Hollingworth Farms

Distance: 892 metres, Ascent: 83 metres, route map

The road to the Hollingworth Farms – North and South – is a cul-de-sac and the sort of minor road that only ever gets used by those who live there. So the likelihood is that if you meet another cyclist on it, they’re having a go at the same challenge. Saying hello is going to be a lot easier on the way back down when you’ll also be able to demonstrate the Doppler Effect.

I thought, when researching these rides that it might be difficult to find the start of this one but it’s a doddle. There’s a little side street in Walsden next to the post office called St Peter’s Gate. No-one expects to find the entrance to heaven in the upper Calder valley but there you go.

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Cycle along St Peter’s Gate with Walsden Cathedral in front of you towards the bridge over the canal. The road changes its name to Birks Lane and you can start the clock.

It feels rural almost immediately and it’s just a question of following your nose and the road in front of you. Both will lead you between some low walls and into the woods. There’s a sharp hairpin right in the woods and after a flatter section of road it starts climbing steeply out of the woods into farmland. At the top of the climb North Hollingworth Farm is a large white building on the right of the road with a wooden fence. Behind this there’s an ornamental duck pond with some residents. The road goes round the back of the farmhouse and heads south towards the more rugged South Hollingworth Farm. Apart from a few very steep metres there’s little to trouble you. Stop when you reach the end of the road at a gate, get your breath back and drink in the view.

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