Published May 2, 2017 at 16:18
The Northern Grip Festival, a top mountain biking event, is being held at Lee Quarry this summer. In the run to the festival, the organisers will be writing a series of blogs for this website.
Lee Quarry is unique in UK mountain biking. It’s a place with a long history but only the past decade has been about mountain biking. It’s a reclaimed quarrying site that dates back to the 1800s. After serving its time providing building materials for many a grand engineering project, it’s been turned into an engineering project in itself.
In the early 2000s this old Victorian quarry was turned into an expansive burrow of boulder trails and berm-infused swooping singletrack. Lee Quarry near Bacup in Lancashire is actually better thought of as a bike playground than a trail centre in the traditional sense. Sure, there is a waymarked red and black route, a couple of world class pump tracks, a skills area, a jump line and the trail surface is as all-weather and all-year-round as you’re going to find in the UK but it’s not a trail centre as most people know one.
It’s an amphitheatre for adventure hewn out of a Rossendale valley side. The product of olde worlde hard work and labour that now serves as a deliverer of adrenalin and fun to 21st century mountain bikers.
There is nowhere else in Britain – nowhere in the whole world arguably – that’s like Lee Quarry. It’s a weird and wonderful one-off and a place that every UK biker needs to have ridden at some point in their lives.
Northern Grip mountain bike festival prides itself on selecting cool and quirky venues. For 2017 the festival is making Lee Quarry its home for a weekend in July.
The festival will celebrate Brit biking and Pennine pedalling and culture. It’s a Happening in the Hills that will welcome every type of rider; from the hardcore to the have-a-go. Bikes, rides, local bands, artists, delicious food, tasty drink and happy vibes.
We like to think it’s what all those Victorian quarrymen would have wanted.
You can find out more about the festival here.