Pennine Bridleway Route Guide by Hannah Collingridge
Hannah Collingridge has been riding bikes for over forty years and has a background in history, archaeology, landscape studies and language. Hannah wrote the Pennine Bridleway Route Guide freelance for Vertebrate Publishing, drawing on all that experience, which gives this guide a unique perspective.
I’ve been aware of Vertebrate’s guidebooks for a long time. I find guidebooks great for inspiration and a better idea of whether a route on a map is actually worth riding. A lot of books used to make do with hand sketched maps and few photos. Vertebrate seemed to break that mould to give a feel for the routes rather than simply directions. Other mountain bike guidebooks by Vertebrate can be found here.
“It’s our rule that the only books we publish are those we’d want to read ourselves…” is tucked away in the back of the book. I think this comes through, as you’ll gather from the review.
Yep – I like books. I prefer a book to an online guide because I can focus on one thing rather than going online and getting distracted! I also pre-date the internet (imagine that) so that could be a factor..! Lots of people must agree as there are at least 2 quality MTB magazines that are as popular as ever.
Why not wing it?
Locations closer to home can be great to just ‘explore’. If I’m travelling to a new place though, background info is really useful to make the most of the time.
The Pennine Bridleway runs more or less north-south. The guide book starts at the southern end in Derbyshire and has 4 long-ish stages through the Yorkshire Dales to Cumbria. You can choose to split or combine sections to suit your fitness and Hannah also describes 3 additional loops which depart from the main route. You may well have heard of one, the Mary Towneley Loop. Another, Charlie’s Loop is linked to the charity Ride for Charlie. I’d encourage you to take a look at what they do and support them if it strikes a chord.
Photography & Mapping
The terrain varies over such a distance, as you’d suspect. The photos and descriptions of the landscape inspire and give a sense of what to expect.
The guide uses OS maps which some publishers avoid for cost saving. It also includes a QR code linked to a GPS file.
In no particular order:
- if you own a few guides by Vertebrate most have a similar layout, so you’ll find the info you need easily
- the photography and text are top notch making it easy to get a feel for what to expect
- the authors always seem to have plenty of knowledge and experience
- good value for what’s packed in
- nice size to carry with you