York's Walk Cycle Festivals

Between 2017 and 2019, we staged a city-wide Walk Cycle Festival in May each year, with over 2600 York residents joining in!

We worked with professional artists to add a spark of creative magic to walks, rides and workshops and to better connect us with the natural world. And we improved some of York’s public and green spaces at the same time.

You can check out some great memories of the Festival and the 2019 Festival programme below:

Welcome to York’s third, community-led Walk Cycle Festival!

You are invited to a week of free and fun walks, rides, socials, workshops and creative activities from Sunday 26 to Friday 31 May 2019 to celebrate the magic of York’s walking and cycling lifestyle.

We will inspire, entertain and guide you around beautiful green spaces, transform routes and spaces and plunge you into a magical world of labyrinths, murals, trees, storytelling, one planet living … and more.

All free. Everyone welcome!

Just click on the title of the event below to book, show your interest or find out more. 

Keep up with the latest news on Facebooktwitter and Instagram at #walkcyclefestival2019.

Email yorkbikebelles@gmail.com with any questions.

Festival Launch Party in the Park

Sunday 26 May, 11am – 4pm

Party in the Park!

Come down and enjoy the relaxed vibe of a community party in the lovely setting of Rowntree Park on Sunday 26 May.

Listen to music from the Arts Barge Project’s Bargestra Orchestra, get your young ones confident with fun cycling activities on Go Get Riding’s popular Freestyle Track, have your bike security marked by the community police, enjoy some food and cake from Bistro on a Bike, experience the new Park Labyrinth (see below), find out about walking cycling and sustainable living at the shared information table with i-Travel York, and enjoy the company of lots of friendly folk.

Launch of the Labyrinth

Sunday 26 May, 11am – 4pm

Relax … and experience the Park’s new Labyrinth. Slow down as you walk the path and connect with the park’s beautiful natural setting and be inspired by nature poetry, interpreted by professional actors.

Thanks to York CVS and funding from City of York Council’s Growing Green Spaces Fund, and the Friends of Rowntree Park. This has also been planted with herbs by the Friends and will hopefully become a permanent feature of the Park.

Mural Makeover Ride

Monday 27 May, 11am – 5pm

Get creative and help us transform the murals on Naburn Bridge back to their former glory. We will be painting under the creative guidance of the original artist Liz Collier.

Booking required – just click on the title above.

Dusk Chorus Ride

Monday 27 May, 7pm

Enter the magical world of birds in woods at dusk on our first Dusk Chorus Ride along the riverside to Danesmead and Knavesmire Woods, guided by local bird expert, Andy Chapman.

Love your Bike Workshop – Fully Booked!

Tuesday 28 May, 6pm

Learn new bike maintenance skills – from fixing a puncture to cleaning and oiling to adjusting brakes – at a Bike Maintenance workshop hosted by Giant York, over cheese and wine!

Tree Walk, with champagne picnic

Wednesday 29 May, 6pm

Be entranced as we step into into the magical world of trees with a return of our popular Tree Walk ending in a champagne picnic! This walk is in honour of Dame Judi Dench and her inspiring BBC programme “My passion for trees”.

One Planet Living Walks

Thursday 30 May, 12 noon and 6pm

Join us to take a tour of some of the organisations, shops and cafes in York who have embraced sustainability and offer services and products to the growing number of people choosing a ‘One Planet’ lifestyle.

The daCunha Storytelling Experience

Friday 31 May, 6pm

Be swept away by storytelling for the Festival Finale!

Listen to magical stories from the DaCunha Storytelling Experience, read by professional actors in some of the most beautiful settings in the city – from the Museum Gardens, to Dean’s Park, to the Red Tower.


Booking: Please check the walk or ride event link for further information. If it is an open Facebook event, please let us know you are going on the event on that page so we have some idea of numbers. Thank you!

Walks/ rides: Please arrive 10 mins before start time as we will leave promptly. Check the weather forecast and bring waterproofs or water and sun cream if necessary. Bring any personal medication. For rides, bring roadworthy bike and, ideally, spare inner tube. For walks, wear walk and mud-friendly shoes.

Accessibility: The walks and rides aim to be accessible for most ages and abilities – less than an hour each way and taken at a steady pace with breaks. If you are unsure if an activity is right for you, get in touch at yorkbikebelles@gmail.com and we will do what we can to support you.

Photos: We’ll be taking fun photos of cycling and walking moments during the Festival (with your permission). Please be sure to let us know at the start of an activity if you DON’T want your photo taking!

Everybody welcome! We ask that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Finally, a BIG thank you to funding from i-Travel York, City of York Council Forgotten Corners Fund and Growing Green Spaces Fund and support from all our partners and, of course, our team of superstar volunteers!

York’s Walk Cycle Festivals are an original York Bike Belles initiative, all rights reserved.