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‘Big skies all the way’

The Pennine Bridleway hosts The Great Horses for Health Relay

At the end of June, four women rode 50 miles over three days on the Pennine Bridleway in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, completing the Cumbria leg of the UK-wide Great Horses for Health Relay.

Alison Muir and Lucy Pickford from the Stonetrail Riding Centre near Ravenstonedale were joined by farmer Hilary Fawcett from South Stainmore and Marie Wray from Teesdale for the charity event.

They were raising funds for mental health charities, while raising awareness of the benefits horses can bring to mental health.

Speaking at Yore House Farm in Upper Wensleydale at the start of the first days riding, an 18 mile journey to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Alison Muir, on cob Sam, said: “When the Horses for Health route was being planned it was obvious the Pennine Bridleway would be a superb way to carry the baton along.    We are raising funds for mental health charities and awareness that horses can bring a lot of positive therapy to people, brightening their lives.    They are very friendly creatures who understand you and want social contact with people.  Most of all horses want you to be kind and they want you to love them.  So if someone’s got a bit of love to give, but maybe they can’t give to somebody else, they should give it to a horse – and they’ll get bounce back.”

“I’ve taken hundreds of riders up and down the Pennine Bridleway.  It is a tremendous route, so it’s fantastic that Horses for Health are using it, because it will help to promote it much more.  It’s mostly off-road, the tracks are in really good nick, and the scenery is outstanding – it’s big skies all the way.  You come down into the valleys simply to reach a new valley and then you are up in the hills again.”

Member Champion for Recreation Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Nick Cotton, said:  “‘Horses for Health’ is using the Pennine Bridleway in just the way it was designed to be used.  Participants are riding a length of the trail over a number of days and making the most of the hospitality on offer along the way.   It is satisfying to see the trail supporting a charity and enabling a fundraising event.”

He added: “The Pennine Bridleway is a completely separate trail to the Pennine Way.  While it’s a great route for walkers and cyclists, it was designed specifically for horse riders and that point is sometimes missed. It is a fantastic asset but not well known. It’s good that Alison and her friends are helping to put the word out about it.”

After three days of riding, the baton was handed over to another group of riders in Lancashire and the relay continued south along the Pennine Bridleway for a further 7 days.

Works due to commence in Spodden Valley

Works affecting the Pennine Bridleway in the Spodden Valley are due to commence on the 12th July.

The Pennine Bridleway will remain open at all times, but a rolling work area along the trail will be in place. Warning signs will be in place at either end of the section affected, and works will stop as soon as practicable to allow users of the trail to pass safely.

There will be works to trees taking place first, followed by path improvement works. Works are likely to take 6-8 weeks in total.

Thanks and support for Pennine Bridleway volunteers

This year, International Trails Day also coincides with Volunteers Week and we want to say a huge thank you to all the amazing volunteers who give their time and expertise to help maintain the Pennine Bridleway.

Closure at Birch Vale - 9th December 2020

The Pennine Bridleway has been temporarily closed due to a collapsed wall near Birch Vale.

Pennine Bridleway diversions in place in Uppermill - June 23rd 2020

The Pennine Bridleway has been closed at Church Road in Uppermill due to a damaged bridge.

The bridge which crosses Church Road on the Pennine Bridleway in Uppermill has been demolished due to irreparable damage. There are two diversions in place, one for horseriders and cyclists and a different one for pedestrians. Please see the links below for more details of the diversions. Options for replacing the bridge are currently being investigated.

Diversion for horseriders and cyclists

Diversion for pedestrians


New Leaflet for Pennine Bridleway

The Pennine Bridleway has a new leaflet, an upgrade on the last one published in 2008 – before most of the route was open!

It provides a summary of what the Pennine Bridleway has to offer; an amazing long-distance route through classic Pennine scenery with miles of off-road tracks, safe road and river crossings, and no stiles or steps to negotiate.  A 205-mile Adventure on Horse, Bike or Foot

Its first outing will be at an international tourism trade event in Utrecht: Fiets en Wandelbeurs.  This is a walking and cycling specialist show and is aimed at encouraging Dutch visitors to spend time exploring the Pennines and enjoying the Northern hospitality.  The National Trail Officer from the Cleveland Way is already booked to attend the show and will be championing all of our National Trails.

You can download a copy here to read online or print for yourself.