HERE’S a ride for a spring weekend break. Not too many miles and an overnight in a nice pub with good food and real ale. Best shared with a friend or two. Start by meeting up at Cycle Heaven bike shop in York. Their on-site cafe does a mean bacon sandwich.

Left from the shop front, then right, and between bollards to the riverside and cross the Millennium Bridge to the west bank.

Left (south) to follow the riverside Sustrans route, number 65, towards Selby. Continue to follow the blue signs, climbing a narrow path away from the river and across Bishopthorpe Road to cut across the Knavesmire, and run alongside the A64 for a while, before going left to an underpass below it.

You are now on the Solar System cycle path, so watch out for the representations of the various planets along the way.

Take care to follow the signage as the path cuts through the edge of Bishopthorpe village. You’ll be on residential streets for a short way.

The path then crosses the River Ouse on an old railway bridge. Can you spot what the dog sculpture is up to?

The track passes over two minor roads in quick succession. A mile later pass beneath a road and start counting bridges from this point. Call this bridge one.

Another mile later is bridge two, which is just a farm track crossing above you.

In another mile is bridge three, carrying a minor road, and where we turn off. So just beyond the bridge, on the left, is a gap in the fence. Turn off here and loop back and upwards to join the road.

On reaching the road, turn right, and quickly pass Lilac Cottage and Lilac Villa, confirming you are on course.

Reach the A19 at a T-junction and go left for a few hundred yards, before taking the first road on the right, into Escrick.

Right at the crossroads in village brings you to the Black Bull for lunch. We sampled the Marston’s Pale Ale at 3.8% and the York Brewery Snowflake at 3.7%.

Retrace to the crossroad, right, then right again at T-junction. On leaving village, take first left, signed Wheldrake.

In centre of village, left, signed Elvington. Right onto B1228, through Sutton-upon-Derwent, and cross the Pocklington Canal on a long narrow bridge.

In under a mile, the B1228 turns off to the right, but keep straight ahead into Melbourne. Beyond Melbourne, watch for signs to Allerthorpe and Pocklington, and follow these to the latter.

A marked cycle route beyond Allerthorpe will help you to cross the A1079 and into Pocklington. Keep straight ahead over roundabout for the Market Place, where you’ll find the Fresh Food Deli on the left. We had a pot of tea and scones to see us through the last few miles.

Retrace to corner of Market Place, then walk your bike right, down a no entry street called The Pavement, passing All Saints Church. This becomes George Street. Cross at the zebra, remount and follow George Street out of town.

Towards the end of the built-up area, pick up a sign for Fangfoss. Continue over two cross roads and about two miles beyond Pocklington, enter a 40mph zone at Bolton.

At a staggered junction near a new bungalow, take the unsigned narrow road (unsuitable for long vehicles) off to the right. This winds through the fields, and will deliver you to the Fleece Inn at Bishop Wilton. Excellent food and the Camerons Strongarm was very nostalgic for the Teesside boys.

Next morning, turn right from the front of the pub (south) and in a mile and a half, bear left at hamlet of Meltonby. The road then turns right through 90 degrees and shortly afterwards take an unmarked lane to the left.

Keep left at the next junction (Ousethorpe Farm). Bear right at a brown sign for Millington Wood. Continue to the outskirts of Millington village, but ignore the village (off to the right) keeping straight on instead, still following brown tourist signs for Millington Wood.

The road narrows and descends into a dry chalk valley, then climbs gently out the other side. Just before the village of Huggate, turn off sharp left, signed York and Fridaythorpe (also Sustrans route 167).

In just under two miles, take a junction right, by two strange stones looking like Star Wars droids. A third rectangular stone is engraved “Petrol 5 furlongs”.

Cross the busy A166 with care, and descend into Thixendale. As you reach the houses, bear left, signed Birdsall and Malton, straight through Thixendale heading roughly west. Leave the village with Manor Farm on your left and start the long gentle climb up Water Dale. Beyond Aldro Farm and through a small wood, turn right at a cross road and descend towards Birdsall. At the edge of the village, turn left following sign for Burythorpe. Into the village and left at cross road, signed Leavening, to shortly arrive at the Bay Horse on the left.

Now run by the Logozzi family; they have All Hallows micro brewery too. So three of their own brews were available, plus Rudgate Valkerie (3.8%). Low beams, three open fires and excellent meals.

From the Bay Horse, continue in direction of Leavening. Climb into the village where right at cross road, signed Howsham.

Straight over the next crossroad, continuing towards Howsham, and descend to cross the River Derwent by Howsham Bridge (late 18th century Grade II listed).

Left at the next two junctions, both signed Bossall. Arriving at Bossall, spot the church of St Botolph c1180. Beyond Bossall, pick up a sign (straight on) for Claxton, where left at cross road to Sand Hutton. Through Sand Hutton, pick up signs for Gate Helmsley (left), then take a right for Warthill. Left at next T-junction and continue through Warthill to Holtby.

Through the village and at the end of the built up area, look for Panman Lane off to the left. Ignore the dead end sign and follow Panman Lane, which narrows to a path, then reaches the main A166.

Look left to see a sign for Local Traffic, indicating a lane across the main road. Cross with care to follow this small lane into Dunnington. Straight on at a cross road, onto Church Lane, the route curves left, then right (becoming Pear Tree Lane) past the village school. Right at T-junction (unsigned) and cross an old railway bridge.

We are now heading approximately west, back to York. Half a mile beyond the bridge, watch for some traffic lights in the distance and about the same time you’ll see a cycleway marked by a blue sign, starting over on the right hand side of the road.

Cross to join this, and follow it as it curves right, alongside the A1079. Follow the blue Sustrans signs for York at the next junction right. Meet the A166 at a T-junction, and follow the blue signs first right on the roadside path, then left to cross the main road and onto Murton Lane.

From here it’s a simple case of following the blue signs for Sustrans route number 66 back into York, via the University campus and an interesting section through Imphal Barracks.

At the far end of the barracks, cross the main A19 at lights, straight over onto Hospital Fields Road. After 500 yards, Cycle Heaven is on an unnamed access road to the right. Otherwise, continue straight ahead to follow the Sustrans route to the River Ouse and a path back into the city centre.

Cycle facts

Date of ride: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The map: Ordnance Survey Landrangers No. 100, Malton & Pickering. 105 York & Selby. 106 Market Weighton

The accommodation: The Fleece Inn, Bishop Wilton, York, YO42 1RU. 01759 368251,

The pubs: Black Bull, Escrick, York, YO19 6PJ. 01904 728245, The Bay Horse, Burythorpe, Malton, YO17 9LH. 01653 658302,

The bike: 2016 Dolan Preffisio

Distance: Day One: 31 miles. Day Two: 42 miles

Car parking: On street at Cycle Heaven, 31 Hospital Fields Road, York, YO10 4FS