Why Mountain Bikers love the Pennine Bridleway

Difficult terrain, long ascents and gravelly descents, mud, sweat and tears…. Amazing views, remote locations and a sense of adventure. If this sounds like your cup of tea, The Pennine Bridle Way is for you.

In 1986 Mary Towneley rode on horseback from Corbridge, Northumberland, to Ashbourne, Derbyshire, to launch the idea of a Pennine Bridleway. This was followed by a feasibility study and route investigation from 1987 to 1990. Finally in 1995 approval was granted for the Pennine Bridleway National Trail from Carsington Water, Derbyshire, to Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. The final sections of the trail were completed in 2012.

Could The Pennine Bridleway be your next adventure?

Length – The Pennine Bridleway is a 205 mile (330 km) long National Trail running through the Pennine hills from Derbyshire to Cumbria. It has been specially designed for horse riders and is also a fantastic trail for mountain bikers and walkers.

Terrain – Being a bridleway, its mostly off road & traffic free. However, the route is far from smooth – it crosses just about every surface type imaginable, from boggy fields & muddy singletrack to the smoothest gravel & quiet back lanes.

How long does cycling the Pennine Bridleway take to complete?

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. There are two loops included in The Pennine Bridleway; The Mary Towneley Loop and the Settle Loop. The Mary Towneley Loop is best done over 2 or 3 days but some people choose to do it in a day and The Settle Loop can be completed in a day.

How hard is the route?

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 the gradient and surface become more changeable and challenging. The South Pennine valleys (crossed by the Mary Towneley Loop) are particularly steep.

Earby Hostel welcomes you!

If you are planning to tackle the Pennine Bridleway, add Earby Hostel to your list of stop-overs. Its just a short detour from the route. Bright and lovingly decorated throughout, we offer a comfortable and homely night’s sleep for all. We love hosting walkers and especially like hearing about your travels! We have;
  • Secure bike storage
  • Plenty of space to dry wet gear and muddy boots
  • A bike repair kit

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