Wednesday 11 January 2023

#076 Your trail to the PB270 - Part 2

In the first part of Your trail to the PB270 we reported on the inaugural Ranger Ultras Pennine Bridleway 270km in 100hours trail running challenge. We also shared our ongoing vision for our Pennine Bridleway trail running series: low-key, big-enjoyment, great-value, adventure

In this second part we'll chat more about this premiere National Trail which is steeped in history and delivers a wonderful palette of big county terrain. We'll also describe our checkpoint and race facilities which help make your race a super multi-day trail running, expedition style, adventure. Along with the camaraderie of fellow trail runners and a friendly, experienced event safety team. Who are eager to celebrate your success.

From our prior local experience, we knew the Pennine Bridleway offered some great trail running. On race panning recces, our high expectations of the trail were exceeded, such that we frequently stopped to enjoy the views with beaming smiles. 

"The Pennine Bridleway is a tremendously satisfying route. Not only does it traverse a great variety of landscapes, it also explores some pretty remote areas of the country. But is well signposted and much is easily followed."  - Sue Vickers, Pennine Bridleway, Pub. National Trails

Middleton Top to Hayfield

The Pennine Bridleway starts at Middleton Top on the High Peak Trail, on the course of the old Cromford & High Peak railway, which was dismantled in 1967.

Middleton Top is also the race turn for our Ranger Ultras High Peak Ultra100km, one of our Pennine Bridleway trail running series. Further up the trail, at Friden, is the race turn for the 70km High Peak Ultra.

High Peak 70/100km Ultra - Race info & Entry

The start of the PB270 is a gentle introduction, broad and mostly level, albeit with steady 'railway' inclines. There are many scenic highlights. Sense the nostalgia of times gone by as you pass through cuttings, hewn by the picks of navvies and a few sticks of dynamite.

Or, even more ancient, the Minninglow Neolithic chambered tomb, sited on a small tree topped hill, close to the trail. Going much further back in time, the White Peak limestone was laid down 300 million year ago when the Peak District was a shallow tropical sea and the earth's landmasses were clustered together in the Pangea supercontinent.

At Parsley Hay is a popular takeaway refreshments kiosk, selling sweet and savoury snacks, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks. There are public toilets on site too. At the trailside is a corbelled roof stone shelter which provides a nice refuge in which to eat lunch.

After the rolling landscape, the spectacular Chee Dale gorge gives your legs and lungs a first real test. As you catch a few breaths, take a moment to enjoy the light glinting off the River Wye as it flows below magnificent limestone buttresses. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a dipper, or even a kingfisher.

The turning point for our Ranger Ultras PB55 trail race is near to the A6 and so includes Chee Dale. From here to Hayfield covers the entire PB55 course.

Cross the minor road at Wormhill, a settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book. There's limestone grassland and the last of the Derbyshire Dales to enjoy. The quiet old road between Peak Forest and Perryfoot feels like it has stood still in time for many years.

The Dark Peak beckons.

At Rushup Edge you'll pass the race turn for our Ranger Ultras PB18 trail race. From here to Hayfield covers the entire PB18 course.

"Although it is only 9km to Hayfield the route is spectacular" - Sue Vickers, Pennine Bridleway, Pub. National Trails

Gritstone is now underfoot, which rises to the conical mound of South Head. If you're out reccying the course and have the time and motivation, I highly recommend making the steep 50 metre ascent to enjoy big-sky views across the to the Kinder plateau and around in all directions. On race day, stay on the main trail to thread the saddle between South Head and Mount Famine.

Onwards, all the hard hill work is done for this section of the course. Descend, with care, down to and around the fringe of Elle Bank woods. In the valley bottom you meet the River Sett, fed by the River Kinder. Handrail the river downstream into the historic village of Hayfield.

Check your course notes & GPX to find your way to Checkpoint 1. Our Ranger Ultras Safety Team (RUSTies) will be ready to serve hot, home cooked dinner, drinks, snacks and dessert. You'll also have access to your drop bag and showers. If you wish, you can roll out your sleeping mat for a power nap. Then, refreshed and refueled, head onwards.

Before leaving Hayfield, there are a couple of village stores for a snacks resupply.

In the next installment of this series, we'll offer you the highlights and top tips for Hayfield to the next checkpoint at Hebden Hey. And then after this, we'll also include the same info share for Pennine Bridleway PB137 participants.

For both the PB137 and PB270, we've strived to combine great-value, facilities, service and low impact sustainability. Culminating in iconic, supported multi-day trail running, expedition style, adventures, that are as independent as you want them to be. We've capped participant numbers so that trail is never overloaded and local communities aren't inundated with participants. We're not saying you couldn't do it cheaper on your own, but with all the above, there's a lot of great value to enjoy here.

PB270 - Race info & Entry

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