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South Pennines walk and ride site launched

Posted 20 March 2012
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South Pennines walk and ride site launched
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Mention the Pennines to most people who like to head into the outdoors with their waking boots, riding helmets or mountain bikes and the thoughts that come to mind are most likely to be of the national parks that cover part of this chain of hills and mountains.

The Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Northumberland collectively cover 5,688 sq km of land and the Yorkshire Dales may be about to expand more.

Yet this is far from the whole of the Pennine Chain. Apart from the North Pennines, Nidderdale and Trough of Bowland areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is the South Pennines, an area lying just north of the Peak District and south of the Dales, but still offering plenty of walking and riding.

Train passengers passing between Manchester and the Leeds-Bradford conurbation may get a hint of the beauty of the landscape, but those who really want to make the most of it may be well served by the new South Pennines Walk Cycle Ride.

It is a site that, by its own admission, is still very much in the developmental stage. It has scores of walking routes, plus loads of places to cycle or ride horses, yet it is also open to hearing about more.

Among its attractions is the area around Holmfirth - known as Last of the Summer Wine country. The show may be no more but walkers can enjoy routes such as Compo Country - Holmfirth and Thongsbridge. As well as enjoying the scenery, it may be possible to picture the bunch of old men up to mischief, or Nora Batty exclaiming: "Gerroff me steps".

Nor is that the only cultural reference, with the Haworth area being known as Bronte country after the famous sisters.

Each route has plenty of detail, including where to get refreshments, transport links and which Ordnance Survey maps to use.

And the site also publicises the annual South Pennine Walk and Ride Festival, which takes place from September 8th to 23rd.

Quite apart from the many short walks and rides that can be enjoyed in the area, the Pennine Way itself passes through, stopping at places like Standedge and Hebden Bridge.

So when it comes to great places to enjoy the outdoors, there is more to the Pennines than its national parks and AONBs.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801321542-ADNFCR