miles across northern England from the Lake District through the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks. The Yorkshire section takes a week to 10 days and offers some of the finest walking of its kind in England.
Dales Way (www.dalesway.org.uk) A charming and not-too-strenuous 80-mile amble from the Yorkshire Dales to the Lake District. It starts at Ilkley in West Yorkshire, follows the River Wharfe through the heart of the Dales and finishes at Bowness‑on-Windermere.
Pennine Way (www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennineway) The Yorkshire section of England's most famous walk runs for more than 100 miles via Hebden Bridge, Malham, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Hawes, passing near Haworth and Skipton.
White Rose Way (www.nationaltrail.co.uk/yorkshirewoldsway) A beautiful but oft-overlooked 79-mile walk that winds through the most scenic part of Yorkshire's East Riding district. It starts at Hessle near the Humber Bridge and ends at the tip of Filey Brigg, a peninsula on the east coast just north of the town of Filey. Billed as 'Yorkshire's best-kept secret', it takes five days and is an excellent beginners' walk.