There are over 140 events showcasing this stunning landscape in the 2014 South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival this September.

Posted: 22.08.14

One of the best ways to experience any landscape is on foot, which makes this year’s festival the perfect place for anyone wishing to explore the hidden gems of the South Pennines. Taking place between Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 21, the festival has more events than ever before. Details of the all the events taking place can be found on the festival website at www.walkandridefestival.co.uk

All the festival walks are led by experienced volunteer guides, who have a passion for their area. Each year they create routes that encompass points of interest, whether historical, artistic or visual. Many walks will include the best local viewpoints and opportunities to see wildlife with guides keen to share their knowledge and expertise.

Christopher Goddard, author of The West Yorkshire Moors, will lead two walks to places he has explored, drawn and written about in his work. On Sunday, September 7, he will lead an eight-mile hard-graded adventurous exploration of the intriguing features of Blake Moor. The following week, on Saturday, September 13, Christopher will take walkers on an eight and a half mile hard hike off the beaten track across the moorland expanses of Boulsworth Hill. On this adventure walkers will enjoy a rare visit to the Elk and Bison carvings.

The stunning landscape brought to life by the 19th century poet, Ammon Wrigley, can be explored in Tramping with Ammon, a five mile walk from Delph Bridge, Saddleworth, on Sunday, September 7. Walkers will be able to explore the edge of Friarmere Moor and listen to Ammon Wrigley’s poetry and prose amid the landscape that inspired him.
Food plays an important part in many of the walks in Rossendale this year as local businesses join the festival to offer everyone a taste of the best local produce available. Walkers can take part in the Hog Hike, a seven mile medium-graded walk, with a hot pork sandwich to finish, the Sliven Clod Sausage Stomp, a seven mile medium-graded walk will take in the hills and valleys of Rossendale followed by award-winning sausage sandwiches or the Soup Loop, a 12 mile hard-graded walk, with soup en route. Pre-booking is essential for all of these events. And families can join in the food adventure on the Cheese Breeze at Cronkshaw Fold Farm, Helmshore.

Walkers looking for a challenge need look no further than Burnley this year. The six part Burnley Way, each 12 miles of strenuous walking, will set a rigorous test for anyone wishing to explore this part of the South Pennines on foot. The walks will take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of both weeks of the festival on September 8, 10, 12, 15, 17 and 19. Each section will follow a circular route from a car park or train station.

For a walk with a difference and a night out to remember walkers are being invited to raise funds for the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice by taking part in the Starlight Hike on Saturday, September 20. The ten kilometre walk sets off at 10pm and follows a safe marshalled route through villages surrounding the hospice. Walkers will receive a goody bag, t-shirt and refreshments in return for all their fundraising support.

To promote the health benefits of outdoor activity Kirklees will be running a number of health walks during the festival to encourage people to explore their local area and experience the joy of walking. All abilities are welcome and no-one will be left behind in these easy three mile walks. They will take place in Marsden, Slaithwaite, Honley and Meltham on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival is managed by Pennine Prospects, a rural regeneration company set up to champion the South Pennines; an area renowned for its natural beauty and wildlife, great people, quirky traditions and independent businesses.

With so much to offer the festival is the ideal way of exploring this beautiful region, as Pennine Prospects operations director, Mark Turner, explained: “The South Pennines is a stunning landscape, often overlooked or taken for granted by those of us who live and work here. The South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival gives everyone, residents and visitors alike, pportunities to explore this rich and diverse area in new and different ways.”
The South Pennines is criss-crossed by rail links making the events easily accessible from surrounding urban areas. Northern Rail has always been a keen supporter of the festival and this year is the official sponsor.

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