Pennine Bridleway Mountain Biking

Middleton-by-Wirksworth, England, United Kingdom

The Pennine Bridleway is currently the only portion of the larger, 420 kilometres (260 miles) long Pennine Way that is available for riding by mountain bikers. At 210 kilometres (130 miles), the Bridleway is still a tremendous ride that gives cyclists scenic, off-road riding through Derbyshire to the South Pennines, as well as two additional portions, the 75 kilometre (47 mile) Mary Towneley Loop and the 16 kilometre (10 mile) Settle Loop.

In many locations, the route follows ancient drovers’ roads or packhorse trails that have been in use for centuries. Expect portions of open moor land, aggregate and grassed stone doubletrack, some brutal climbing and bone-jarring descents, loose gravel, cobbles, rocky sections and, thankfully, a few cruising spots on tackier, firmer dirt.

The length of time it will take to complete the Pennine Bridleway will depend on fitness, length of stopovers and how much time is spent taking in the gorgeous scenery.

Riders averaging 24 to 40 kilometres (15 to 25 miles) per day can expect to complete the Derbyshire to Mary Towneley Loop portion in three to five days, the Mary Towneley Loop in two to three days and the final Settle Loop in a day.

At some point in the future, an already approved, northern extension, from Cumbria to Northumberland, will be added, tacking on another 227 kilometres (141 miles) to this trip. Long distance mountain biking of 558 kilometres (347 miles) will be epic for even the toughest of cyclists.

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