puffin wrote:...I've found out that I'll cross the half way mark just before going under the M61 on Grimeford Lane WNW of Bolton, so there's a landmark I've never looked for before. Also, I have found that the big climb south of Tebay can be avoided simply by taking the next left turn...seriously, I've never noticed it.
Good Old Grimeford Lane!
Despite having lived only a couple of miles away from there for nearly 35 years I don't think I've ridden that road more than a couple of times apart from doing JEJOG.
Looking at your route for day 7 a few comments:-
Coming out of Westhoughton (miles 18-20) as you come up Church St I'm not sure it is worth wiggling though the Wingates Industrial Estate (unless you want to stop for a bounce around at AirVault trampolining!
) rather than just going straight up to the A6 & turning left. My usual route coming up from Daisy Hill & through Westhoughton would be to turn Left onto Cricketers Way (where your mile 18 is) then take the 1st right onto Bolton Road, left onto Central Drive & right onto Church St, just up from where you start your wiggles, before joining the A6 at the end of Church St.
Have you any particular reason to not join the canal towpath where you cross over the Leeds-Liverpool canal at approx 27.5 miles, rather than the convoluted route you've set to join it about a mile further on? There is easy access to the canal on your right just as you come off the bridge & the path quality is as good as any you'll be riding on later.
Are you set on Slaidburn for that night's stop? When I did LEJOG - an organised trip - by a very hilly route (the standing joke became that if you were at a junction & weren't sure which way to go, if one way was uphill that would be the correct route!). One of our days was Waddington to Kirkby Stephen. 3 of us decided to give the climbs over to Ingleton a miss by heading up the Ribble valley before swinging round north west over towards Ingleton, going through Wigglesworth & Rathmell. Our route was several miles further than the rest of the party but, even though none of us were particularly quick cyclists, we were in Ingleton well before any of the others. Having been over in the Bentham area a few times since there are some good little lanes that keep you off the busy roads apart from a very short stretch, not much more than 1/4 mile, of the A65 near Settle where there doesn't seem to be a sensible alternative.
Once you've got to Slaidburn you're well into the lumpy bits & probably won't save much climbing by detouring more to the east. From Waddington to High Bentham you can save about 400m of ascent on the easterly route, but it adds about 6 or 7 miles to the distance, but rolling miles rather than big hills. But that would mean stopping somewhere near Bolton by Bowland to keep the days' distances similar.