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.

Back in 1986, Mary Towneley embarked on a horseback journey from Corbridge, Northumberland, to Ashbourne, Derbyshire, igniting the concept of a Pennine Bridleway. This sparked a series of studies and route explorations from 1987 to 1990. Finally, in 1995, the green light was given for the Pennine Bridleway National Trail, stretching from Carsington Water, Derbyshire, to Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. The finishing touches on the trail were put in place in 2012.

Could The Pennine Bridleway be your next adventure?

Spanning 205 miles (330 km), The Pennine Bridleway unfolds through the Pennine hills from Derbyshire to Cumbria. Crafted with equestrians in mind, it also offers an exhilarating experience for mountain bikers and hikers alike.

What about the terrain?

As a bridleway, it mostly diverts from roads and traffic. Yet, don’t anticipate a smooth ride – it traverses through every imaginable surface, from bumpy  fields and mucky single tracks to the well maintained gravel paths and tranquil country lanes.

How long does the Pennine Bridleway take to complete on wheels?

The duration varies widely, spanning from an intense 1-day sprint to a leisurely 14+ day excursion, depending on your fitness level, drive, and inclination to soak in the surroundings. The trail incorporates two loops: The Mary Towneley Loop and the Settle Loop. The Mary Towneley Loop is ideally explored over 2 or 3 days, although some opt for a single-day adventure. Meanwhile, the Settle Loop can be conquered within a day.

How hard is the route?

Well, traversing through the Pennines entails encountering hills and changeable weather! Initially, the route shadows the High Peak Trail, a resurrected railway line offering a relatively flat surface. However, beyond this, the inclines and terrain become increasingly erratic and demanding. The valleys of the South Pennines, threaded by the Mary Towneley Loop, pose particularly steep challenges.

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

Find out more about Earby Hostel

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