Easter is the perfect time to explore the South Pennines

Posted: 30.03.12

With the arrival of spring and the Easter break there’s no need to go far as the South Pennines has something for everyone.

“Renowned for its stunning scenery, rugged charm and loads of footpaths and bridleways the South Pennines has dozens of off road routes allowing you to explore the beautiful villages and fascinating industrial heritage at your leisure, on foot or bicycle, mountain bike or horseback. Easter is a great time of year to dust off your bike and go cycling with your family,” said Sue Leffman, Walk, Cycle, Ride project officer.

“Many of us have lots of good intentions when it comes to getting more exercise but if we’re not careful the bike can stay in the garage for months between outings. However it really is easy to get out and about in the South Pennines because it’s just on the doorstep but it also offers us the wildness and sense of adventure that makes us come back for more,” Sue added.

“If you’re not interested in cycling there are fantastic walks suitable for all the family, ranging from level canal-side strolls and reservoir walks, to more challenging hikes over the hills. Visit the website www.walkridesouthpennines.co.uk and download one of 200 routes for free. Many of the routes are accessible by bus or train which means you can leave your car at home.”

The South Pennines area encompasses rural communities such as Marsden and Holmfirth, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, Ilkley and Haworth on the Yorkshire side; Bacup, Whitworth, Rawtenstall and Haslingden in Lancashire, and the Saddleworth villages and Hollingworth Lake in Greater Manchester.

And this year the annual South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival, now in its fifth year, will be held between September 8 and 23. It will be launched in Saddleworth and will feature events throughout the South Pennines area. Visit the Walk and Ride Festival website after June for full details of events.

Funding for the websites and festival is being made available through the South Pennines LEADER programme (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects. The Walk, Cycle, Ride Project aims to open up the area to those living in the South Pennines and the bordering urban districts of West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. The South Pennines is an exhilarating area of upland gritstone and heather moor, cut by tranquil wooded valleys, which offers some of the finest walking, cycling and riding opportunities in England.

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust