Where to Ride: Lancashire
Ride ideas in the Red Rose county
From flat, sweeping plains of the Fylde coast to the ruggedness of the Bowland Fells, Lancashire has a huge range of cycling options for road, off road and leisure riders. As well as the county's varied topography, its industrial heritage has left a legacy of superb former railway and canal routes, together with bridleway network which would satisfy the most ardent OS map wielding mountain biker.
In the west of the county, the flat plains stretching west from the M6 to the coast offer fine road riding with a Low Countries feel. Lancaster and its environs is blessed with a superb network of coastal, canal and riverside paths that are perfect for traffic free leisurely riding. Further east, across the M6, the mighty Bowland fells are a real draw for roadies seeking big hills or mountain bikers seeking tough, high-level off-road routes. The area is also blessed with the up and coming trail centre venue of Gisburn Forest, on the border with North Yorkshire, which offers way-marked routes for a wide range of abilities.
Toward the northern edge of the sprawling Greater Manchester conurbation, there's some great road and off road riding to be had. The borough of Pendle and the area around Colne and Nelson has some great roads, while the Accrington area is blessed with the superb Hyndburn Greenway, linking it and its satellite towns and villages with Blackburn.
The east Lancashire area is also home to the extreme MTB centre at Lee Quarry, which is set amid a bridleway network that includes the Mary Townley Loop, part of the epic Pennine Bridleway. Whatever kind of riding you do, Lancashire has got it all. And to get you started, here are three ready made ride ideas, to suit road, off-road or leisure riders. Enjoy.
Hyndburn Greenway - a wonderful, varied and largely traffic free urban escape linking Great Harwood, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, Baxenden and Blackburn. A 13 mile round trip on converted railway, towpaths, greenways and quiet roads. Read More...
Scorton Loop - a short but challenging road ride starting and finishing in the cyclist-friendly village of Scorton, taking in Oakenclough Fell, Chipping's superb cyclists' cafe and Beacon Fell. Read More...
Lee Quarry - The vast, disused quarry just south of Bacup has been turned into a rocky and challenging trail centre-cum-MTB playpark, by Welsh trail maestro Dafydd Davis MBE. Only the skilled and the brave need apply! Read More...