Location: North of England.
Length: 130 miles of the route are now open; 73 miles through Derbyshire to the South Pennines, the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop and the 10 mile Settle Loop.
Users: When fully open, 100% will be available for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers.
Interim Routes in Derbyshire: For 5 miles or so north of Hayfield in Derbyshire, the intended line of the Pennine Bridleway is not yet available. An interim route is waymarked for cyclists and a separate interim route is waymarked for walkers. Some Ordnance Survey maps currently label both of these routes as "Pennine Bridleway" but as the walkers route uses sections of Public Footpath, this should not be used by cyclists. Future editions of the OS map will show the cyclists interim route only however both routes will still be waymarked on the ground. Both routes are shown & clearly labelled on the Harvey's map & in the Aurum guide. No interim route is promoted for horse riders as the stretches of road involved do not meet the quality standards for a bridleway National Trail. Riders are advised to box from their B&B north of Hayfield and rejoin the route from Torside car park on the Trans Pennine Trail. A largely off-road route suitable for all users is currently being negotiated to fill the gap with construction likely over the next 2 to 3 years.
Future Route Opening:
- By 2011 the main Pennine Bridleway Trail between Middleton Top in Derbyshire & Street, near Ravenstonedale in Cumbria will be substantially complete. This will provide a route approximately 200 miles in length. The sections of the route where works are still required are between the villages of Wycoller and Kelbrook in Lancashire (where some work has already been completed), immediately south of & across the A65 at Long Preston & the route north of Hayfield in Derbyshire. The signing & waymarking of the as yet unpromoted route will take place in 2011 provided the budget becomes available.
- The Northern Extension from Cumbria to Byrness, Northumberland has been approved by the Secretary of State and will add 141 miles to the distance giving a total of 347 miles. Unfortunately funding for the devlopment of this section of the route has not been secured & work has yet to begin.
- In house publications A short General Leaflet about the Trail, The Mary Towneley Loop Map & Facilities Guide & the Settle Loop Map & Guide are available to download from the Publications page. These can also be ordered by telephoning: 0300 060 1840 or emailing email@example.com
- A series of mountain bike route guides can also be downloaded from this site, these can be found here.
- Harvey's produce a map of the route on one sheet "Pennine Bridleway Derbyshire to the South Pennines" priced £9.95. Aurum Press produce the official National Trail Guide Book "The Pennine Bridleway: Derbyshire to the South Pennines" priced £12.99. These publications are available online, from bookshops and Tourist Information Centres or visit our Publications page for their websites/phone numbers.
- Cyclists - Middleton Top near Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire (High Peak Trail).
- Horse riders - the old Hartington Station (Tissington Trail - with purpose built facilities).
- Walkers can start from either location. Both routes join up south of Parsley Hay.
Finish point: This obviously depends on which way you choose to travel along the Derbyshire to MTL section if travelling southwards, from the MTL, then the end points are the same as the starting ones listed above. If you choose to just use the linear southern section, then the finish point is at Summit, where it joins the MTL, although you may be tempted to continue on round the Loop.
Access points to the MTL are available within 1mile of Walsden, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge stations. For vehicular access suitable for horseboxes there are carparks at Clowbridge Reservoir (3 miles south of Burnley) & Watergrove Reservoir (2.5 miles from Littleborough).
At present the Settle Loop is not connected to the rest of the Trail but it makes a great day's ride or walk. There is a station at Settle. Parking is available for users of the Loop in Settle's Greenfoot car park or you can park in Stainforth and ride south to the Settle Loop to extend your journey.
Terrain: The route runs through the Pennines so expect hills! The most southerly section follows the High Peak Trail, a reclaimed railway line where the surface is relatively level but after this there are more changes (& challenges) in gradient and surface. The South Pennine valleys (crossed by the Mary Towneley Loop) are particularly steep. The route follows a variety of surfaces including minor roads, aggregate tracks, grassed stone tracks, stone setts and worn causey flags. Some of these have been newly created specifically for the Pennine Bridleway but some are ancient highways such as drovers roads or packhorse trails that have been in use for centuries. The route is not a particularly fast route for horse riders due to the stoney nature of some of the tracks however there are still opportunities to canter.
Highlights: Flora and fauna all around you in the vibrant, clean and green Chee Dale Nature Reserve, part of the Wye Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest. Stunning views over the Kinder plateau either side of the exhilarating yet peaceful Roych Clough (one of Britains classic mountain bike rides). Panoramic views of the Pennines and valleys in Calderdale, Rochdale and Lancashire, scenic views over a string of reservoirs, the 6 compartmented water trough at Mankinholes where packhorse ponies stopped for refreshment, the Rochdale Canal. Classic Yorkshire Dales limestone landscape surrounds the Settle Loop, including great views of the nationally important Malham Tarn.
Nearest towns: On the Derbyshire section New Mills is 3 miles from Hayfield; Buxton for Cheedale and Hartington is about 8 miles and Matlock is the nearest large town to Middleton, which is approximately 5 miles. The Mary Towneley Loop is 12 miles to the North of Manchester, 3 miles from Rochdale, 2miles from Burnley, 1 mile from Hebden Bridge, 13 miles from Huddersfield, 12miles from Bradford, 20 miles from Leeds and 10 miles from Blackburn.
- For Middleton Top, the nearest rail station is Cromford, which is a mile from the start of the High Peak Trail.
- Alternatively, catch the train to Matlock (via Derby) and transfer to buses.
- There is a rail service from Manchester to Buxton every hour with onward bus services to Hartington, Chelmorton and Wormhill.
- Leeds is 2 hours from London, Manchester 2 ½ hours from London.
- There is a train service to Rochdale (15 minutes from Manchester, 80 minutes from Leeds) which also services Littleborough, Walsden, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. Hebden Bridge is 40 minutes from Manchester, 55 minutes from Leeds. Change at Hebden Bridge for trains to Burnley (a fifteen minute journey).
- Settle is easily accessible by train from Leeds, Bradford and Skipton and is the start of the famous Settle to Carlisle railway. The service does carry bicycles although you should book in advance.
For information and advice:
Julie Thompson, National Trail Officer, c/oNatural England, 3rd Floor, Bridgewater House, Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 6LT.
Telephone: 0300 060 1840
Telephone: 0300 060 1840
For signposting, repairs and route inquiries please contact the Pennine Bridleway Rangers:Mary Towneley Loop Ranger - Bill Brady 01282 868409 (leave a message) firstname.lastname@example.org
Derbyshire and Tameside Ranger - Karen Turnbull 01663 746222 or Mobile 07920 210686 email@example.com