Wednesday 26 January 2022

#061 Glossop Recce - Ranger Ultras - Pennine Bridleway 270km Trail Challenge


PB270 Trail Recces
This week, Peter, Rob and I headed out to make some detailed course notes for the Ranger Ultras' Pennine Bridleway 270km Trail Challenge. Our Ranger Ultras' trail races have already covered long sections of the Pennine Bridleway, so in this blog and subsequent reports we'll focus on other areas of the course.

Our notes will focus on aspects of the route which have made an impression upon us as well as tips which participants which may find useful.

  • Navigational notes and identifying red herrings
  • Trail conditions
  • On route facilities such as cafes, shops, food take away and public toilets

Pennine Bridleway XT40 Map
The Harvey's 1:40,000 scale XT40 map is the most cost effective and portable mapping option available (all PB270 participants must carry a hard copy map, irrespective of whether their primary navigation tool is GPS). It is also waterproof and will hold up to a few day's trail running abuse, although it's not indestructible!

The screen shots below are from my Ordnance Survey subscription, which at 1:25,000 scale give better definition. 

However, AtoZ Adventure Series also have their own Pennine Bridleway 'strip map' format planned for publication. The 1:25k scale is easier to discern detail for folks who's eyesight isn't the best.

Trail Conduct:
Whether on a recce or during the race itself, please remember that you're representing the trail running community as a whole as well as a Ranger Ultras' participant. Please don't let being in the 'trail bubble' make you forget the following considerations:
  • Follow the Countryside Code
  • Be courteous to other trail & footpath users
  • Shut gates after you unless they're tied open
  • Please treat cafes, other establishments and their customers with respect
  • If you're a bit disheveled or muddy, ask permission to enter / sit down
  • Don't litter
  • If you need the toilet, use public conveniences where at all possible
  • Don't pee or poop in residential areas, beside properties or farm building.
  • Go well away from buildings and water courses, bury it or carry it out in a bag
  • Move swiftly through and past private residential areas 
  • Don't shine headtorches into residences or farm building
  • Farm buildings are private and should be treated as out of bounds
  • Farm building and public toilets are not appropriate bivvy locations
The Recce Around Glossop
Out of all the 270km, the routing around Glossop is the most complex. But, it is far from difficult if a 'heads up' navigation style is adopted to spot the way ahead. The sections we focus upon here are mostly the Pennine Bridleway Alternative Walkers Route. 

Keep an eye out for the white discs with black text & symbols on styles and finger posts. Through this particular area we've chosen to use this route, rather than the main Pennine Bridleway, to as much as possible avoid participants walking along narrow country lanes with no pavement. 

Rest assured there's plenty of countryside to enjoy as well as some impressive bridges and historic buildings dating from the industrial revolution. Further north, the route travels through the dark peat moors along drovers trails, past grand reservoirs and into the Yorkshire Dales. Combined with the white Peak District (from the start to Checkpoint 1), the icons of the Pennine Bridleway are a feast for the senses.

1) Leave Pennine Bridleway and join Cown Edge Way
(PB alt. walkers route)
Tarmac. Consolidated stone trail. Sunken trail. Grassy moorland, good trail, not boggy

Unfortunately the day was claggy, but it's January so we took what the weather gave us. 
Which did flatten the colours and depth in the pictures, but took away none of the atmosphere and pleasure of being on the trail.

2) Coombes Edge to Charlesworth
Following Cown Edge Way (PB alt. walkers route) - tip: use fences and boundary walls to avoid drifting off route

Then leave PB alt. walkers route and continue on sunken bridleway track to Charlesworth
Cross A626 at Charlesworth (Care!)
Rejoining PB alt. walkers route, continue down Long Lane (use pavement)

3) Bankwood Gate, 
Following Trans Pennine Trail (PB alt. walkers route)
Cross river over footbridge beside road
Uphill on pavement 
Lymefield Garden Centre Tea Room (outside seating) open Mon-Sat 09:30 to 17:00
China Town Chinese Take Away open Wed & Thurs 16:30 to 22:30
Under railway bridge
Turn right onto Hague Road track.

4) Route past through farms at The Hague
Following Thameside Trail (PB alt. walkers route) 

Through the intial area of farmhouses, up to gate with CCTV sign on.
There is a narrow 'kissing gate' on the left side.

Keep looking for the black and white PB alt. walkers route disks.

Red herring - our route is not over the style.
Pass through the narrow stone pillars on the left side of the iron gate.
This is a public right of way.
Past riding menage and emerging into fields.

5) Padlocked gate preventing access through Tara Brook Farm stableyard
Route around - At padlocked gate, turn right follow hedge to track (shown as black parallel lines on map). Use metal farm gate, there's a unusual sliding metal latch. Please close gate. Turn left on a short section of track to rejoin Thameside Trail on far side of the stableyard and use the driveway (public right of way) to main road. 
Cross A57 (care!) 
Directly opposite, following Thameside Trail (PB alt. walkers route)

6) At Hollingworth, cross A628 (Care! Use Pedestrian Crossing)
Cosy Cafe open Wed & Thurs 09:00 to 15:00,
One Stop & Brightmores food stores within 100m of the crossing
Green Lane
Public Footpath finger post and PB alt. walkers route disk
Around Meadowbank Farm and continue north
Following Thameside Trail (PB alt. walkers route)