Covering 215 miles, linking the North and Irish seas, the Trans Pennine Trail crosses Northern England from Southport in the west to Hornsea in the east running through the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull. There is also a 15 mile spur between Selby and York along this line.
A 70 mile north to south trail runs from Leeds through Wakefield, Barnsley, Sheffield and the Rother Valley Country Park before terminating in Chesterfield. The route also has several deviations and loops south of the west/east trail, including one to Rotherham. This means in total there is 350 miles of Trans Pennine Trail to discover. So whether you're after a stroll or a journey across northern England the trail is sure to delight.
See the map below for a more detailed view of the Trail:
The trail is rich in the abundance of wild flowers such as ox-eye daisies, tree mallow, foxgloves and teasel, offers a wide variety of landscape from deep rural areas to river estuaries, towns and cities where former industrial sites have become woodlands and nature reserves. The trail passes through some of the most historic towns in the North of England.
The trail which is traffic free, signed all the way, is surprisingly level with generally gentle gradients and surfaced paths meaning that it is suitable for families of all ages, gentle exercise, cyclists, pushchairs and wheelchair users. Some parts are also open to horse riding. So whether on foot, cycle or horse the trail is sure to offer a scenic and joyous day out for all.
The Trans Pennine Trail is a key part of the National Cycle Network in the north of England - this is a network of 10,000 miles of walking and cycle routes across the country.
The cross-continent European walking route E8 uses a stretch of the trail from near the Welsh border to Hull to cross England. From the eastern edge of the Trail in Hull, trail users can take a ferry to Zeebrugge or Rotterdam. From these North Sea ports it is possible to connect with Euro routes which pass across the continent to places as far afield as Latvia, Southern Russia, Turkey and Switzerland.
Below is a handful of attractions along route that you may be interested in visiting:
New Pleasureland, is an amusement park located in Southport. It is home to major European rides such as the storm looping coaster, mad house spinning coaster, and wacky worm junior coaster. Free to enter, fantastic atmosphere, making a great day out for the whole family.
Ainsdale-on-Sea is a village in Sefton. The peaceful nature reserve is home to some of the best sand dune wildlife in Britain. The beach at Ainsdale has been listed as one of the top ten beaches in the UK. The new Discovery Centre is close by and is ideal for youngsters to find out more about the local coastal flora and fauna.
Liverpool City has many great museums, such as the Beatles Story, galleries such as the Walker Art Gallery, China Town, Pier Head, Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals. Other attractions include Sefton Park and glass pavilion, Otterspool promenade and Mersey waterfront, Albert Dock and Tate Gallery.
Knowsley - National Wildflower Centre set in a tranquil Victorian park offers a full range of educational and creative workshops. The centre has seasonal wildflower demonstration areas, a working garden nursery, children's' play area, exhibitions and interactive information about wildflowers.
Dunham Massey Hall – An 18th century mansion with important collections, located in a 250 acre deer park, with a rich and varied garden. Formerly the home of last Earl of Stamford, and since 1976 it has been a National Trust Property.
Sale Water Park - a 152-acre area of countryside and parkland including a 52-acre artificial lake in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester.
Chorlton Water Park - a local nature reserve, a haven for wildlife and holder of the Green Flag Award, located on the north side of the Mersey.
Peak District National Park - Britain's first national park (1951) stretches from the dramatic moorland to the ancient oaks of the National Forest in the south of the county. It represents peace, tranquillity and adventure, and is home to some of England's finest climbing, caving, walking and cycling.
In 1987 a study proposed a long distance route using old railway lines and so the concept of the Trans Pennine Trail was born. In 1988, after a meeting of interested parties which was called by Barnsley MBC, where the idea originated a unique partnership of Local Authorities were formed agreeing to work together to develop the route. The Trans Pennine Trail was formally launched with an inaugural walk and cycle ride in May 1989 between Southport and York.
Work on the Trail started in 1999. Early development was boosted by a £5-million-pound investment by the Millennium Commission. The trail was officially opened in September 2001. However, the route which cost £60 million pounds to construct was not fully completed until late 2004.
View details on Lymm Railway.
Twenty two local authorities and the Countryside Agency are partners in the project and each authority is responsible for management of the Trail in its own area. The TPT is co-ordinated by a project officer based in Barnsley.
Disabled parking facilities are provided at the car park by the ranger centre on Statham Avenue in Lymm. Access to the trail varies from section to section.