Land of the Two Roses
Stats: 25.7 miles & 2880 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.
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. One final climb leads to the reservoirs, before a downhill finish via Mankinholes and back to Todmordern.
This ride starts in the Upper Calder Valley town of Todmorden and dips two wheels firmly in the counties of Yorkshire & Lancashire. Featuring 5 challenging climbs of mixed terrain and variety of natural trails this mid distance mountain bike route is superb.
The best time of year to ride this route is in spring or summer or when there’s a ground frost.
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 for a short distance, then picking up the Pennine Bridleway on the right.
2. Take the Pennine Bridleway as it rises and then falls to Walden, along some excellent tracks. At Walden stay on this track as it heads down to the A6033 at Bottomley Clough Road and the A6033 road, where a left turn is taken.
3. A short distance on, turn off right onto the track that runs parallel with the A6033 before re-joining it higher up the valley. Cross over the road onto the Pennine Bridleway, up to the A58, and then turn left and then left again off the road onto the bridleway that leads to Blackstone Edge Reservoir.
4. Time now to pick up the Pennine Way itself for a short distance, before dinking off right as the PW continues left. Skirt White Holme Reservoir and onto the road at Blackstone Edge, dropping to Cragg Vale.
5. By a group of 3 and 4 storey stone terraces, a minor junction on the left is signed for ‘St John’s Church’. This lane and track leads past Withens Clough Reservoir and along, heading down the super steep cobbled sets to Mankinholes and then again through the woodland of Height Wood. Just before the river crossing into Height Wood there is a technical rocky section that seems to change as the loose rocks move around on the trail floor, aim to get to the gate without ‘dapping’. to Mankinholes.
6. From Mankinholes pick up Le Bottom Road and head down to the towpath back to Todmorden and sample what the town has to offer. You may want to take a short detour at the end of the ride to check out the Cycle Factory Bike Shop.