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Direction sign indicating the Pennine Way Image of Pennine Way signage by Paul Harris

The Pennine Bridleway

About the Trail

The Pennine Bridleway is a 205 mile (330 Km) long National Trail running through the Pennine hills from Derbyshire to Cumbria. It has been specially designed for horse riders and is also great for mountain bikers and walkers.

The route follows a variety of surfaces including minor roads, aggregate tracks, grassed stone tracks, stone setts and worn causey flags. Some of these have been newly created specifically for the Pennine Bridleway but some are ancient highways such as drovers roads or packhorse trails that have been in use for centuries.

There are route descriptions available here.

The best time to complete the Trail is April to October, when the weather is most favourable.

Riders on the Pennine Way above Mallerstang
Horse riders on the Pennine Bridleway above Mallerstang

The Pennine Bridleway is the only National Trail specifically designed to be used by equestrians although since the idea for the route was conceived mountain biking has really taken off and the Trail offers a fantastic challenge for cyclists too.

The Trail provides an amazing long distance, largely off-road ride/walk through the Pennines following old drove roads, packhorse routes and new sections of bridleway. The route passes through varied and beautiful countryside following a succession of different types of tracks and surfaces. It is by no means easy but well worth the challenge and completing any or all of the route will provide a real sense of achievement.

There are some great circular rides and walks to enjoy along the Pennine Bridleway, giving you the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Trail over shorter distances.   

Horse riding, Mallerstang,

The Trail includes 2 large loops. The first is the Mary Towneley Loop in the South Pennines. It is 47 miles long and makes a great weekend’s walk or ride although some mountain bikers like to try and do it in a day!

The 2nd Loop is the 10-mile Settle Loop in the Yorkshire Dales. This makes an excellent day walk or horse ride and can be extended by using the bridleway network to take in the village of Malham too.

Popular Itineraries

Explore the Pennine Bridleway for three days, a week or even longer. Find inspiration for your riding or walking adventure using suggested itineraries, here –

  1. Kirkby Stephen to Hebden Bridge
  2. Or create your own itinerary

Support the Pennine Bridleway

National Trails are looked after by dedicated teams to the highest standards. Keeping them in top condition doesn’t come cheap and budgets are under pressure. If you have had a memorable ride or walk along the Pennine Bridleway and would like to give something back, please consider making a donation. 100% of your donation will go towards securing the future of the Pennine Bridleway.