- Pennine Bridleway
Infobox Hiking trail
Photo=Pennine bridleway information board.jpg
Caption=Information board at Hartington station
England, United Kingdom
Designation=UK National Trail
Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
Hiking, horseback riding, cycling
HighPoint=Top of Leach, Convert|474|m|ft|0|abbr=on
Hazards=The Pennine Bridleway is a new National Trail under designation in Northern England.
It runs roughly parallel with the
Pennine Waybut provides access for horseback ridersand cyclists as well as walkers. In its southern part, it follows the High Peak Trailalong the track bed of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway. The trail is around convert|130|mi|km long; convert|73|mi|km through Derbyshireto the South Pennines, the convert|47|mi|km|sing=on Mary Towneley Loop and the convert|10|mi|km|sing=on SettleLoop http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway/text.asp?PageId=2 Pennine Bridleway website - about this trail] . The highest points along the trail are South Head Hill in Derbyshire; between Roych Clough and Hayfield, and Top of Leach is the highest point on the Mary Towneley Loop.
In 1986 Mary Towneley rode on horseback convert|250|mi|km from
Corbridge, Northumberlandto Ashbourne, Derbyshireto launch the idea of the Pennine Bridleway. This followed on with a feasibility study and route investigation from 1987 to 1990. Finally in 1995 approval for the Pennine Bridleway National Trail from Carsington Water, Derbyshireto Kirkby Stephen, Cumbriawas gained.
Sport Englandawarded and donated £1,841,876 towards the route from Derbyshireto North Yorkshireand 3 feeder routes from Keighley, Boltonand Penistone. The Pennine Bridleway project team was appointed by the Countryside Agency and work began shortly.
In 2000 there was a proposal for an extension to the Pennine Bridleway from
Kirkby Stephen, Cumbriato Byrness, Northumberland. This extension was approved in 2002.
In 2002 the Mary Towneley Loop was opened followed by the opening of the southern section; from
Derbyshireup to the Mary Towneley Loop and in 2005 the Settle Loop was also opened which is currently not joined to the Pennine Bridleway
Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, the Pennine Bridleway is mainly situated on historic routes and trails following the flanks of the Pennines. The trail starts by following the High Peak Trailalong a disused railway passing through a limestoneplateau of the White Peak. (An alternative starting point is the site of the former Hartington railway station, utilizing a short section of the Tissington Trailbefore joining the High Peak Trail at Parsley Hay.) Following on from the limestone plateau is the millstone grit of the Dark or High Peak area and the trail follows the line of the Packhorse Road from Tideswell, via Peak Forest to Hayfield.
Derbyshirethe trail follows the edge of a heather moor and picks up an ancient highway along the Tame Valley. From here the trail descends to follow a dismantled railway where the route heads towards Hollingworth Lake. It later joins the Mary TowneleyLoop which climbs to the highest point of the loop; Top of Leach at 474 m. The trail passes through the town of Waterfoot in the Rossendale Valleyand follows new tracks via Lumb before entering the Cliviger Gorge and then climbing up to the Long Causeway. The trail joins the Gorple Roadwhich is of a more remote stretch of the trail which leads to Blackshaw Head. The trail drops down into the valley where the town of Hebden Bridgeresides where the route picks up London Roadwhich follows a heading towards Bottomley.
Mary TowneleyLoop was dedicated to the memory of Lady Mary Towneleywho rode in 1986 from Derbyshireto Northumberlandand campaigned for the Pennine Bridleway. She died in February 2001 due to illness.
It is not to be confused with the
Pennine Cyclewaywhich is part of the National Cycle Network.
Sabrina WayThe new bridleway that links southwards through Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershireand Gloucestershireinto Oxfordshire
* [http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway/index.asp?PageId=1 Official Pennine Bridleway webpage]
* [http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/paths/penninebridleway.html Pennine Bridleway info]
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