North & South Pennine Hills
Those steep valleys, swathes of wild moorland and rugged hills that sweep across the north of the UK, providing epic riding.
These old mill towns and wild moorland tracks are a goldmine of rugged trails for the mountain biker. Take a trip to the North and South Pennines for a great mountain bike adventure.
TODMORDEN CYCLE FACTORY – EASY 10.5 MILES
The first climb of the day heads out the valley floor on the Strava segment known as the ‘Stoodley Lung Buster’. The aim on the day is to climb this fire style road at a steady pace to the top.
HEBDEN RESERVOIRS – MEDIUM 25.5 MILES
A little bit of everything, terrain wise, from this route starting and finishing in the characterful little market town of Hebden Bridge. Some steady fire-road climbing initially followed by farm roads and rolling tarmac through some beautiful countryside.
TODMORDEN RESERVOIRS – MEDIUM 20.5 MILES
A typical Pennine trip, with steep climbs and rolling moorland trails, finishing with some great descents. Be prepared to work and to get the benefit of doing so. A great introduction to Pennine Mountain Biking.
FOXES DEN – MEDIUM 15.5 MILES
A route that climbs out of town to the Pennine Bridleway, taking in good doubletrack and some excellent singletrack as it rolls up and down and around the valley. Nothing too technical, and a great short spin for everyone.
TWO ROSES – MEDIUM 25.7 MILES
A long route that takes in the tracks above Todmorden and to the south and south east. A mix of surfaces, with a long stretch in the middle that follows the contour around the valley, before a great descent to Cragg vale.
TODMORDEN WEST- MEDIUM 14.8 MILES
Great little route around the valley, taking in some excellent singletrack, with a few testing climbs along the way.
TODMORDEN PACKHORSE – HARD 25 MILES
A short spin around the tracks and trails to the north east of this Pennine town, taking in some sweet singletrack along the way, utilising some of the old Packhorse trails. Great for views into the valley.
ABBEY VILLAGE – EASY 3.5 MILES
A pleasant bimble through woods along a chain of three reservoirs. Makes a gentle evening excursion or an outing with youngsters
WHITENDALE – EASY 6.5 MILES
This is an ideal ride for a young family where the smaller members of the party can stretch their legs on tarmac but with negligible traffic. Consequently, we’ve listed it as both a road and MTB route but there’s no law against you doing it on a hybrid.
GRIZEDALE, LANACASHIRE – EASY 13 MILES
A lovely jaunt when you can only get out for an hour on a Sunday morning. Better yet, on a summer’s evening, you’ll ride back up into the sun when the shadows have already settled on the coastal plain.
LUNE ESTUARY – EASY 9.5 MILES
This route is good for bird-watching, skirting the sands of the estuary. If you’re lucky with the turning of the tides, you’ll see fishermen setting huge nets across the river, sihouetted against the sparkling light like a scene from another century.
WADDINGTON FELL – EASY 10.5 MILES
A pleasant double loop on the south-facing flank of Waddington Fell. It’s nowhere difficult, and either loop could be tackled individually. The turf can be soft at the top.
NAPPA FLATS – EASY 7.2 MILES
The terrain is generally easy but be prepared to navigate through unsigned territory and don’t expect to cross the stepping stones dryshod unless it hasn’t rained for thirty days straight or you are Danny MacAskill
SALTER ROAD – MEDIUM 17 MILES
The Salter Road is a grand high-level crossing of the Bowland Fells. It can be done as part of a longer loop but it’s good value as an out-and-back as well.
BEACON FELL – MEDIUM 20 MILES
A varied switchback across the pastures of West Lancashire with a play in the woods to boot. Try to pick a day during a prolonged dry spell or a hard frost, as the section crossing the Brock can get squelchy.
LONGRIDGE SLOPES – EASY 17 MILES
There are a couple of sections where map-reading skills are called upon but most of it is straightforward. One word of caution; the forest ride off the Fell can be an execrable squelchfest after any appreciable dosage of rain. This loop could be omitted and the ride would still preserve its charm.
RIVINGTON PIKE – MEDIUM 7.3 MILES
Rivington’s particularly good for an evening ride to shake off the frustrations of the working day and watch the sun dip over the Fylde coast. The view from up here can be stunning.
DARWEN TOWER – MEDIUM 17.3 MILES
A grand, high-level cruise around the West Pennine Moors. The route follows long chunks of the Witton Weavers’ Way on good tracks so is suitable for a winter’s night. It can, however, get claggy in the woods.
CHIPPING EIGHT – MEDIUM 11.25 MILES
A short but exceptionally varied short tour of Chipping and its environs. Chipping is a charming village hunkered under the flank of Parlick. The route is a double loop so either or both circuits can be taken, with room for a pit-stop after the first lap.
HOLCOMBE MOOR – MEDIUM 12 MILES
The going is generally level but elevated, making it an ideal excursion for a sticky summer’s evening when you want to catch an upland breeze but don’t fancy a big haul to get there. Be aware of potential restrictions at the army ranges.
THIEVELEY PIKE – MEDIUM 11 MILES
Anyone expecting Thieveley Pike to be a soaring pinnacle will be disappointed, just as a prior visitor to the Verdon will question whether the Cliviger valley really counts as a “gorge.”
HAMELDON – MEDIUM 11 MILES
Our route traverses plain old Hameldon, straddling the boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire. And, if ambiguous hill names confuse you, a curiosity of these moors is that they drain to East and West into two different Calder rivers.
GISBURN & CHAMPION MOOR – HARD 17 MILES
Although the start and finish of the ride are well-waymarked sections of Pennine Bridleway and the Ribble Way, there are a couple of sections in the middle where you will need good map-reading skills (strictly speaking, landscape-reading skills) to find your way.
PENDLE CIRCUMNAVIGATION – HARD 19 MILES
A great tour around the rim of Lancashire’s great whale-back. There are long stretches of tarmac but this matters little as the landscape is beautiful and the lanes quiet. A longer loop could be made including a detour into Ogden Clough.
HAREDEN – HARD 18.5 MILES
A wild and woolly tour of the southern Bowland moors, with several technical climbs, two exceptionally technical descents and one delicious swoopfest.
CROOK OF LUNE – EASY 10 MILES
Family-friendly pootling along a pleasant, level trail set in magnificent riverside woodland. Do as an out-and-back for maximum flexibility or chain together with the Lune Estuary ride or the Salter Road for a much longer outing.