Cycling routes to look out for in north-west England

Inspired to take up cycling following a fantastic summer of sport? Fancy a new challenge? These cycling routes in the North-West of England are ideal — Leisure Lakes Bikes explains more.

Brun Valley Greenway

Location: The Brun Valley Greenway start at Burnley town centre and leads out into the surrounding countryside.

An introduction to the route: Parks and wooded river valleys are just some of the sights awaiting you along the Brun Valley Greenway route.

Suggested route: Start your journey along the Brun Valley Greenway at Burnley Central Station and follow the route along an old mineral railway. When you reach Netherwood Bridge, it’s up to you whether you prepare for a climb that takes you into Briercliffe and the Queen Street Mill — a tradition steam-powered mill — or cycle along the Brun Valley towards Brownside, Pike Hill and Rowley Lake.

Burnley BMX pump track

Location: The Burnley BMX pump track has only just opened inside the Brun Valley Forest Park, which can be accessed off Queen’s Park Road at the entrance to the former Rowley Landfill site.

An introduction to the route: While not a cycling route as such, the Burnley Pump track is designed to accommodate riders of BMX and mountain bikes alike.

Simon Goff, the Head of Green Spaces and Amenities at Burnley Council, acknowledged: “The pump track is an exciting new development in the Brun Valley Forest Park. It will provide lots of fun and plenty exercise for cyclists of all ages and we are very grateful to the Army personnel who have worked so hard to build it.”

Suggested route: The Burnley BMX pump track is designed with a series of rollers and berms, so skilled riders should be able to get around the 120-metre-long looped track with minimal pedalling. Just be sure to propel yourself through the track by shifting your body weight effectively, as well as pumping the bike over the track’s contours.

The Sankey Valley Park Trail

Location: The Sankey Valley Park Trail is a country park located in Warrington.

An introduction to the route: The Sankey Valley Park Trail is a waterside cycle route which is perfect for families, as you’ll pass play areas and mazes en route. Work is also being carried out to upgrade the northern path, which will make it even better to ride along. This development is set to be complete before Christmas 2016.

Suggested route: The layout of the Sankey Valley Park Trail is incredibly easy to follow — simply follow the course of Sankey Brook and continue beside the now disused Sankey Canal. As well as passing the aforementioned play areas and maze, you’ll also take in mature woodland, a meadow and a wetland nature reserve that’s home to a variety of birdlife.

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