Between the urban conurbations of Leeds and Manchester lies the unspoilt beauty of the South Pennines Regional Park, rich in the heritage of the industrial revolution. Heather shrouded moors, craggy outcrops and shimmering reservoirs inhabit the uplands while canals and gritstone villages wind with the rivers through the narrow valleys below.
The hills are always close at hand, waiting to be explored and ready to offer the perfect location for a family adventure holiday or adrenalin fuelled weekend with friends. This is an undiscovered region only a short train ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city centres of Manchester, Leeds and Bradford.
The towns of Holmfirth, Haworth and Hebden Bridge nestle in the valleys offering visitors the opportunity to experience and taste this distinct landscape through their excellent cafes, charming restaurants and welcoming hostelries, many of which make their own produce or source excellent local produce direct from the farmers, artisans, bakers and brewers local to the area. Unique shops and galleries showcase the very best artistic creations, from quirky greetings cards to paintings by internationally successful artists, many directly inspired by the South Pennines.
This region has walking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding routes for all ages and abilities; at every turn you’ll be amazed and delighted with the sheer beauty and variety of this stunning landscape.
Our beautiful countryside offers something for all who enjoy spending their leisure time walking, whether it’s a stroll along one of our canalside paths or an ambitious day hike across the heather moors, maybe joining the Pennine Way or Calderdale Way. You can walk the uplands where once the Brontes roamed or explore the wooded valleys where poet laureate Ted Hughes grew up. If you fancy a challenge we have the 47 mile Stanza Stones Trail between Marsden and Ilkley, and for those wishing to take it steady Reservoir Trails in Saddleworth, in Burnley and around Hollingworth Lake.
Cyclists are spoiled for choice too: two national cycle routes come our way, winding their way along quiet country lanes and by-ways, whilst there’s ample opportunity for off-road adventure on the South Pennine moorland bridleways. Try the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop, where accommodation is available for you and your bike along the way. Follow in the tyre tracks of the Tour de France, during which cycling’s super stars braved Crag Vale, the longest continuous uphill road climb in the country, in 2014 putting the South Pennines firmly on the international cycling map.
This is a land built upon the millstone grit which lies beneath the soil. In the land where once waterwheels and steam engines powered textile mills, a new story is being woven. An astonishing transformation is taking place in the South Pennines Regional Park. Come to enjoy walking or riding in this very special part of northern England.
And don’t forget our very own South Pennine Walk and Ride Festival between 9th and 24th September 2017. Visit www.walkandridefestival.co.uk for full listings and to download details of events.