A gentler challenge than most in the 50 but one of the prettier routes. In less than 2 kilometres it takes you from the post-industrial urbanisation of Eastwood, past some riverside and canalside cottages up through a wooded glen and into the upland pastures above the valley, finally reaching the charming stone hamlet of Mankinholes.
Eastwood is a ribbon development along the A646. Situated on the Hebden Bridge side of Todmorden its most prominent feature is the green metal fencing of its recycling centre. The more attractive parts of the village are hidden away from the road.
To start the ride find the turning to the south about 200 metres west of the recycling centre. This little side road takes you over the river and then round to a bridge over the canal where this ride starts. The route is clear, continue away from the main road up a gentle slope towards a hairpin corner and suddenly the steepest part of the climb. The little road steers you away from the valley floor up through a picturesque wooded glen. It might feel like a very minor road but it leads to the dormitory village of Stoodley Grange so you’re unlikely to have it to yourself.
After about 600 metres there’s a high stone wall on the right with a house visible above it. This is the turning for the road to Mankinholes. It’s such a sharp right that cars need to do a three-point turn to get round so be prepared for some shenanigans if you have some in close proximity.
Once on this road you quickly leave the trees behind and reach a windswept plateau of upland pasture. The road levels off as you pass some houses until you have a minor climb to the highest point which is parallel to a communications mast. Mankinholes is down and up from here and just makes for a more satisfying place to finish.