The Solar Way
Explore the Milky Way with the fabulous astronomy cycle route, The Solar Way.
This six and a half mile route from York to Riccall features models of the sun and planets laid out at their relative distances along the route. Start at the Sun and proceed along to Mercury, Venus and all the way out to the dwarf planet, Pluto.
You will also find models of the Cassini module that delivered the Huygens probe to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, and the Voyager I probe launched in 1977 and which passed Jupiter and Saturn.
The Solar Way is a great combination of cycling and astronomy, fantastic for parents and children alike.
The Solar Way begins near the centre of York and extends through Bishopthorpe and ends at Riccall.
You can start on The Solar Way from two points before continuing on the main route.
Start 1A for 6.4 mile route (one way):
Join the main cycle path on the A1036 between the turning for Sim Balk Lane and the petrol station. Access is from the north side of the road which then loops back south.
Start 1B for 10 mile route (one way, short on-road sections):
From Rowntree Park, head south without crossing the Millennium Bridge. Leave through the Butcher Terrace entrance and turn left onto Terry Street, right onto Beresford Terrace and left onto Bishopthorpe Road. Follow this road until you pass the Kraft contractor parking entrance on your left, then continue straight on until you see the cycle path on your right. Take the cycle path.
Follow the path around to the left until you come to a T-junction where you turn right (if you come to the Middlethorpe Hall Hotel you turned the wrong way!).
Follow the path until you are near the A64 road which will raised above you on your left hand side. When you come to the fork in the road, turn left and continue along until you come to the final T-junction where you will find the model of the Sun on your right, and the planets and other models by turning left.
Cycle The Solar Way
Follow the route passing each model until you reach Pluto. About three hundred metres later, the path ends in Riccall. Look out for the nine planets, and models of Cassini and Voyager I.
|From||To||Distance (Miles)||Distance (Km)|
|A1036 / Sim Balk Lane, York||York Road, Riccall||6.4||10.3|
|Rowntree Park||York Road, Riccall||10||16.1|
You will find a number of refreshment stops and public houses available near the route at:
York, Bishopthorpe, Riccall.
The Brunswick Organic Nursery at Bishopthorpe has a café which is not far off the cycle path.
Toilets are located at:
Rowntree Park, Nunthorpe (not far from the cycle path near Kraft), Brunswick Organic Nursery (customers only)
Cycle Hire available at:
Tourist information available at:
How to get here
The Solar Way runs from York to Riccall. In York, you can begin either at Rowntree Park or near Sim Balk Lane.
Rowntree Park is between Bishopthorpe Road and Fulford Road, both heading north off the A64.
The entrance to the cycle path at the junction of A1036 and Sim Balk Lane is accessed by heading south-west on Micklegate and A1036 from the centre of York, near York College.
The Solar Way ends in Riccall which is south of York off the A19 from Osgodby.
Pay and Display parking available near the cycle route at these locations:
|Askham Bar Park & Ride||Near Sim Balk Lane, York||YO23 2UB|
|Moor Lane Car Park||York||YO24 1LW|
|Bishopthorpe Road Car Park||Near Rowntree Park, York||YO23 1NA|
There is on-street parking in Riccall.
The Solar Way is part of National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 65 from York to Osgodby.
Twisted Cogs Electric Cycle Hire
Home Farm Buildings
2 Bishopthorpe Road
Open all year round except for any temporary closures due to works.
Solar way short section great for kids
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