Stats: 23.7 miles & 3123 ft of ascent
Todmorden has a good choice of eateries, including great veggie options. Bikes shops in the area are renowned for their service, and the place is all around friendly. Nearby Youth Hostels provide cheap accommodation options, and the town has several B&B options as well.
An epic route around the valley, with a great mix of trails and some superb descending. This is a long but rewarding day out and one to test your stamina. Navigation skills are a must, as is the need to pack some essentials, as you’ll be riding well into the moors.
1. From the town head into Bankside and begin the climb, taking in the bridleway that ascends Shoebroad Lane to the junction with Long Hey Lane. Follow this until it joins Lumbutts, turning left and ride along, passing the Shepherds Rest Inn and via the Top Brink Inn to Mankinholes, picking up the bridleway that leads across the valley and beneath Stoodley Pike.
2. Drop down to Errington Grange and on to Hebden Bridge. At Hebden Bridge take the lanes of the old town, to the east of the A6033 up to Midgehole, where the A6033 is rejoined and crossed to the bridleway that wends around Hardcastle Crags to the doubletrack of Cow Hey Lane.
3. Cross through the farmstead of Walshaw Lodge, continuing on until the track joins the Pennine Way by Walshaw Dean Reservoir, going left and left again to ride along the wall at Gorple Lower Reservoir.
4. The bridleway eventually joins the Pennine Bridleway and descends on doubletrack, eventually becoming tarmac, passing farmsteads as you head along to a track/ lane junction on the right – turn sharp right and follow the Pennine Bridleway down ‘School Land Lane’.
5. A small stone bridge crosses the river down this lane, where a fork is reached. Take the left hand fork (BW) and drop to the track at Burnt Edge, turning left in order to gain some height for the final flourish at the next T junction of tracks, turning left down Greenland Road (BW) to Long Causeway.
6. Turn right along Kebs Road until a bridleway signed on the left (metal gate) just before an auto repair garage complex. 200 yards along this bridleway a junction is taken on the left, joining the superb bridleway that drops down on mixed trails to Hole Bottom and into Todmorden for tea and medals and cake – lots of cake.