Comprising two distinct loops that intersect at Whalley in the Ribble Valley, the 425km (265 mile) Lancashire Cycleway showcases the idyllic scenery of England's historic Red Rose County. The Northern Loop contrasts the quiet lanes and peaceful countryside of northwestern Lancashire with the thrill of the open moors of the Forest of Bowland AONB; the Southern loop weaves its way between the villages and towns in the south of the county, an area rich in social history. Easily accessible from the region's rail network, the route - which is all on-road - can be cycled either as a tour or a series of day rides.
This guidebook presents the Lancashire Cycleway in 11 stages of 26.6-49.7km (16.5-30.9 miles), plus two short connections to link the loops to the major regional stations at Lancaster and Wigan, as well as 17 varied day rides for those wishing to explore the county further. Detailed route description and 1:100,000 mapping is presented alongside a wealth of information on local points of interest and facilities, and the magnificent colour photography offers a small taste of what the routes have to offer. The guide also includes useful advice for those new to cycling or cycle touring.
Lancashire is a great place to cycle, and cycling is a great way to see Lancashire. One of its delights is its sheer variety. There's easy riding on the flat expanses of the west of the county and the gentle undulations of Arnside and Silverdale or the Ribble Valley. More stirring challenges are found in West Pennine Moors and the epic crossing of the Bowland Fells. But even on the wildest stretches, you're never too far from a welcoming pub and somewhere to sleep.
Jon Sparks is a photographer and writer based in Garstang. He has been a lover of cycling, especially cycling in Lancashire, for many years. His background includes riding road races and hill climbs very badly, and time trials not quite so badly. More recently he's become a dedicated mountain biker and has also ridden a number of road sportives. Jon is also a walker and (now very occasional) rock climber and mountaineer. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.
Map key Overview map Route summary tables Introduction The Lancashire Cycleway Preparation Bike choice and setup Clothing Carrying gear Potholes and pitfalls Deviations from the route Signage Maps, apps and timings Using this guide The Northern Loop Stage 1a The Lancaster Link Stage 1 Halton to Hornby Stage 2 Hornby to Slaidburn Stage 3 Slaidburn to Whalley Stage 4 Whalley to Bilsborrow Stage 5 Bilsborrow to Great Eccleston Stage 6 Great Eccleston to Halton The Southern Loop Stage 7 Whalley to Laneshaw Bridge Stage 8 Laneshaw Bridge to Holcombe Brook Stage 9 Holcombe Brook to Appley Bridge Stage 9a The Wigan Link Stage 10 Appley Bridge to Croston Stage 11 Croston to Whalley Day Rides Day Ride 1 Lancaster-Silverdale one-way Day Ride 2 Lancaster-Silverdale-Lancaster Day Ride 3 Lancaster-High Bentham Day Ride 4 Lancaster-High Bentham-Lancaster Day Ride 5 High Bentham-Slaidburn-High Bentham Day Ride 6 High Bentham-Long Preston Day Ride 7 Clitheroe-Slaidburn-Clitheroe Day Ride 8 A circuit from Whalley Day Ride 9 A circuit from Colne Day Ride 10 Colne-Accrington Day Ride 11 Entwistle-Haslingden-Ramsbottom-Entwistle Day Ride 12 A circuit from Leyland Day Ride 13 A West Lancashire circuit Day Ride 14 Preston-Whalley Day Ride 15 Whalley-Longridge-Whalley Day Ride 16 Preston-Longridge-Woodplumpton-Preston Day Ride 17 Kirkham-Lancaster Appendix A Further information Appendix B Transport Appendix C Bike shops