My final days on the Pennine Bridleway. The walking steadily improved but the rain continued to laugh at the concept of summer. However, I had Kirkby Stephen in my sights, and nothing was going to stop me
The 205 mile long Pennine Bridleway has two included loops. The first is the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop that I completed on my way up from Middleton Top. The second is the ten mile Settle Loop. My plan was to traipse round it in a few hours and call the remainder a day off in Settle. But first I had the aftermath of a night of torrential rain to contend with.
My Pennine Bridleway continued. I had walked the 72 miles from Middleton Top in Derbyshire to the Mary Towneley Loop. Having walked all of that 47 mile loop, I was now continuing to trail's end in Cumbria. But before then, I had to get to Settle for yet another optional loop.
Three Points of the Compass walked the 205 mile Pennine Bridleway during the summer of 2022. Hot weather had given way to frequent days of rain. I had already walked some seventy miles from the start of the trail at Middleton Top. I now had the forty-seven mile Mary Towneley Loop to complete before I could continue my trail northward.
The Pennine Bridleway doesn't get a lot of attention from backpackers. Cyclists will tackle much of it over a couple of days, horse-riders will go out for a day's hack along parts of it, however few people walk the complete path. Three Points of the Compass ventured out in the summer of 2022 to walk the 205 mile National Trail from south to north.
The Pennine Bridleway is a peculiar trail. Not only is it multi-user, it has a couple of add-on loops and link routes, and... years after it opened, it still isn't complete! Finding maps and guidebooks for both planning and use on trail can be a challenge in itself. I know, as I searched them down in advance of my own hike in summer 2022