Get your long distance cycling legs warmed up!
We have had word from the man on the ground Bill Brady, Pennine Bridleway Ranger, that they are currently out waymarking the section from the Yorkshire Dales back down to the Mary Towneley Loop and should have this completed by 31st May. His colleagues in the Dales are also in the process of waymarking their patch and the Cumbrian section up to Ravenstonedale, but this is due to be finished later in the year. There are currently road diversions whilst work is being carried out on new creations/footpath upgrades. So making stiles into gates, some surfacing, widening bridges etc.
Bill says “currently the route can be used by bikes because the road sections aren’t a problem for us, however we are recommending that horse riders check the route first or box the horse and move it by road to the next safe section. There is a delay around Long Preston whilst a horse friendly route is agreed and then in the Dales they are waiting for confirmation from Network Rail to pass under two bridges and over one bridge. These have been painfully slow as the land has been acquired the track designed and built and still Network Rail haven’t come back with permission. Its even more frustrating as in a couple of places the route is completely new and a road diversion would be massive.”
Anyway, hopefully it shouldn’t be long before the 200 mile, mainly off road route is fully waymarked.
The Pennine Bridleway currently runs from Middleton Top in Derbyshire through to the 47km Mary Towneley Loop on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. It will now have this extension to take it up to Ravenstonedale and 200 miles in length.
The end point is a bit ambiguous at the moment as the route North has still to be decided, but the Fat Lamb in Ravenstonedale seems like a good place.. Approval has been granted for this Northern extension to Byrness, Northumberland but funding is still to be secured. When this finally goes ahead it will give a challenging 347 mile ride!
If we get any other info we’ll let you know, otherwise follow the National Trail website for updates.