Cycling the Pennine Bridleway
Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales, plus 11 day rides
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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.
- perfect in spring and summer when the Dales are at their most attractive; winter conditions offer a new adventure but the Pennines can be tough in bad weather.
- Littleborough, Burnley, Barnoldswick, Long Preston, Settle, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Dentdale, Garsdale Head, Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen
- graded routes from easy, family rides for beginners through to tough challenges for experienced riders; routes can be linked for longer days
- Must See
- classic limestone country, including the Yorkshire Three Peaks - Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent, Whernside; Ribblehead, Garsdale, Ravenstonedale, Mallerstang
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.
- routes clearly described and illustrated with profiles and OS mapping extracts
- data on distance, ascent, grading, timing and percentage of route off-road at the start of every description for quick selection
- full information about local facilities, useful contacts, accommodation and bike shops
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
Ordnance Survey (www.ordnance survey.co.uk/leisure) provides maps of the area covered in both 1:50,000 (Explorer) and 1:25,000 (Landranger) scales. The most up-to-date 1:50,000 scale mapping has been used in this guidebook, and each route description details the relevant OS map (or maps) required for that ride. From south to north these are:
- OS Explorer OL21 South Pennines
- OS Explorer OL41 Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale
- OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales (Southern & Western area)
- OS Explorer OL19 Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley
Equivalent Landranger maps covering the route are as follows:
- OS Landranger 103 Blackburn and Burnley (Mary Towneley Loop and Lancashire Link Parts 1 and 2)
- OS Landranger 98 Wensleydale and Upper Wharfedale (Yorkshire Dales Parts 1, 2 and 3)
- OS Landranger 91 Appleby-in-Westmorland (Yorkshire Dales Part 3)
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Keith Bradbury's early interest was in white water and sea canoeing. After trekking in Nepal and canoe guiding in France, a teaching job in Kendal meant the Lake District would be his next playground. Walking and climbing then became new passions, until he was introduced to caving in the Yorkshire Dales.
He has been exploring their hidden places for the last 20 years, either underground with helmet and lamp, or above, on his (t)rusty mountain bike. A member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild, Keith prides himself on his knowledge of the Lake District and the Northern Dales bridleways.
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