Pennine Cycleway (South Pennines)

Route Details

  • Route: Holmfirth to Appleby
  • Distance: 124 miles, of which 18 are traffic-free
  • Type: Challenge, some steep sections
  • National Cycle Network: Route 68

Route Description

A wide variety of landscapes, including a huge canal embankment, splendid examples of textile mills, delightful market towns, pastoral farmland and high open moorland. Traffic free sections include the green corridor of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath, and bridle tracks near Clapham.

1. Holmfirth to Hebden Bridge (22 miles)

The route begins in beautiful Holmfirth, made famous for many of the scenes in the classic BBC comedy Last of the Summer Wine being filmed here.  At Upperthong Lane a serious climb begins that takes you out onto the moors and provides you with amazing views.  There is a long descent into Sowerby Bridge and then quiet roads take you into Hebden bridge.

2. Hebden Bridge to Settle (46 miles)

Just after  Hebden Bridge the Pennine Cycleway splits into two.  One route travels past Burnley, the other direct to Colne.  The ride to Colne is felt to be more picturesque as you wend your way towards Widdop Reservoir and out over Widdop Moor. The route joins together in Colne at a canal towpath through the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. Quiet roads take you past Airton and then there is a relatively steep climb onto the moors above Settle. 

3. Settle to Appleby (56 miles)

Setting off from Settle, the route takes you through quiet roads and traffic free sections as you travel through Clapham and onto Ingleton.  There are lovely views of Ingleborough Peak (2372 feet).  There is a short climb before Kingsdale where you then head onto the picturesque village of Dent.  After leaving Dent the route is undulating before taking you into Sedburgh on quiet roads. The scenery around Sedburgh is fantastic and the open moorland is lovely.  You can admire Howgill Fells, with Bram Rigg Top it's highest point at 2204 feet.  Travelling through the village of Orton there is one final, but gentle climb before you arrive in Appleby-in-Westmorland.

Things to see and do

  • Blackmoorfoot Reservior, nr Meltham
  • Widdop Reservoir


Pennine Cycleway North

Pennine Cycleway South

Related Routes

The Trans Pennine Trail (Central) and Trans Pennine Trail (West) also link to this great route

Zoom level: 
Buy the map

The official route map for the 136-mile (219km) southern part of the Pennine Cycleway on National Cycle Network Route 68 from Derby to Settle.

A beautiful, yet challenging ride, that takes you through the dramatic scenery of the Pennines.