The Pendle Witch Trial
Lumpy anticlockwise route from Lancaster with the return leg passing through Pendle Witch country.
Make sure you and your bicycle are adequately prepared for this innaugural event which offers a challenging but enjoyable route passing through several remote moorland areas. There are lots of climbs, cracking descents, lovely countryside and brilliant views (available on clear days!). South from Lancaster for a pull over Oakenclough to Longridge where there will be a free control including the option of a cafe stop if you wish. Skirting Preston as quickly as possible, the route is then pretty flat before it turns east at the second control of Anderton for an ascent of Winter Hill onto the West Pennine moor. From the third control at Holcombe Brook there is long easterly stretch punctuated with a climb to Sharneyford before arriving at Hebden Bridge. While not a control, this is more than halfway so perhaps a good place for cake sampling before the next ascent? North now and a long climb up Pecket Well to the last control at Haworth. If not done already, fill bottles and bellies here because it is a 73km rollercoaster to the end through rugged, remote but beautiful moorland. Heading northwest (perhaps into the setting Sun?) this return leg traverses Pendle Witch country. Wycoller valley, where some of the accused lived; Blacko, a possible site of the Malkin Tower meeting; a crossing of Pendle Hill; into the Forest of Bowland with a climb up the Trough are some of the highlights. If a daylight finish is on the cards, a distant view of Lancaster Castle and Assizes where the Witch trials took place is also on offer. The ride ends with a beer garden and buffet finish situated very close to the start control. Lancaster is easy to get to situated on the West Coast Mainline and adjacent to the M6 motorway. There are a number of budget hotels in the area. The start of the ride is just 2.5km south of the city centre.https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31872146
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