Walkers on the moors at last year's event. Photo: Dave Willis

Walkers on the moors at last year's event. Photo: Dave Willis

Outdoor fans looking for a challenge will be able to join a three-day walk along the Pennines on a route celebrating the Cultural Olympiad.

The Stanza Stones Trail, at 76km (47 miles), links water-themed carvings on the moorlands of the South Pennines and is one of the more strenuous offerings in the Walk and Ride Festival that opens this weekend.

There are more than 100 events on offer to outdoor enthusiasts on foot or in the saddle, from family bike rides and pony trekking to a train with beer and jazz.

Poet and writer Simon Armitage will present a musical slide show with readings from his latest book, Walking Home, as part of the Travels with a Troubadour on the Pennine Way event.

And for anyone wishing to connect with Simon’s work there is the chance to join the strenuous three-day Stanza Stones Trail. The event is available for people to join as a one day, two day or three day walk.

The 16-day festival, organised by the rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects, will be launched in Uppermill and Shaw over the weekend of September 8 and 9.

Mark Turner, director of Pennine Prospects, said: “All the events are graded from easy to strenuous so people can choose the activities, which will suit them best.

“If you want to try something new we have lots of opportunities; why not go stunt bike riding or pony trekking? For those with restricted mobility we’ll have a selection of adapted cycles to test-drive at our launch event.

“We have themed events, such as the Holme Valley Station to Station walk, which meets a specially commissioned jazz train, serving Mallison’s Beer, to travel to Sheffield and back. Or maybe the wildlife is your interest. If so, why not join Mike Denton for the Birds on the Moors walk and try to spot the elusive twite.

“As always we have many cycling events, from family cycling sessions to the Bronte Mountain Bike Challenge but for the first time this year, working in partnership with the Hebden Bridge Picture House and Singletrack magazine, we’ve organised a film event for everyone interested in mountain biking, showcasing at its UK premier, Reveal the Path, and Strength in Numbers.”

Funding for the festival is through the South Pennines Leader programme – the Rural Development Programme for England – which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects.

Full details of the festival are on the South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival website.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Radical history, Happy Valley locations and Brontë sunset feature in Walk and Ride Festival