This month’s Star Letter asks the question

This month’s Star Letter asks the question “Why is the Pennine Bridleway not better known or written about?”

>>> How to survive a long distance mountain bike ride

End-to-End fun

In May this year, four ladies from MBSwindon Mountain Bike Club set off, with great excitement (and a little trepidation!) to ride the Pennine Bridleway National Trail end-to-end in four days, unsupported, stopping overnight at Glossop, Hebden Bridge and Settle. It’s a distance of about 174 miles, starting at Middleton Top outside Matlock, traversing the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, all the way to just outside Kirkby Stephen, on the border with Cumbria.

What attracted us to this relatively new National Trail (opened fully in 2012), quite apart from the obviously amazing route, was the fact that it was designed primarily for mountain bikes and horses. What surprised us is that it’s not better known or written about. Prior to setting out, we found it difficult obtaining feedback from many who’d ridden the whole route, but now having completed it, we’d strongly recommend it. 

Although it’s a tough ride, with long days in the saddle, it’s a huge amount of fun, and easy to navigate as the signage is generally excellent.

We had a terrific time (despite getting saturated on three days out of the four) – every section of the trail is different, with varied landscapes, magnificent scenery and some ruthless climbs (we averaged about 6,000ft of climbing daily) – but were rewarded on numerous occasions with some really epic descents.

We hope this might inspire others, particularly women, to attempt it. We’d definitely do it again!

– Kate Davidson, Sharon Yeates, Hazel Ross & Jane Hawkes – MBSwindon

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All Star Letter correspondents win a Madison Zenith waterproof jacket worth £99.99.