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The transformation of the Nottingham and Yorkshire coalfields has allowed cyclists access to the once rich coalfields and steel mills of this central part of England. 

The industrial landscape has been transformed in recent years. Former colliery land, waste heaps and railway tracks have been reclaimed and transformed into a country park. Open cast mining near Rotherham provides the site for Rother Valley Country Park. Coking works and pit shafts have disappeared from the Dearne Valley, and the remarkably green turfed spoil heap of Cadeby Main Colliery, near Doncaster, now marks the location of Britain's biggest and most exciting natural science park, 'Earth Centre'.

For a reminder of Yorkshire's mining past, you can visit the industrial Heritage Centre at Elsecar, near Barnsley. And in contrast, the scenic railway path north of Selby passes Britain's most modern deep mine, the clean and unassuming industrial buildings near Riccall making little impact on the rich agricultural landscape of the Vale of York.

Or why not lose yourself in mediaeval England? Leave the cycle-friendly streets of historic York and visit the great Abbey church of Selby. Pass through the Don Valley below the towering keep of Conisbrough Castle, where Walter Scott set the opening scene of 'Ivanhoe', and relive the legend of Robin Hood as you journey through Nottinghamshire's famous parks and ancient woodlands; Clumber Park, the Dukeries Estates and Sherwood Forest. Then, fearless of the Sheriff's men, head for Nottingham, calling on the way at Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of Lord Byron.

Finally, it's York. Cycle friendly city.

Information courtesy of Sustrans

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