Trans Pennine Trail

The Trans Pennine Trail is a fantastic long-distance route which links the North and Irish seas. It was voted the most popular route on the National Cycle Network. It passes through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals and through historic towns and cities in the North of England.

The Trans Pennine Trail is a fantastic long-distance route linking the North and Irish seas.

It passes through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals and through some of the most historic towns and cities in the North of England. 

The route can be completed in one go or broken down into shorter sections.

There are three main sections to the Trans Pennine Trail: West, Central and East.

The route from coast to coast (Hornsea to Southport) is 212 miles long. Including all branches the distance is 343 miles.

The Trans Pennine Trail West

The Trans Pennine Trail (West) travels from Southport to Barnsley as using National Cycle Network Route 62, with a spur to Liverpool city centre being part of Route 56.

The route travels south-east through the eastern suburbs of Liverpool before turning east and following the River Mersey through Widnes and on through Warrington, Sale and Stockport.

Then, the route begins to ascend the Pennines through Hyde and Hadfield.

The trail continues to climb along the dramatic and rugged Longdendale Valley in the Peak District National Park, ending at its highest point on Woodhead Pass.

A swift descent to the market town of Penistone follows and then you head to the halfway point at RSPB Old Moor.

The Trans Pennine Trail Central

The Trans Pennine Trail Central runs from Leeds to Chesterfield, starting with the royal armouries in the centre of Leeds.

You travel alongside the Aire & Calder Navigation before skirting Wakefield and continuing south.

There are a number of route choices through Sheffield and Rotherham before the trail heads to its southern-most point at Chesterfield.

The Trans Pennine Trail East

Trans Pennine Trail East travels from Sprotbrough to Hornsea. At Doncaster, the route turns north via quiet lanes and alongside the New Junction Canal to Selby.

At Selby, an extension of the route continues north to the historic city of York, while the main trail swings east following parallel to the rivers Ouse and Humber.

After passing through the foothills of the Yorkshire Wolds, the Trans Pennine Trail reaches Kingston upon Hull.

It then continues on to the eastern terminus at the seaside town of Hornsea on the North Sea coast.

Completing The Trans Pennine Trail from start to finish is an exciting and challenging adventure for long-distance cycle tourers or bikepackers.

However, there are shorter sections which are ideal for families too.

If you want to enjoy a shorter, easier section of the route we would recommend the following stretches - the Liverpool Loopline, Penistone to Dunford Bridge, Garforth to Woodlesford and the Hornsea Rail Trail.

Visit the Trans Pennine Trail website.


Download your free guide to easy, traffic-free routes on the National Cycle Network in your area.


Route sections

Trans Pennine Trail West: 143.6 miles, 231.1 kilometres

Trans Pennine Trail Central: 129.9 miles, 209 kilometres

Trans Pennine Trail East: 114.1 miles, 183.7 kilometres

Trans Pennine Trail from coast to coast (Southport to Hornsea): 212.1 miles, 341.3 kilometres

Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.

However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.

Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.

Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure that you follow the Towpath Code.


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