YMCA Pennine Bridleway MTB Challenge
Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 August 2021 (dates tbc)

This event has been postponed from August 2020 due to the Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic

Any existing bookings will be automatically transferred to the new date. New bookings will be available shortly.


The YMCA Pennine Bridleway Challenge is a 175-mile route which runs through the Pennine hills from Derbyshire to Cumbria and Kirkby Stephen.

If you are an off-road champion, then you know how good this will be and won’t want to miss out on this experience.

However, if you are less experienced or new to the delight of off-road cycling, read below to whet your appetite. Please note this will be a challenging event and therefore, we strongly urge you to take advantage of our FREE off-road training which will takes place every Tuesday night from January 2021. Details will be sent regularly when you have signed up.


Starting from Middleton Top near Wirksworth, highlights of the Trail include:

  • Flora and fauna in the vibrant, clean and green Chee Dale Nature Reserve
  • Stunning views over the Kinder plateau either side of the exhilarating yet peaceful Roych Clough (one of Britain’s classic mountain bike rides)
  • Panoramic views of the Pennines and valleys in Calderdale, Rochdale and Lancashire
  • The 6 compartmented water trough at Mankinholes where packhorse ponies stopped for refreshment
  • The Rochdale Canal

New trails link with old to zig zag up, down and across the Lancashire moors on route to the village of Wycoller with its ancient packhorse bridge. The north Lancashire stretch offers a more pastoral scene and a bit of a breather before reaching the Dales.

The Yorkshire Dales section features classic limestone landscapes, including great views of the nationally important Malham Tarn and the peaks of Ingleborough and Whernside; from Dales villages to remote open uplands via enclosed grassy tracks and wide drove roads with glimpses of limestone pavements, impressive viaducts on the Settle to Carlisle railway, and a prizewinning new bridge. The views just keep coming once up on Lady Anne’s Highway with views along the Mallerstang valley and a final push from the High Dolphinsty to the Cumbrian village of Ravenstonedale – The Street.

Day 1
Outward from Redhill and Wirksworth to Chapel-en-le-Frith – 50 km/31.5 miles leaving Redhill at 07:00 and arriving at Wirksworth at around 11:00

Riding off at Middleton Top along an easy-going disused railway, the trail immediately provides stunning views over the lovely Peak District countryside. The going soon becomes steeper and rockier as the route snakes its way through the Peak District National Park. The High Peak District lives up to its name and the trails reach a height of 450 metres above sea level before dropping down into Chapel-en-le-Frith and on to Buxton.

Day 2
Chapel-en-le-Frith to Hebden Bridge – 80 km/50 miles

A tough day of biking following the undulating terrain of the Northern Peaks. Technical off-road trails lead through the satellite villages of Manchester. There’s little in the way of relief from the relentlessly steep climbs and descents with a blistering descent to Hebden Bridge. Here we will be staying at the quirky Hebden Bridge Independent Eco-Hostel which is vegetarian (the hostel kindly asks that no meat or fish are brought onto the premises).

Day 3
Hebden Bridge to Settle – 76 km/47 miles – 1,695 metres of ascent

The biggest challenge of the day is early on with a gruelling climb out of the Calder Valley. Again, the terrain continually undulates skirting around the reservoirs that supply water to the Greater Manchester area and the views from the moors are stunning. Leaving the Lancashire moors the trail heads north into the Yorkshire Dales. Farmland tracks and trails will take us to the market town of Settle.

Day 4
Settle to The Street, Ravonstonedale – 70 km/43.5 miles – 1,800 metres of ascent

The scenery is top-notch and the biking is sublime. Views of Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent give way to weird and wonderful limestone landscapes as the bridleway snakes through the Dales National Park. The trails are remote until the final push to the end of the Bridleway at The Street, Ravonstonedale. It is a further 5.5 miles along the A683 and A685 to our final stop at Kirkby Stephen.

Day 5
Return to Redhill by minibus


Pledge to raise £250-£500 to help us buy an inclusive wheelchair adapted mini bus to support our community projects for those in need.

What's all the fuss about a bus?

You might be thinking ‘why is it so important to have a minibus?’, but this is vital to ensure we can reach the most vulnerable people in our community. Children and young people with disabilities often can only access our services and trips out using fully adapted transport. Elderly people living in isolated places can benefit from our Travel Fit service which provides a collection and drop off service so they can enjoy activities whilst socialising with others. Vulnerable young residents at Hillbrook House are transported by mini buses to life skills courses and personal development activities. Our Friday Night Project for young people with learning difficulties and Lifeworks Project use minibuses regularly to engage in social activities like bowling, going to the cinema or attending disability sports events.

A new YMCA Minibus purchased by sponsorship from our events will ensure that none of these groups miss out on activities and trips so please pledge your support. And don’t forget, you may have already been in one as our minibuses also take our challenge participants across the country on fundraising events!

The best way to fundraise is to set up your unique JustGiving fundraising page. If you prefer the more traditional method of fundraising, please download an official sponsorship form. Alternatively, you can make a donation to YMCA East Surrey to help fund this important community facility.

Read more about our tips on fundraising or speak to a member of our team who will be more than happy to help you as you raise money to raise hope and opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged adults, children and young people across East Surrey.

Find out more

Please contact the Challenge Events team to find out more about this event.

T 01737 779979
E challenge@ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk