Joined: 16 Mar 2010
|Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:54 pm Post subject: Pennines rough-stuff
|We’re on our staycation in Northern England. Hubby is walking the Pennine way and I am logistics support and motorhome driver. After years of supporting me on madcap adventures, lejog, mizmal etc it’s my time to turn the tables and see how he likes being turfed out of a nice warm van into the cold embrace of the great outdoors.
Day 1 we arrived in Edale, the start of the PW along with thousands of other staycationers. A quick bite to eat and off he went leaving me free to explore the many bridleways by MTb.
First camp was at little hayfield and junction of Pennine bridleway and trans penine way ( TPW).
I had an easy, level ride down the Sett valley surrounded by dramatic and nigh on impossible climbs. The Sett valley ride is a pretty river valley which leads on to the peak canal system and you can retrace back to start or give yourself a challenge and ride the tops back to the start. I didn’t!
Day 2 deposited beloved at Torside whilst I parked up at NT Carpark opposite the sailing club. £4.70 all day. (Bring change)
This valley is a series of reservoirs with about 4 crossing points, make that 3. The intended crossing was closed meaning a 2 mile detour for a walker. (Nothing to a cyclist. Ha ha.) Having met with partner and confirmed his intended direction I rode down to the start of the valley at Hadfield where I Had a coffee, to support the local economy, and then Chatted to the local bike hire guy. I wanted a map but he had packed them all away in an anticipated move to larger premises. A consequence of covid? Perhaps. His business was booming and he couldn’t get enough bikes to sell on.
He gave me a couple of pamphlets about the TPW so I was happy to follow them even thou they weren’t ‘proper’ maps. Note to self : when supporting someone, make sure you have 2x OS maps of area. One for them and one for you. Rookie error. I should know better.
The ride from Hadfield to Dunford bridge is a level ride on a graded trail, a bit like the Stratford greenway but with a sting in the tail. A climb over the entrance point of the woodhead tunnels is an off road conk but takes you away from the busy and narrow A628 and via a fast descent to the Winscar reservoir. The fast descent was worth it even though I knew I’d have to ride back up and retrace to the car park.
I recommend you look up TPW on the interweb. It is one of the cross- England routes, and whilst there are more interesting ways, eg way of the roses, the middle section in the Peak District is a really good introduction to the North Pennines, or if you are David Stephenson, the southern Pennines.