Mountain Bike Routes Maps & Guides

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Home >West Yorkshire, South Lancs, South Pennines > South Pennines of West Yorkshire & Lancs

West Yorkshire Mountain Biking

South Pennine Trails

23 Routes between 10.5km and 32km in length. Suitable for all levels of mountain bikers.

The routes are split into four sections: Calderdale, Bradford, Kirklees and City of Leeds. Explore wild moorland, plunge into steep and deep wooded valleys, cruise through the heart of industrial Yorkshire and speed along some of the best singletrack in the country.

Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 mapping

Illustrated with stunning action photography.

Easy-to-follow directions

Details of distance, timings and difficulty gradings, and refreshment stops and local knowledge.

Researched, ridden and written by local expert and MTB journalist Benjamin Haworth

Happy riding!

See below for route details

Book Details:
ISBN 978-1906148157 . March 2012
152 pages. Written by Benjamin Haworth.
Vertebrate Publishing
Book Size is a compact 12cm x 17.5cm

Great Value


RRP £14.95

Fast Despatch

The Mountain Biking Routes

Map showing the approximate recommended starting points for each route as indicated in the book.
Click on a marker for route information.


In the guide each route includes a map with the route highlighted and clear text directions.

Summary of the routes:


Route 1. Whirlaw Common

Route Grade: moderate. Distance: 11km

MTB Photo1

Starting close to Todmorden this route is a tale of two halves. The first half is about going up. The second half is about going down! A veritable hard perennial that always delivers the goods.

Route 2. Callis Wood & Knott Wood

Route Grade: moderate / hard. Distance: 20.5km

Starting from Hebden Bridge a lot of this route is on wide farm tracks and minor singletrack roads but its far from dull or easy. Some of the climbs are incredibly steep and of a duration to test anyone's legs. The sections of singletrack and brief but brilliant.

Route 3. Todmorden & Walsden

Grade: moderate/hard Distance: 21km

A physically and technically demanding route. There are some massive ups - and they are all worth it for the downs.

Route 4. High Brown Knoll

Route Grade: moderate. Distance 27km.

Starting from Hebden Bridge this is a popular route but one best saved for the dry weather when it's a total ripper.

Route 5. Mytholmroyd

Route Grade: moderate/hard. Distance: 22.5km.

MTB Photo2

This route will not be to everyone's tastes as it's an unusual combination of super steep climbs, green lane cruising and a single bonkers fast n' loose descent to finish on.

Route 6. Ripponden

Route Grade: moderate. Distance:10.5km

A shortish route that is good for taking a beginner on, or an evening ride if you are experienced. Predominantly on rural double tracks and quiet roads it also has section of singletrack that are really really good stuff.

Route 7. Gorple Road

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 32km

Starting in Todmorden this is a Calderdale classic and a must-do route. There are some truly epic climbs to conquer but treat the rise like a marathon, not a sprint, and save your best efforts for the technical singletrack highlights as you'll require all your bike handling nouse to get the best out of them.

Route 8. Halifax

Route Grade: moderate/hard. Distance: 30km

Starting in Halifax this route is a brilliant example of scratching out some quality mountain biking where you'd least expect it. Cobbles, rubbly descents, quiet lanes, sunken tracks, technical singletrack.

Route 9. Rishworth

Route Grade: moderate. Distance: 12km

A shortish ride with exciting trails and steep climbs. The climbs are all about getting to the top in the quickest manner possible (usually road). The descents are all about speed, bike handling and adrenaline!

Route 10. Norland

Route Grade: moderate. Distance:17.5km

MTB Photo3

Starting in Sowerby Bridge the first half has uphills on insanely steep roads and downhills on entertaining speedy singletrack. The second half is not as extreme but with a climb that is rough enough and a tricksy singletrack that is a nice way to finish a rewarding route.


Route 11. Bingley & Harden Moor

Route Grade: moderate. Distance: 21.3km

The two main highlights are Harden Moor and Manywells. Harden Moor is a maze of highly entertaining singletrack. Manywells is a superb ribbon of fast dirt with a rock sting in its tail.

Route 12. Oxenholpe

Route Grade: moderate/hard. Distance: 26km

This classic route takes in a little of almost everything: stiff road climbs, moorland sheep tracks, ancient multi-choice byway singletrack, forgotten roads, cruising conduits, mucky fields, walled in singletrack and heathery play - and all amongst some of the grandest views in the whole of West Yorkshire.

Route 13. Shipley

Route Grade: moderate/hard. Distance: 30km

One of the longer routes in the book with great singletrack, fun play ares, scenic green lanes, tough climbs and exciting descents. Shipley Glen itself has enough of a maze of tracks to be worth messing about on all day on its own!

MTB Photo4Route 14. Newsholme Dean

Route Grade: moderate. Distance 11.5km

A short but intensely entertaining route on juicy trails in a hidden away micro valley.


Route 15. Mirfield & Dewsbury

Route Grade: moderate. Distance: 15km .

One of the author's favourite routes. Great riding with some of the county's best secret singletrack.

Route 16. Hollingworth Lake

Route Grade: moderate. Distance: 19km.

A South Pennines classic. Pennine bridleways, reservoirs, bleak moorland views, broken byways, bypassed hamlets, unexpected singletrack.

Route 17. Pennine Bridleway & the M62

Route Grade: moderate. Distance 17.5km.

Starting at Denshaw, north of Oldham, this is a route of two halves. The outward leg can be bleak and baffling. The return leg is weirdly excellent. Avoid in bad weather or when ground soggy. If you find a clear and firm running day you will not regret doing this unique and esoteric route.

Route 18. Marsden and Willykay Clough

Route Grade: moderate. Distance: 18km.

MTB Photo6

A challenging climb out of Marsden leads to a fast and loose descent in to Merry Dale. A cobbled climb will then challenge your legs before a road bash is a challenge of patience, but the fabulous mixed up singletrack of Willykay Clough is the pay-off.

Route 19. Meltham

Route Grade: easy/moderate. Distance: 25km.

A really pretty ride with plenty of 'Last of the Summer Wine; style scenery.


Route 20. Pudsey

Route Grade: easy/moderated . Distance: options of 11km.

This modest looking route is an absolute belter. Staring from the unlikely confines of Pudsey suburbia you are quickly hurtling off down some genuinely excellent off road riding amidst a pretty rural feeling landscape.

Route 21. Airdale

Route Grade: easy/moderate. Distance: 11km

Calverly Woods and Ravenscliffe Woods are criss-crossed with fun little micro trails.

Route 22. Elmet Cruising

Grade: easy. Distance: 18km

A gentle but very pleasant route that can act as a great introduction to mountain biking. Minimal climbing, mostly green lanes, but with skinny stuff to spice it up now and again.

Route 23. Bardsey

Route Grade: easy/moderate. Distance 24km

Just a little further north than the Elmet route no. 23, this does not have much more elevation but provides significantly more proper mountain biking. The singletrack is quite brief but it's of a high standard. There's sneaky spits and spats all over this entertaining route.

Also includes lists of top ten climbs and top ten descents.


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