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A guidebook for cycling the Dales section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail. Over 140km of mountain biking riding through Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales, along with an anti-clockwise route round half of the Mary Towneley Loop. 11 circular day MTB routes in the Yorkshire Dales using the Bridleway are also included.
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The northern stages of the Pennine Bridleway, from the Mary Towneley Loop in northern Lancashire through to Ravenstonedale in Cumbria, offer exceptional off-road riding in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of Britain, on dedicated, waymarked trails. Classic trails rejuvenated, newly-built river crossings and, most exciting of all, sections of specially-developed bridleway are all out there, just waiting to be discovered!
This guidebook describes over 200km of the Bridleway, from Summit, near Rochdale, up to Ravenstonedale, through the rugged landscape of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, as well as 11 exciting, graded MTB loops based on the Bridleway but taking in other, less well-known stretches of trail, making a total of 415km of unrivalled mountain biking.
There's something new here from everyone - from the novice rider to the trail-hardened pro and from cyclists trying the Yorkshire Dales for the first time to those who think they know them well.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).
|Where to start?|
|Who is this guide for?|
|When to go|
|How far can I ride in a day?|
|What type of bike will I need?|
|Waymarks and access|
|Using this guide|
|What to take|
|Section 1: The Mary Towneley Loop|
|Summit to Hurstwood (anti-clockwise)|
|Section 2: A linear description of the Pennine Bridleway|
|The Lancashire Link|
|Part 1 Hurstwood to Barnoldswick|
|Part 2 Barnoldswick to Long Preston|
|The Yorkshire Dales|
|Part 1 Long Preston to Horton-in-Ribblesdale|
|Part 2 Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Garsdale Head|
|Part 3 Garsdale Head to Ravenstonedale|
|Section 3: Day Loops off the Pennine Bridleway|
|Route 1 The Settle Loop|
|Route 2 Feizor, Wharfe and Catrigg Force|
|Route 3 Clapham, Crummack Dale and Feizor|
|Route 4 Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Helwith Bridge and Sulber Nick|
|Route 5 Ribblehead to Ling Gill and Horton-in-Ribblesdale|
|Route 6 Ribblehead to Dentdale, via The Craven Way|
|Route 7 Cam High Road and the Ribble Way|
|Route 8 Arten Gill, Dent Head Viaduct and the Driving Road|
|Route 9 Garsdale to Dentdale, via Dandra Garth|
|Route 10 Lady Anne’s Highway and the Mallerstang Valley|
|Route 11 Ravenstonedale, Pendragon Castle & High Dolphinsty|
|Appendix A Route Summary Tables|
|Appendix B Local Facilities|
|Appendix C Useful Contacts|
|Appendix D Accommodation|
|Appendix E Bike Shops|
Imagine a 560km (350-mile) National Trail, running along the spine of England from Derbyshire to Northumberland and specifically designed to be accessible to a wide range of users. Gates that open easily; surfaces that are regularly maintained and repaired; signposts and route guides show the way.
The good news is that such a route has been under development for several years, and that the next section is now open for riding! The 188km (117-mile) southern section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail, running from Derbyshire to the south Pennines, is now well established and has been enthusiastically received. Work on the next major section of bridleway, through the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, has been in progress since 2002 and is now complete: almost 145km (90 miles) of quality trail (plus the bonus of the 74km/46-mile Mary Towneley Loop) for those who may be seeking even more adventure.
This guide provides a description of this latest extension to the Pennine Bridleway: firstly around part of the already established Mary Towneley Loop in Calderdale and then on, through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, to the current terminus on the outskirts of Ravenstonedale, near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria.
The guide is divided into three sections:
Section 1 The Mary Towneley Loop (MTL) is described in an anti-clockwise direction, from Summit (near Littleborough) where the Derbyshire section of the Pennine Bridleway reaches the southernmost point of the loop. This rotation gives the shortest distance when heading northwards to locate the continuation of the Pennine Bridleway towards the Yorkshire Dales.
Section 2 A linear description of the new section of the Pennine Bridleway, beginning at the northernmost tip of the MTL (Hurstwood Reservoir, near Burnley). The guide breaks the route down into five sections, each a suggested ‘day-length’ ride, but also giving details for those riders wishing to travel the whole route in a continuous journey.
Section 3 This section is for those riders who do not wish to ride the whole route as a linear trail. It splits the main bridleway into 11 ‘day routes’, 12–25.75km (8–16 miles) in length. However, each individual day route links at some point with the next, so that by riding all 11 routes the whole of the Yorkshire section of the Pennine Bridleway will be covered.