The program for this year's South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival is out now. Held between September 10 and 25, the festival features 130 guided walks, cycle tours, mountain bike rides and horse riding events.
The South Pennines on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border is an extensive area of upland gritstone and heather moor cut by tranquil wooded valleys, encompassing rural communities such as Marsden and Holmfirth, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, Ilkley and Haworth on the Yorkshire side; Burnley and Bacup, Whitworth and Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall and Haslingden in Lancashire. According to Pennines-based festival coordinator and outdoor writer John Manning the area 'offers some of the finest walking, cycling and riding opportunities in England.'
Guided walks will mark the launch of the festival in Marsden over the weekend of September 10-11. Hosted by Marsden Walkers Are Welcome, they will include a walk with Roman soldiers, a storytelling walk for all the family and a National Trust-led walk on Marsden Moor.
The annual festival is put together by Pennine Prospects, the area's rural redevelopment company. Its aims are boosting the local economy, promoting sustainable tourism and use of public transport, and encouraging people to take outdoor exercise.