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The route departs from Beverley Minster to the north, here coinciding with National Cycle Route 1, via the A164 and A1035 roads to the villages of Cherry Burton and Etton. Beyond Etton Route 1 departs to the north, and Route 66 runs along minor roads parallel to the Hudson Way, a rail trail along the former York to Beverley Line. The route heads generally westwards, passing south of Goodmanham (where it is crossed by the Yorkshire Wolds Way) and then through the centre of Market Weighton.
From Market Weighton, Route 66 takes a more northerly turn and follows minor roads to Pocklington via Londesborough and Burnby. Beyond Pocklington it heads northwest to Stamford Bridge, where it crosses the River Derwent (and the Minster Way, which also connects Beverley and York) via the disused railway viaduct. It then heads southwest along an off-road route to Dunnington and thence to Murton, home of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming on the outskirts of York. At Osbaldwick the route divides: one route follows the line of the former Derwent Valley Light Railway towards the city centre, while the other heads through the southern suburbs of the city, passing through the campus of York University to cross the River Ouse via the Millennium Bridge.
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From Leeds, the route follows the Leeds-Liverpool canal out of West Leeds and up to Shipley. At Shipley, the canal continues as National Cycle Route 696. The route goes south from Shipley towards Bradford city centre on a mainly on-road route. From Bradford City Centre, the route goes towards Bowling Park and up to Bierley and passes beneath the M606 to Low Moor. At Low Moor, the route joins the off-road Spen Valley Greenway - following a former railway trackbed to Dewsbury. The route is broken from Dewsbury to Brighouse. At Brighouse, the route follows the Calder-Hebble navigation to Sowerby Bridge, then there is a mixed off road from Sowerby Bridge to Manchester closely following the Rochdale canal through Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Littleborough and Rochdale.
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