Find out about the 15 National Trails providing over 4000km of well-managed paths which offer walking, riding and cycling experiences through some of the finest countryside in England and Wales, officially designated by Natural England (formerly the Countryside Agency).
Location: North of England (Derbyshire, Peak Distirct, South Pennines, Yorkshire Dales).
Length:: The Trail is opening in stages. 209 km (130 miles) of the route is currently open consisting of 117 km (73 miles) from Derbyshire to the South Pennines linking directly to the 76 km (47 mile) Mary Towneley Loop. The 16 km (10 miles) Settle Loop is available in the Yorkshire Dales.
Average number of days to complete:: Derbyshire to South Pennines - Horse/Walk 5 days, Cycle 3 days. Mary Towneley Loop - Horse/Walk 3 days, Cycle 2 days. Settle Loop - Horse/Walk 3.5 hours, Cycle 2.5 hours. Please note that cycling times in particular depend on your skill and level of fitness.
Users:: 100% for horse riders, walkers and cyclists
Highest point:: Top of Leach 465m (1536ft) is the on the circular Trail. The total ascent around the Mary Towneley Loop is 1125m (3690ft).
Start point: Horse riders - Hartington Station, Derbyshire. Cyclists - Middleton Top near Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Walkers start from either of the above and the routes merge south of Parsley Hay in Derbyshire
Landscape:: The route reveals a varied landscape incorporating dry stone walls, heather moorland, steep-sided gritstone valleys and numerous reservoirs as it weaves through the Pennine hills. Many packhorse trails and drove routes are incorporated into the Trail.
Highlights: Wyedale nature reserve, classic mountain biking at Roych Clough, tranquil heather moorland at Ogden Brook, ancient hushings at Sheddon Clough, beautiful scenery surrounding the many reservoirs, fabulous views incorporating stoodley Pike and, on the Settle Loop, magnificent Dales landscapes and a good grassy stretch for a gallop.
Famous Associations: Lady Mary Towneley MBE, campaigned for the development of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail, Poet Ted Hughes (Mytholmroyd), Bill Oddie (Rochdale), Gracie Fields (Rochdale).
Trail Officer's favourite part: Calderdale section of the Mary Toweley Loop for the mix of historic tracks, wonderful views and sense of the area's industrial heritage.
Nearest Towns: Sheffield (48km, 27 miles), Derby (30km, 19 miles), Matlock (7km, 4.5 miles), Manchester (19km, 12 miles), Rochdale (5km, 3 miles), Burnley (3km, 2 miles), Hebden Bridge (1.5km, 1 mile), Bradford (19km, 12 miles), Leeds (32 km, 20 miles), Blackburn (16km, 10 miles).
Access: By train from London - Manchester is 2.5 hours, Sheffield is 3 hours and Leeds is 2 hours. For Middleton Top, the nearest rail station is Cromford, which is a mile from the route. Alternatively, catch the train to Matlock and transfer to buses. There is a rail service from Manchester to Buxton with onward bus services to Hartington.. For the Mary Towneley Loop a train runs between Manchester Victoria and Leeds calling at Littleborough, Walsden, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. Trains from Blackpool call at Burnley and Hebden Bridge. For the Settle Loop, trains run to Settle from Leeds, Bradford and Skipton.
Car parking for horse boxes can be found at Hartington Station, Hayfield, Torside (link to the Pennine Bridleway via the Transpennine Trail), Friezland (Oldham), Hollingworth Lake (Rochdale) and for the Mary Towneley Loop at Watergrove and Clowbridge. For the Settle Loop parking is available in Settle 9Greenfoot car park) or at Stainforth.
Information available: Pennine Bridleway South by Harveys Maps (covers the route from Derbyshire up to and including the Mary Townely Loop) Tel 01786 841202 . www.harveysmaps.co.uk National Trail Guide by Sue Viccars - published by Aurum Press ISBN 185410957X. A general leaflet, map and guide to the Mary Towneley Loop, map and guide to the Settle Loop and a holiday guide are available from the address below.
Contact for all information and advice: Julie Thompson, Natural England, 3rd Floor, Bridgewater House, Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 6LT.Telephone: 00 44 (0) 161 237 1061.Email: email@example.com