Ranger Ultras' Pennine Bridleway PB270km multi-day, trail running, adventure
In this installment of our tour of the PB270 course highlights we journey from Hayfield to Hebden Hey checkpoints.
This section starts with a tree lined avenue along the course of the old New Mills to Hayfield branch line, which was axed by the government in 1970. After a couple of kilometers, you turn off the Sett Valley Trail and begin your ascent to Lantern Pike. If you still have daylight at this point and the Spring weather is kind, the view across to Cracken Edge and Kinder Scout is likely to be beautifully lit by the late afternoon sun.
Soon after, more dramatic scenery is on show at Crown Edge Rocks. Here we use some of the designated walkers alternative Pennine Bridleway route (check the online course notes and for confirmed entries your GPX files). This route avoids walking along busy roads, or roads with not pavement, as much as possible. Also, we recommend the new Harvey map Pennine Bridleway XT40, which covers the whole of the Pennine Bridleway and the walkers alternatives (plus loops and extensions which are not part of our linear course).
You'll see signs for Melandra Fort around Glossop. The earthworks are evidence of Roman settlement in the area up to the mid 2nd Century. A perusal of wider coverage Peak District map will show several Roman roads still used as public rights of way. And of course, the nearby town of Buxton was famed for its health giving spa water and Roman baths as far back as AD80.
Lots more description, navigation tips and pictures of the walkers alternative section are covered in our recce blog report...
Further onward. The reservoirs, woodland and moorland around Stalybridge Country Park share elements of the Thameside Trail. The glinting light on the Longendale Valley reservoirs are a reminder of how water powered the many cotton mills down in the lower valleys during the industrial revolution.
Save your climbing legs for the long ascents and wild moorland trails as you close the distance to Hebden Bridge.
With the Stoodley Pike monument looming large, you'll join a section of the Mary Townley Loop, which is well signed. Just make sure you follow the MTL in an anti-clockwise direction, otherwise you'll be in for a whole day's extra distance...We might actually give you a call on your mobile before your tracker heads 'too-far' in the wrong direction!
Our race ethos is to allow participants to enjoy the 'full experience' of their trail adventure. If you do go off course, we'll not necessarily be immediately calling your mobile to correct errors. You'll have every opportunity to independently route-find and to own your race experience. Although, we will intervene with a friendly nudge, if you're significantly off-course, walking along roads not on the designated course, or heading towards other hazards.
That said, the Pennine Bridleway is especially well waymarked, with lots of recently renewed signage (our donations to the National Trails Authority, over the years, may well have funded a few of them).
So, if you're observant and checking your GPX or map, you shouldn't be desperately challenged by the route.
For participants familiar with the Pennine Way, this trail and the Pennine Bridleway converge and cross over on the approach to the second PB270 checkpoint at Hebden Hey. Here's another reminder to check your course notes / GPX file, as we use an approach to and exit from Hebden Hey which avoids walking along the Slack Road.
At Hebden Hey there are bunkbeds and showers for you to rest, refresh and reset. Also, a range of hot & cold drinks and snacks. Plus, we'll serve one of our 'trademark' hot home cooked meals, followed by dessert. After your rest, you can tuck into breakfast, at any time of day, before returning your drop bag to the checkpoint team for it to be transported up to the next checkpoint at Settle.
You're then ready to head out onto the trail for the next part of your adventure.
In the next installment of this series, we'll offer you the highlights and top tips for Hebden Hey to Settle which is the third section of the course for PB270 participants.
But also, it's the first section for Pennine Bridleway PB137 participants, who start at Hebden Hey.
PB137 - Race info & Entry...
PB270 - Race info & Entry
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.
Our PB races are accessible as excellent introductions to multi-day trail running. The route is a satisfying combination of well defined trails (allowing you to soak in the superb views) with occasional points which require a little thought and concentration.
The PB137 and PB270 are certainly not 'soft-soap' multi-day ultras.
These traverse big sky country, where your efforts are readily rewarded with runnable moorland trails which deliver bucket loads of wilderness and adventure.
Brought to you from an organisation which is focused on quality, value and aspirational trail experiences.
'This race is certainly going to be a classic, that’ll soon be on many racers year planner'. - Al Pepper (Ranger Ultras Safety Team)