Welcome to the Trans Pennine Trail
A national coast to coast route for recreation and transport – for walkers, cyclists and (in parts) horse riders
Memoirs of two amateurs – Steve Perry & Verity Platek – 2013
Liverpool to Hull, via York (245 miles)
As the threat of the Ride London 100 cycle event grew nearer and nearer, Verity and myself joined our heads together to plan our training regime. The popularity of the sport has been tremendous since the success of the London 2012 Olympics and with Sir Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Tour De France winner. The difficulty, however, is finding the time to ride and sourcing a safe route free of huge lorries and speeding traffic.
After some general chit chat in the office, Verity became aware of something called the Trans Pennine Trial (TPT), as one of her colleagues had used it before. After some of our own research, we took the plunge to take tackle it. Both of us being very sporty and highly competitive, we chose to do the whole thing in the least time possible and thought it would be ideal as our final training before the 100 miler on 4 August.
One evening, Steve logged onto the internet, plotted some equally spaced out towns and decided upon the route. Day 1 (Liverpool to Glossop), Day 2 (Glossop to Wortley), Day 3 (Wortley to York) and finally Day 4 (York to Hull). We knew this would be challenging, so we treated ourselves to some luxury accommodation to rest our weary bodies!
The 4 days ended up being some of the most breathtaking, tiring, interesting and challenging times. A real mixture of scenery as we headed East. Day 1 was intriguing as we filtered our way out of Liverpool, through the estuary and into the Manchester suburbs. Armed with no official maps but Google maps on our phones, we made pretty slow progress! After a long day in the saddle we were glad to rest in Glossop.
Day 2 was by far the most prettiest. The trail heads over the Peak District with stunning backdrops either side and the odd animal to steer past. A slight detour and error in judgement made the route harder than it should have been so Wortley Manor (a stately home) was a welcome sight after a hilly finish.
The 3rd day was our longest, at 76 miles. It followed the canal for a lot of the route as we ploughed on to Selby. Power station after power station made the route a little less attractive, as did a tyre puncture! Once clear of Selby, we enjoyed the disused railway track to York. It really is a smashing place York and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.
The final day saw our battered bodies head South to Hull for the final leg. We’d luckily/unluckily picked the hottest weekend of the year, so our tans were ever improving. Our thirst was also a constant worry as we carried just the 4 water bottles between us. Mind games were certainly playing tricks on us as we ticked off each mile. We even had to travel on melting tarmac just outside Hull!
We eventually reached Hull train station with only 30mins to spare before we caught our train home. The local chip shop provided a welcome treat as we rested up.
In summary, the TPT is superb. Where else can you find such a cycle friendly route laid out for you?? The sign posts in general are well labelled (apart from the few that have been moved by the local youths!). You can make it as hard or as easy as you wish and for as long or short as possible. Each element of the TPT is varied and keeps you interested throughout.
Thank you TPT
Steve Perry and Verity Platek