The Mary Towneley Loop is a 47-mile (76 km) circular route that forms part of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail, along the borders of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The loop was opened in 2002, the first section of the Pennine Bridleway.
It is named in memory of Mary, Lady Towneley, who drew attention to the poor state of England's bridleways and the need for a long-distance route for horse-riders by riding with two friends in September 1986 from Hexham in Northumberland to Ashbourne in Derbyshire. She died in 2001.
The route joins the main Pennine Bridleway at two points, one near the village of Summit between Littleborough and Todmorden, and one just east of Worsthorne. Heading west from Summit the Loop climbs to Top of Leach at 474 metres (1,555 ft). The trail then passes through the town of Waterfoot in the Rossendale Valley and follows new tracks via Lumb before entering the Cliviger Gorge and then climbing up to the Long Causeway. It then heads north to rejoin the main Pennine Bridleway just east of Worsthorne. The Loop then follows the main route to enter West Yorkshire at Widdop, crosses Heptonstall Moor and drops down to cross the Calder Valley just west of the town of Hebden Bridge. The trail passes the villages of Mankinholes and Bottomley to return to Summit.
On the 19th August 2021 I ran the loop supported in a time of 7hrs 50 mins. I don’t understand the guidelines and have email them (still none the wiser) they won’t make my time official because I needed to beat the overall time. Makes no sense to me 🤷♂️