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Thread: Bowland Route Recommendations

  1. #1

    Bowland/Dales Route Recommendations

    Hi all,

    I'm in search of quieter, fell training routes which are reachable within an hour or so of Otley by car, and are runnable in 3-4hours at a steady trot (more determined shuffling than running!). So probably along the lines of 15-20 miles, 3-4000ft. I have one from Horton over PYG/Plover/Darnbrook/Fountains which is about right, and another from Kettlewell to Meugher/Gt Whernside/Little Whernside to try. My calves won't stand anything too runnable or firm so i'm looking for hilly terrain and mostly soft underfoot.

    I don't know the Bowland hills at all but these seem to potentially fit the bill. Does anyone have any recommendations, including start/end points, parking spots etc? Are there good options from close to Gisburn?

    I'm tied to fitting it in between school pick-up/drop-off hence the limitations, and i'm aiming to build up strength and stamina so I can do some 30+ mile runs after xmas (and post-CX season) in preparation for the Fellsman.

    Any advice and recommendations greatly appreciated. Also for other areas if they fit the bill.

    Ta muchly
    Last edited by ChevinbyTorchlight; 28-09-2023 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Loving it in the Pilates Studio
    I think you have all the space and tussocks you need in wharfedale. What I was mostly missing was the unmarked paths and trods to link up the obvious routes, you basically have to use the OS and Google maps to see what might be possible then check it out for real.

    The values you want for distance and climb will be almost impossible to achieve within an hour of otley, but the dales can provide as long as you don't mind loops and repeating the same tops from different directions.

    If you drop over into nidderdale to little whernside/dead man's hill area it's rough and pathless, but solid cat b territory. There is a link route from little whernside over scar house to meugher, but this is a good example of having to know the unmarked routes very well. From there you can do capplestone gate-dowber gill-hag dike-great whernside.

    If you look back through my training thread and keep checking it, useful material will present itself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    I had the same thoughts Dave. Didn’t know Bowland at all, apart from a couple of Hodder Valley show races.
    I brought the OS map and have had a couple of exploratory runs there. Not many Paths, but often trods along fence lines. Some fine bogs. More exploration to do. If you want to borrow my map, I’ll lend it to you when I’m back from a month in Spain.

  4. #4
    Master Witton Park's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    You have Pendle within reach and that has lots of options for varied runs. You can check out the Tour of Pendle, Pendle Cloughs and Stan Bradshaw race routes, maybe follow them and then mix and match as you become familiar with the area.
    Some of these routes start/finish on road and there are some firmer sections on top such as the trig - nick path - but even a long that there are options to run either side and stay on dirt/grass.
    Very easy to clock up 4 hours and over 3000 feet.
    18th Nov is the Tour of Pendle Race.
    You could head over, park at the Nick (above Sabden)and follow it around as a spectator to get a feel for it.
    Richard Taylor
    "William Tell could take an apple off your head. Taylor could take out a processed pea."
    Sid Waddell

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