Introduction

After many years of considering riding the Pennine Cycleway, I decided that 2019 was the year that it was going to happen. I’d bought the Sustrans maps about 10 years earlier and had never actually allocated time to plan and do the ride but I’m not getting any younger so grasped the nettle and booked a train ticket.

Previous experience of long rides was minimal. I’m a regular rider with the local Cycling UK group, with friends, and on my own but a typical ride is about 30-50 miles. I’d previously (a few years ago) ridden from Derby to Oxford on Sustrans routes (2 days at about 80 miles per day) and had a holiday in Isle of Man in 2018 where I rode 40-50 miles per day for 5 days. Thus, the Pennine Cycleway was a challenge but one that I felt was within my capabilities.

(my legs are not actually as small as the picture seems to indicate!)

My approach to camping is that it is only acceptable when I can take all my possessions (quilt, air bed, etc) with me in a car. Therefore camping on a cycling trip was not something I welcomed so I planned to stay in B&Bs or similar each night (credit card touring). I’m also too old for dormitories so pre booked places to stay that were reasonably comfortable with a budget of about £35 per night.

The approach taken was to follow the National Cycle Network Route 68 (the Pennine Cycleway) as closely as possible but with occasional diversions to see points of interest (spell checker corrected that to “pints of interest” which was also a reason for diversions!) and to actually reach the accommodation booked.

The map shows the actual route cycled overlaid on the National Cycle Network – click on the map and then zoom in to see the detail of where there were variances.

Some parts of the route offered alternative routes (both of which were marked as NCN68) so there was some option selection needed. Note that the map shows where I actually travelled – you may want to shorten the route or correct my mistakes.