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Lancashire Cycleway

The Lancashire Cycleway comprises two circular routes which meet in the village of Whalley in the Ribble Valley. The Lancashire Cycleway mainly follows minor roads and takes you through a host of different landscapes from the rugged Bowland Hills and West Pennine Moors to the rich pastures of the Fylde Plain and the outstanding coastal scenery at Silverdale. Part of the Cycleway at Rivington was used in the 2001 Commonwealth Games.

The Lancashire Cycleway is around 260 miles long and you can either do it as one long tour or in two halves. You can also base short rides on the Lancashire Cycleway. Don’t worry about traffic – on some roads you will see more sheep than anything else as parts of the Cycleway are fairly remote.

Members of the Cyclists’ Touring Club and Friends of the Earth set up the Cycleway to provide a scenic tour of the county. There are links with the Cumbria Cycleway.

With attractive scenery, the Lancashire Cycleway is a challenging and rewarding route to complete.

Northern Loop

(Regional Route 90)

The northern loop explores the remote Bowland Fells, the rich Fylde Plain and the lush valleys of the Lune and Ribble. Highlights include the Cross o’ Greet pass, at 1400 feet it’s the highest point on the Lancashire Cycleway. On the road up to the pass there are stunning views of the Pennine Hills, and to the south a wonderful run through the beautiful Hodder Valley. The Lune Valley is one of the country’s most beautiful river valleys, with outstanding views to the surrounding hills. Away from the hills, the quiet country lanes of the Fylde Peninsula offer you a respite from steep gradients of the Forest of Bowland. From the Lancashire Cycleway, there are outstanding views across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District Hills.

There are many attractive places on the route in which to stop, including the peaceful Dales village of Hurst Green; Silverdale, with its outstanding coastal scenery, and Arkholme, with its quiet street leading down to the river.

Southern Loop

(Regional Route 91)

The southern loop takes you past the mighty Pendle Hill, with its associations of witchcraft, and across the brooding West and South Pennine Moors. In between the moors there are attractive valleys with ancient weavers’ villages in which to rest. Away from the hills, the Lanashire Cycleway crosses the rich West Lancashire plain with its market gardens before returning to the Ribble Valley.

Highlights include the spectacular and little used road in the shadow of Pendle Hill between Downham and Barnoldswick, the roller-coaster route on the edge of the South Pennines south of Trawden, and the descent into Rivington used in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

On the route there are pretty places to stop such as the weavers’ villages of Edgworth and Chapeltown, surrounded by a tapestry of reservoirs; Wortshorne, above Burnley; and unspoilt Downham in the Ribble Valley.

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