THIS SITE IS A 'WORK IN PROGRESS'. WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are always looking for new routes so if you feel there is a route you know of that should be added to the site, please contact us by filling in the form on the link below.
HAVE WE GOT IT RIGHT?
Information changes regularly, so if you notice anything that is incorrect, please let us know by clicking the link below.
South Pennines - Walk Cycle Ride
Welcome to the Walk Cycle Ride home page.
This site hosts South Pennine walking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding routes for all ages and abilities, from a quiet stroll along the canal towpath, to a bike ride that will test your endurance and provide a few white knuckle moments. The site is free to use and you can download a route map and just head off into our great outdoors.
If you would like to get to know the South Pennines in advance of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014, why not visit our annual South Pennine Walk and Ride Festival which takes place from 7th to 22rd September 2013. There are over 160 events to choose from, with guided walks, cycle rides, horse riding and some fabulous spectator events such as cycle polo. So come along, bring your family and friends and have fun outdoors trying something new.
The Walk and Ride Festival takes place against the backdrop of the South Pennines, that hidden area of upland between Manchester and Leeds. Here are a huge number of paths, tracks and trails that provide you with some of the best places in England to walk, cycle, mountain bike and horse ride all the year round. Heather and peat covered moors, craggy rock outcrops and shining Victorian reservoirs cover the uplands, while the steep sided valleys have clough woodlands, fields bounded by drystone walls, canals, rivers and the rich built heritage of the industrial revolution. The towns and villages are built of the distinctive gritstone and provide some great locations for shopping, eating, drinking and accommodation. The South Pennines offers the perfect location for a family adventure holiday or adrenalin filled weekend with friends.
We can also boast the kilometre square with the densest network of public paths in England, and the most access land of anywhere in England outside a National Park. We have the longest continuous uphill road climb (and descent too of course) out of Cragg Vale towards Littleborough. So no shortage of adventures in the countryside for two feet, two wheels or four hooves!
For walkers our beautiful countryside offers something for all who enjoy spending their leisure time walking, whether it's a stroll along one of our canalside paths or an ambitious day hike across the heather moors. Recently added routes include the fabulous 47 mile Stanza Stones trail between Marsden and Ilkley which can be split into three single day walks. For those wanting an afternoon stroll why not try the Reservoir Trails in Saddleworth and around Hollingworth Lake? Or discover the vibrant town of Holmfirth through a walk devised by artist Ashley Jackson.
Cyclists and mountain bikers are spoiled for choice too: two national cycle routes come our way, winding their way along quiet country lanes and by-ways, whilst there's ample opportunity for off-road adventure on the Pennine moorland bridleways. Try the 47 mile Mary Townley Loop, where accommodation is available for you and your bike along the way. Can you do it in a day? A weekend? A week? The South Pennines is the perfect place to come for your next cycling holiday.
Horse-riders can follow the routes once trodden by packhorse trains, carrying cloth across the Pennine moors. The Pennine Bridleway and the Mary Townley Loop give the opportunity for long distance rides for the fitter horse and rider. Again, accommodation is available for horse and rider, on or near the routes.
If you know a route that is not on the website but you think should be, use the Add a Route button on the right of the page to let us know and we will check it out and add it on, so you can share your discovery with others!