Cycling the Trans Pennine Trail: The Wrong Way Round
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The Connect2 scheme at Marple opened up further possibilities. This led us to propose this route. The route starts as a continuation of the signposted Peak Park anniversary route, then uses minor roads in the Hope Valley, taking advantage of the closed road up Mam Tor, with a stretch along a busier road past Rushup Edge, then taking to canal towpaths in the west side of the Pennines, with further linkages made available by the Marple Connect2 scheme.
There are options to use the TPT to traverse south Manchester, connect with the Fallowfield Loop to get into the student hotspots, or stay on the canal network to get right to the city centre, at Piccadilly or head south to Macclesfield via the Middlewood Way. Northern Rail are keen to encourage bike-rail integration on these routes, possibly by introducing bike hire or encouraging private operators to do so. Businesses along the route are likely to benefit from increased patronage from route users, e.
Bike shops at Hope, Bradfield and New Mills. Ever upwards At Bamford by turning left and heading down the main road for about a mile you could visit the Anglers Rest , a community pub and cafe that is very welcoming to cyclists. The NCN route, however, turns right, making use of the shared use pavement, and you should walk your bike over the Labybower Dam wall, then turning left to use the Thornhill Trail bridleway a former railway used to construct the dams and taking the next right fork to reach the road towards Thornhill.
Another option on emerging is to go l. Traffic will drop off as you start to climb the Shivering Mountain, and there are some gates and sections of broken road to negotiate until you find yourself on Rushup edge — not generally an edge you Rush Up though! If you were looking for something a little steeper Winnats Pass has forked off on the left, although as it is now the only motor route west from Castleton it tends be busy. Sustrans signage currently ends at Castleton.
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As you start to drop towards Chapel-en-le-Frith, you will come across the Chestnut Centre, at Slackhall, on the right.. Drop off to say hello to the otters by all means, then take the minor road towards Wash, which will bring you under an impressive triangle of railway viaducts, where you turn left then right for Chinley on the B Follow this through to Bugsworth Basin, where the Pennine Cycleway crosses on its way up to Glossop to meet up with the Trans-Pennine Trail and you will come to the junction with the Peak Forest canal, just north of Whaley Bridge. Turn right to head north and it will take you through New Mills.
The new Connect2 scheme at Marple will enable you to continue your journey. Route Highlights.
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The gorgeous Porter Valley Route. Pretty countryside around Slackhall. The High Peak tramway. Current Issues and Potential Enhancements. Responsibility of Person. Responsibility of Organization. Reduced traffic on Division St. Sheffield City Council. Removal of demarcation line in Bingham Park - making it fully Shared Use. Slower speeds on Sheffield section of Ringinglow Rd. Investigate use of Long Causeway.
Motor traffic was banned from LC in If the surface was improved and subject to a maintenance programme we could adopt this route alignment. Unfortunately at the insistence of Mountain Biking groups the sections that have been re-surfaced have not been done to a standard that would enable cycling for all. Allow cycling across Ladybower Dam. Severn Trent Water. Give way to pedestrians.
Surface improvements at North end of Thornhill trail. Derbyshire CC. Interim alternative is on-road from Aston to Hope, short section on A, l. Metalled cycleway on Mam Tor. On-road alternative is Winnats Pass although we would not want to sign this as it is too steep and busy for typical NCN route users.
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Investigate use of Pennine Bridleway Rushup - Hayfield. Slower speeds on Rushup Edge. Widen pavement on A between? Access issues on High Peak tramway - current status is unclear. Improve crossing at Bugsworth Basin. Partial re-surfacing of canal towpath New Mills - Marple. Completion of Connect 2 scheme at Marple. Completed July Signing schedule. With Local Authority resources stretched we are not expecting official signage to be installed straight away although it would be welcome if this was possible.
Today's ride was distinctly more scenic day than Saturday's route. In fact in my opinion this is the most scenic part of the Transpennine trail as it involves crossing the Peak District with its beautiful moorland. The only snag is that when crossing a national park it is impossible to escape climbing up lots of hills! Within a short ride of Stockport town centre I was in peaceful parkland with woods and a lake, giving intermittent views of the impressive Grade II listed viaduct - the most noteworthy thing in Stockport.
The route was was pleasantly shaded, which was needed on this a hot day. At the other end of this woodland the path led me into the affluent areas of Godley and Broadbottom Village. They looked such cute neighbourhoods with just a few houses and pretty window boxes congregated around a mini hamlet green. Given the location, on the edge of the Cheshire hills the residents would have also had a permanent picture postcard to look at from their window.
As I had paid handsomely for my train ticket to get there, and I had ridden cross-country most of the previous day, for a moment I wondered if I should pack up London life and come and live in Broadbottom Common permanently. Why not just stay and enjoy the idyllic life up here without having to schlep up and down on my bike!
Then reality hit me when I saw a few cars get caught in a mini traffic jam on the lane leading up to their homes, and I rode through a swarm of smelly flies. Maybe I prefer to just visit these places with their pretty cottages and decorative motifs, then admire them a little before heading homeward bound to London. Motif near Broadbottom In contrast to the previous day's ride , this day was definitely lumpy. There was a fair bit of climbing involved, and sometimes I had to wheel my bike. It was impossible for me to lift the bike or wheel it up steep inclines and at those moments I was obliged to remove one pannier and carry it in my hand while wheeling the bike, which was still not easy.
The gravel bike is a robust machine, that is significantly heavier than my cross bike - even more so, with the panniers attached. Added to that all the hills I had to surmount meant this ride gave me a full body work-out!
Having said that, being on the gravel bike I felt confident that it could cope well with the different types of terrain, and it moved quicker than if I had been on a mountain bike - particularly on the road sections. Torside and Woodhead terrible twins!
Broadbottom represented the end of one district - Tameside. I was now in Derbyshire where the landscape definitely took on a rural theme rather than a Manchester conurbation feel. Passing through the villages which were a magnet for country pub traffic, it was tempting to stop and join the masses on this sunny Sunday afternoon. But I was conscious of the time and didn't want to finish my ride too late in the day. So I pressed on with following the signs for Longendale and Torside. Torside reservoir This area was vaguely familiar to me as I was near the villages of Padfield and Hadfield which I recall going to a couple of years ago when the Tour de France came to Yorkshire.
For Stage 2 of the Tour we parked in Padfield, cycled down to Torside Reservoir, and then climbed up Holme Moss to see the professional cyclists struggle over what must have been one of the hilliest debuts to a Tour de France edition. Arriving at the start of the reservoir I was greeted with a beautiful sight of the Peak District hills surrounding clear blue water laced with yachts. The path went slightly awry at this point and I had to take a detour as work was being done on the paths. A local mountain biker offered to ride with me in order to show me the revised route.
But I felt I would be so embarrassingly slow that I declined his offer. Fortunately, I was able to follow his detailed description of the directions, but unfortunately this was the most challenging part of the day up to that point.
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It involved riding mixed in with some walking up an incredibly steep trail over stones. Even pushing my gear up the hill was a challenge. Longendale trail What a relief to get to the top, even if I was absolutely dripping with sweat! As I heaved a big sigh of relief, trying to get my breath back, my heart sank as the bike decided to get another puncture! Well, punctures had been the order of the day over the last 24 hours so I just got it sorted and pressed on.
This section of the route goes along the Longendale trail which in my opinion really is the best part of the ride. A welcome change from the pull up from Torside, this disused railway is nice and flat, and you are accompanied by spectacular views of the reservoir as you pass intermittently through woodland. The trail is around 6. Sunbathers along River Etherow at Woodhead Finally, the trail ended at the Woodhead disused railway station and tunnel.
Also at that point the flat riding stops and I was back honking my way up a gravelly path with all my baggage. Note to oneself - there is a river below the Etherow where it is possible to lounge on the bank and sunbathe beneath the Woodhead tunnel. A few sunbathers were down there enjoying the last part of this sunny day and it looked better than any beach - views of the majestic mountains, a peaceful lake and no fights over beach space.
I must go there. But not today! There I was thinking I was about to embark on a long descent into Sheffield. But in fact I was caught out and ended up climbing even more! If the hill up from Torside reservoir was tough, the climb over the Woodhead Pass was a real knock-out. The trail twisted and turned as I headed higher and higher. The main Transpennine road sank lower and lower beneath me, as I was winched further and further skywards. At times it was impossible to ride, such was the steepness of the gradient. I was all alone on the moorland at this point, and became slightly worried that I might have taken the wrong way only to be lost in depths of the hills and I would never get home that evening.
Official start in Southport In June this year I rode from Southport to Hull along a largely off-road and traffic-free route. Also known as the Transpennine trail this mile sign-posted ride starts from the seaside town of Southport in Merseyside, in the north-west of England, and finishes in Hornsea, another seaside town on the East Yorkshire coast. Given that I have read accounts of people of all shapes and sizes doing this ride I thought it was about time I had a go. So, with the help of some wheels on my Raleigh Mustang Sport gravel bike, and with a few panniers loaded on it I caught the early train up to Southport.
Golden Sands of Southport! I'd never been to Southport before, but just thought it'd be a seaside in a similar vein to that other big north-western seaside town, Blackpool. But I have to say it was all a bit dowdy. I could imagine in the 70s Southport would have been the place to be - all that candyfloss, the lovely arcades, the Big Wheel and loads of fish and chip shops to your heart's content But today it just looked like tired old coastal town - still popular with the youngsters, and a way for mums to keep the kids from under their feet for a few hours.
Sadly, Southport is also popular with a few drunkards and ne'er do wells, as I found when I was trying to take photos of the Marine Way Bridge! Still, I had no plans to hang around as I had an itinerary to get through and needed to be in Macclesfied that evening. Southport sea front As Southport is not very big but then that's what I think of most towns, coming from London!
I was quickly in a new area with a different kind of landscape. This first part of the ride was parallel to the coast with sand dunes nearby. It also overlapped with the Sefton trail, a long distance walk where there were quite a few walkers and runners out on this sunny morning. I came across quite a few runners along this route, but nothing else.
Given that it was a pleasant day it was strange to not see other riders along the way. I hadn't gone the wrong way had I? Regular signs with "TPT" writing on them showed me that I was on the right track. As someone who has written about cycle routes along disused railway lines I am always on the look-out for new lines.
Sustrans Sheffield: NCN6 Sheffield to Manchester
The Cheshire Lines path is one to keep in mind for the future, and one that I would recommend if you are looking for a real getting-away-from-it-all traffic-free bike ride. There are no cars, no animals, hardly any people - also, no refreshments so stock up before going along this long stretch. Netherfield, Liverpool This disused railway line eventually took me into urban areas and at that point I realised I was on the outskirts of Liverpool, in the area of Netherfield.
After a pleasant ride along a canal, albeit peppered with graffiti and broken glass, I arrived at Aintree - quite ironic to be at the home of the Grand National on the day that the other famous UK horse race, the Epsom Derby was taking place just 10 miles from my home. Up until this point signage had been quite clear, but as I ventured further and further into Liverpool I was losing more time stopping and looking at maps.
Maybe it was a conspiracy to not let me out of here! Liverpool loop line I wasn't going to let any amount of spinning around the city stop me moving further, so I pressed on through this frustrating section of the ride. Ah, another chance to just sit there, pedal and follow the path in front of me. Cue, the Liverpool Loop Line. This is a great little commuter path that runs the length of Liverpool, allowing you to ride to other parts of the city.
As the path is tarmacked it was also a chance to pick up a bit of speed after having spent the morning on rough stuff. Initially the landscape is just a bog standard urban park with lots of remnants from Liverpool's industrial past.
There are iron bridges, old railway signs and disused factory plants. Added to this, the skyline is decorated with tower blocks and other monuments reminding me of the opening sequence of that old Channel 4 TV series, Brookside. I wondered if this had been left there as a tribute to the old world of Barry Grant and Phil Redmond. Or was it more to remind us of the painful past of the Boys from the Black Stuff. I half expected Yosser Hughes to pop out from one of the many side paths saying "gizza job"! Give us a job! Further along, the scenery became scenic with a lot of recreational walkers and cyclists in this area known as Halewood Park.
Liverpool Loop line near Halewood People were very friendly, with many people saying hello - walkers, joggers and cyclists alike.