Trail Information

Designed specifically for equestrians and mountain bikers the Pennine Bridleway runs for 205 miles (330 km) through the dramatic Pennine hills from Derbyshire to Cumbria. Following old lanes, pack horse routes and drover’s roads, it provides a real sense of stepping back in time. It is the perfect way to explore the varied landscapes and industrial archaeology of the Pennines.

Prepare for your trip

Select the blue arrow tabs below for more details.

Exploring the Trail

Frequently asked questions about the Pennine Bridleway

The length of time taken to complete all or sections of the Trail will depend on whether you’re horse riding, cycling or walking the route.  The following are rough guides but other factors such as fitness levels and stops along the route should also be considered when planning your trip.

Horse riding and Walking

  • From the southernmost end of the trail in Derbyshire to the Mary Towneley Loop is approximately a 5 day horse ride or walk.
  • The Mary Towneley Loop is usually a 3 day horse ride or walk.
  • From the Mary Towneley Loop to Cumbria is approximately 6 days riding or walking.
  • The Settle Loop can be completed in a day.


  • Cycling the entire route can take anything between 1 and 14+ days depending on fitness, motivation and whether or not you stop to take in the scenery.
  • Cycling the Mary Towneley Loop is best done over 2 or 3 days but some people choose to do it in a day!
  • The Settle Loop can be completed in a day.

The following distances are a guide to help you plan your trip:

  • If the trail is travelled from one end to the other, without circling the two loops, the total length is 174 miles (280km).
  • From the southernmost end of the trail in Derbyshire to the Mary Towneley Loop is 72 miles
  • The whole length of the Mary Towneley Loop is 47 miles
  • The shorter, eastern section of the Mary Towneley Loop is 18 miles
  • From the top of the Mary Towneley Loop to the start of the Settle Loop is 34 miles
  • From the start of the Settle Loop to the northernmost end of the trail is 50 miles.
  • The Settle Loop is 10 miles.

The route runs through the Pennines so expect hills and changeable weather! 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 (and 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.

As the route progresses northwards through the Yorkshire Dales it becomes more remote and the settlements are fewer so Trail users should be sure to carry to supplies and be prepared for all weather conditions.

The trail will be closed across Widdop Reservoir from January 2024 to enable essential maintenance of the dam wall.  A short diversion will be in place.

There is an interim route suggested for walkers in the area of Glossop, Derbyshire whilst the eventual line for the National Trail is under negotiation/construction.   This route is not usable by horse riders or cyclists as parts of it follow Public Footpaths.

An alternative route for cyclists is also available; this is shown as the main route on our interactive map. Unfortunately there is no alternative route for horse riders at this time, and we recommend that you box-up and re-join the trail via the Longdendale Trail to the north, or from Hayfield in the south.

If you’ve had a family day out on the Pennine Bridleway National Trail why not continue the fun with your little explorers at home?  Online educational publishing house, Twinkl have created a range of fantastic Pennine Bridleway activities which can be downloaded for free.  Whether it’s a colouring page, dot to dot or interactive puzzle, the resources will let youngsters continue their adventure even after you’ve left the trail.

To access and download the resources, visit the Twinkl Out and About website or follow the links below. Please note that you will need to create a free account to download the activities.

Top Tips for Enjoying the Trail

Public Transport

The Trail is accessible by public transport.  If you are planning to travel by train or bus with your bike, we recommend that you contact the operator first as not all trains/buses carry bikes and some restrict the number they will carry.

The nearest train station to Middleton Top is Cromford, a mile from the start of the High Peak Trail.  Public buses also stop about a mile away from Middleton Top.

At the northern end of the trail the official route ends at the A683 in Ravenstonedale. The nearest train station is on the southern edge of Kirkby Stephen, approximately 6km away. There is an alternative route branching off the Pennine Bridleway which will take you directly to Kirkby Stephen using public rights of way (pdf map 1Mb).

There is an in-frequent bus service between Ravenstonedale and the train station at Kirkby Stephen, see the Dales Bus website for details.

Within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Trail follows and leap-frogs the Settle to Carlisle Railway line providing options to enjoy sections of the trail and return by train to your starting point.  Further information is available here: Settle-Carlisle Railway

For detailed rail information please see

You can find up-to-date public transport information including a journey planner at


If you want to leave your car in a public place whilst spending several days walking or cycling on the Trail, we recommend that you inform the local police of your intentions.  You may be able to leave your car with your accommodation provider.

There are a number of places along the Trail that are suitable for short stay horsebox parking.  These are shown on the Interactive Map.  We don’t recommend that you leave horseboxes overnight in rural car parks.  Many of the farmhouse accommodation providers are able to arrange secure horsebox parking – check the accommodation details on the map.

There is a good choice of accommodation close to the Trail and it can be viewed on the Interactive Map below or on the Create Your Own Trip page here.

Alternatively, download and print a list of accommodation for each section of the Trail.

The area is popular and accommodation can book up quickly in peak season so we recommend that you book it well in advance.

There are plenty of campsites along the Trail and they can be viewed on the Interactive Map or by selecting ‘camping’ from the list of accommodation options for each section of the Trail.

If you plan to camp, please note it is not legal to wild camp in England or Wales – you will need to stay at official campsites.

There are several companies that will arrange to move your bags for you, help you plan your trip, or arrange a full package.

View a list of these companies here.

The best time to complete the Trail is April to October, when the weather is most favourable. However the route itself can be steep and exposed, so always be prepared, especially if you are planning a journey of a day or more.

Most people start in the south. The southern section of the Trail offers an easier and gentler start to a journey and the National Trail handbook for the Derbyshire to the South Pennine section and the Cycling Guide for the Mary Towneley Loop to Cumbria section are both written heading south to north.

We recommend that you take a map and/or guidebook with you, or a copy of the walk/ride leaflet if you are doing a shorter walk/ride.  You may also find a compass useful.

If you are walking/riding solo you may want to tell someone where you are going as there can be mobile black spots along the Trail.  Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting off.

Weather in the UK can be changeable so it’s wise to be prepared.  You’ll need good footwear, waterproofs and warm layers.  Take plenty of water and just in case, pack a few plasters for your feet.  In the summer you may need sun cream.

If you are cycling the Trail make sure you carry a puncture repair kit, spare inner tubes and brake blocks.

If you are riding the Trail we recommend that you carry a horse boot in case your horse loses a shoe.  It is also worth carrying a collapsible bucket – there are troughs and streams but access to water in some places can be tricky.

Phone reception can be patchy in the Pennines.  Don’t rely on being able to use your phone to help you navigate.

Wi-Fi is available at some accommodation and pubs/café’s along the route.

The UK is unique in having a network of paths that the public can use; this is the Public Rights of Way network. You can see these paths on Ordnance Survey maps.

National Trails are signed with an acorn symbol and/or the Trail name which you will see on stiles, gates and signposts. This is the symbol used by all the English and Welsh National Trails.

As you are walking/riding along the Trail you will also see waymarkers pointing to other paths. You can use the public rights of way network to leave the Trail to explore places of interest, reach your accommodation and find places to eat and drink.

You will often find a coloured arrow on signs which indicates the status of that section of path. The most common are yellow arrows which are footpaths and blue which are bridleways.

A GPX file can be downloaded from the Create Your Own Trip page (the button is below the map).

Top Tips for Enjoying the Trail by Bike

Trail Holidays

Visit our Walking Holidays Page for holiday inspiration for the Pennine Bridleway.

Leaflets, Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the The Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

You can find a list of Ordnance Survey maps for the Trail here.

Certificates are available from the The Trails Shop.

There are a wide range of useful leaflets to download, which will help you explore some of the different sections of the route.  Find these in the Further Information section.

Circular and Linear Walks and Rides

There are some great circular rides and walks to enjoy along the Pennine Bridleway, giving you the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Trail over shorter distances.   Find the perfect ride or walk for you in the Further Information section.

Interactive Map

Use the Map Filter to see places to visit and where to stay along the Pennine Bridleway. View information on the map by ticking the boxes in the Map Filter.

Wedi’i ychwanegu at eich Cynllunydd Taith isod

Cyfrifiannell pellter

Pellter a fesurwyd: - Milltiroedd (- km)

Cael proffil graddiant llwybr

Hidlwyr Map
Hidlwyr Map

Customise your trip with our filters.

Hidlwyr Map
Hidlwyr Map

Ewch o un opsiwn i’r llall isod i ddangos y marcwyr sydd ar gael.

Cyffredinol Marchogaeth Beicio


Pwyntiau o ddiddordeb




Pwyntiau o ddiddordeb



Pwyntiau o ddiddordeb


Mae'r proffil o uchder eich teithlen yn cael ei greu pan fyddwch yn defnyddio’r cyfrifiannell pellter (uchod) i dynnu llinell.

Create your own trip

Feeling inspired? Build a bespoke itinerary and start planning your visit to this great National Trail here.

Contact the Trail Officer

If you have feedback or a question about the Pennine Bridleway, please contact the Trail Manager.

Cysylltwch â Heather Procter
Trail Officer