York is one of the country’s most bike-friendly cities. It also has a ridiculous number of tea shops. Put them together and you’ve got a cracking day out.
But which are York’s most bike-friendly cafés and pubs?
The guides from York Cycling Tours, which offers visitors and residents the opportunity to explore the city on two wheels, have put their heads together (after taking off their cycle helmets) to come up with their top 10 pit stops.
So here are the choices of Cecil Pugh, Rachel How and Andy Collings. Happy cycling – and eating!
This is a very friendly city centre pub with a spacious sunny patio and views of the city walls, plus plenty of space to park your bike.
There’s a range of well-kept beer, the coffee is good and meals are available days and evenings.
The soups are particularly good. Curried lentil, our favourite, makes great fuel for pedal power. Step inside the Whiskey Snug, close the curtains and you’ll never want to leave.
Two Hoots Ice Cream Boat
A happy fusion of boat and ice cream van, you’ll find Two Hoots moored on the Ouse at Millennium Bridge on sunny afternoons.
It’s almost impossible to cycle past once you’ve eye-balled it going over the bridge. And once you’ve tried their lemon curd ice cream, you’ll definitely be back for more.
The Golden Ball
This is a proper local pub owned by a locals’ co-operative hidden within the city walls and in the shadow of the site of William the Conqueror’s castle.
There’s a courtyard style patio and plenty of bike parking spots outside. As well as a good choice of well-kept beer, it’s a great spot to find other attractions from live music to pickled eggs. Although tourists are welcome, they seldom find it.
The Blacksmiths Arms
A gentle four-mile ride along the York to Selby cycle path bring you to this village pub in Naburn.
It boasts a riverside position, a lovely garden, serves large pizzas, spam fritters and delicious chips. What more temptation do you need?
A little gem that was hidden from the city for decades, Bedern Hall has now been rediscovered and restored.
Originally the dining hall for the choral priests of the Minster, it’s now a small conference centre that offers refreshments.
It can be tricky to find as it’s tucked in behind Goodramgate and King’s Square in the intriguingly named Bartle Garth, which sounds like a nasty medical condition but probably simply means Bartholomew’s Yard.
This is a delightful, historic building, once part of the house of the treasurers to the Minster. Slap bang in the heart of the city but away from the hubbub, it thankfully doesn’t suffer the queues of many central watering holes.
There’s also loads of room for your bike while you’re enjoying tea and cake in the garden.
The old family home of Noel Terry of chocolate orange fame, Goddards was left to the National Trust after his death.
You’ll have to pay to get in if you’re not a member, but this little haven can be reached from the cycle path around the racecourse.
Picnics are welcome in the large gardens and the terrace offers a perfect spot for a gin and tonic or tea with a piece of (Terry’s) chocolate orange cake.
You can even view the horses on race day from the garden, as the Terry family used to.
There are two Perkies in town, one just down Gillygate, where York Cycling Tours is based, and another, the more bike-friendly of the two, in Barker Tower on Lendal Bridge.
The tower was built in the 14th century to control boat access to the city with a huge chain linked to Lendal Tower on the opposite side. The “keeper of the chain” would collect tolls from the boats coming downstream.
You can now pop in to see the contemporary keeper of the coffee for a medieval macchiato.
Your Bike Shed
Just within Micklegate Bar, the historic royal entrance to the city, you can get your bike checked out at Your Bike Shed while you have a cup of java and enjoy a bite to eat.
There are bicycle-themed beers, perfect pre-ride breakfasts, plenty of bike parking outside and you might even see a hen or stag party pass by (or pass out).
Rowntree Park Reading Café
Just off the river cycle path, this place is hard to beat on a sunny day, sitting on the terrace with a good quality coffee overlooking the park.
Although it’s a reading café, don’t feel obliged to bring a book (you can browse the library’s collection anyway). Although a tome on ornithology might be useful as you will see an array of feathered friends from your perch on the terrace.