In this month's Locations to Ride blog, we're taking a look at some of the sights and routes in the West. From Blackpool to the Lake District, have a read through some of our recommendations.
Route 62 - Fleetwood to Selby
Forming the west and central sections of The Trans Pennine Trail, Route 62 is a mixture of on road and traffic free cycling against a backdrop of towns, canals, cities and the northern Peak District. Spanning from Fleetwood, to Southport and Selby, Route 62 is a fantastic long-distance ride that will take you through the North West via three sections.
See the sights at Blackpool, travel on traffic-free roads towards northern Preston. Section two begins at Southport and you’ll have the opportunity to follow old railway lines all the way through Liverpool to Runcorn. Keep an eye out on the gorgeous canals and scenery between Runcorn and Altrincham.
Continuing on from Stockport on a mixture of roads, the route opens out to Hadfield onto a quiet path through the northern Peak District (wonderful views galore here!) Head up to Longdendale valley and onto an almost entirely traffic-free route to Doncaster. Continue to Selby via minor roads before arriving to a well-deserved finish.
The Western Passes - The Lake District
A route to take your breath away - literally and with the stunning, panoramic views over the Lake District, The Western Passes is a tough, grit-your-teeth at trail that includes tricky climbs and intimidating descents. There’s a fair amount of dismounting involved but that doesn’t spoil the surrounding sights.
From Castle Crag to swooping down to Dubs Quarry, sharply zagging towards Scarth Gap Pass and a steep descent to Black Sail hostel, there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Hikes up to Black Sail Pass will prove why this part of the UK is so treasured, and a steep descent to Wasdale will get the adrenaline pumping.
There are a few rest options during this route, including youth hostels, pubs, bed and breakfast, so make sure you take your time and enjoy the Lakes to their fullest.
Askham Fell & Ullswater - Lake District
If you’re looking for a steadier mountain bike route around the Lake District, Askham Fell is ideal for you. Other than two relatively-little climbs, it’s of a moderate level for the Lake District and allows you to soak in the views while enjoying a quiet ride from Roehead to Howtown before looping back again.
Drink in the scenery at Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District. Enjoy one of the best natural descents in the country from The Cockpit stone circle to Howtown, across open moorland on a combination of loose rocks and singletrack all the way.
The Mary Towneley Loop
Forming part of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail, the Mary Towneley Loop is a 47 mile circular ride encompassing Todmorden, the Rossendale Valley, Heptonstall Moor and passes the villages of Mankinholes and Bottomley. It’s a good challenge - a few hard ascents, but also a route that you can take at your own pace.