A UNIQUE experience is coming to the Dales in April which links Settle-Carlisle rail travel with self-guided bike trails.

Colin Clifford and his partner Jenny Hall have linked up with the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company to provide the best possible way of exploring the Dales - by rail and bike.

Off the Rails, based at The Cycle Centre, Station Yard, Settle, will provide you with a mountain bike so you can explore the Dales on your own, with a friend, your family or a group.

And people who have not been on two wheels for a while will receive expert tuition.

The self-guided tours are carefully chosen to suit everyone and take in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.

Most of the rides can be comfortably achieved in the day, but there are others which can be completed over two or more days.

As well as the Dales, other rides take in the Eden Valley and the Forest of Bowland.

Alternatively, if you want to learn to ride off road, Colin, a fully qualified mountain bike instructor with the National Organisation for Cyclists, can provide a weekend course to fulfil this ambition.

"The idea of Off the Rails is to provide fun ways for people to get into the Dales and spend the day in the open air. All the routes have been well planned to allow plenty of time for people to follow them and enjoy the benefits the area has to offer.

"Working in partnership with the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company helps promote the historic line," he said.

Off the Rails begins on April 14. For details of rides and routes go to www.offtherails.org.uk or contact Colin on 01729 824419.