THE ULTIMATE TRANS PENNINE TRAIL GUIDE
By Richard Peace
Excellent Books 2017
Ring bound, softback with fold-out front cover
146 pp plus adverts.
Reviewed by Steve Dyster
The Trans Pennine Trial runs between Southport and Hornsea, with a north-south option between Chesterfield and Leeds or York thrown in, along with other alternatives. Using NCN routes, and often traffic free, the book's format is very similar to Richard’s recent guide to the Avenue Verte, published by Sustrans. Part, in fact, of his own “Ultimate Guide” series that includes volumes on a Scottish C2C and Cycling in Northern France. “The ideal companion for all your trips on the TPT,” declares the cover. A bold claim, but hard to argue with.
Why change a winning team? Richard Peace, doyenne of leisure touring cyclists, keeps to the tried and tested format used in his other guides, to make it easy to cover all or any bit of the TPT. This is the fourth edition of the book and it seems to have been suitably updated. Despite this it looks very familiar - a good point when it comes to guidebooks, in my opinion.
Open up the cover and you have an overview map and profile; remarkably level for the most, the highest point is at Windle Edge and there is a lower bump where the Yorkshire Wolds are briefly encountered. Following this and the contents is a short introduction. there’s useful information here, but it looks a bit cramped, so read carefully.
The entire route is mapped at 1:75000, which, along with the description should keep you on the straight and narrow cyclepath. Striking colours ensure that the maps are easy to read, with the route grabbing attention. Encountering, as the TPT does, several urban areas (Liverpool, Manchester, Doncaster and so on), there are very helpful smaller scale maps to aid navigation. These use paler colours to the main maps and require a more careful look.
As you’d expect, there are accommodation and refreshment details in each section and comments on what to see. Whilst Nick Mitchell’s guide to the Trans Pennine Trail has more on history, flora and fauna, and a more detailed route description; Richard Peace’s guide has more in the way of mapping and is broken down into snappy bullet point sections. Both come in at around the same price. You might even buy both.
The UltimateTrans Pennine Trail Guide, will fit under many bar-bag plastic top cover. The ring binding is a real plus when out and about. The fold-out cover is a functional book-mark, too.
As well as describing it self as the “ideal companion” for trips on the TPT, it is also heralded as “The Official TPT Guide” by www.transpenninetrail.org.uk Indeed it has everything you need in a practical format, fully up-dated for 2017.
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