A £10million horse-riding trail, incorporating some of East Lancashire’s most dramatic countryside, has been officially declared open.

Riders have been able to enjoy the picturesque Mary Towneley Loop, the 47-mile long track which circles rural Burnley, Bacup, Whitworth and Todmorden, for around a decade.

But now the final leg of the Pennine Bridleway has been opened by Natural England in the Yorkshire Dales.

TV actor Martin Clunes, president of the British Horse Society, cut the ribbon on the route, which stretches from Derbyshire to Ravestonedale in Cumbria, and is the third largest trail in the country.

Around 140 deals have been made with landowners across the various counties, to make the trail a reality and an estimated 105km of extra bridleway has been created.

Just north of the Mary Towneley Loop, the trail extends through Southfield, Trawden, Laneshawbridge and West Craven, en-route to Gisburn and the Dales.

Poul Christensen, Natural England chairman, said “We are delighted to have completed the Pennine Bridleway route which provides outstanding opportunities to enjoy some of England’s finest countryside and is a fantastic asset.”