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10 best cycle routes in the Peak District

The peak district is a glorious setting immersed with woodland, streams, waterfalls, reservoirs and historical villages with amazing views and an old english aesthetic. The peak district has a way to charm everybody. If you’re thinking of biking around this area it’s a great choice as there are plenty of scenic cycling routes for every ability. In this blog, we will discuss the 10 best cycle routes in the peak district- there’s something here for everyone, so keep reading! 


Monsal trail 

This is a cycle route and walking path for people of all abilities. Bursting with history, this old, converted railway track is 8 miles across, so a 16 mile journey to the end and back. On the way you will enjoy jaw dropping views overlooking the wye valley while going across the narrow, cliff-lined Chee Dale. This trail is magical and charming as you pass underneath the six dimly lit re-worked train tunnels and follow the old train tracks. You can either begin your journey from Bakewell, or from Blackwell mill- both of which ends you can hire bikes. If you need a refreshment along the way, you can always stop off at Hassop station cafe for a spot of food while overlooking the trail. This has to be the most popular ride out of our 10 best cycle routes in the peak district. 


Carsington water

If you need to hire bikes, you can start off on this cycle route at the water sports centre. Once you have your bikes, you can head to the dam where you can experience your first view of the wide expanse of water. On this cycling route, you will be going around the 8 mile reservoir situated between Ashbourne and Cromford.


Derwent reservoirs 

This wonderful 15 mile cycle ride goes around 3 beautiful reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley: Ladybower, derwent and Howden. As you go past the water, you will see the reflection of the pine trees and sky with slowly moving ripples heading in different directions. You will go on a route on road and track, but no matter the location you are in, everywhere looks wonderful. If you’re into bird watching, this cycle ride is a hit! Keep an eye out for buzzards, merlins, peregrine falcons, goshawks and sparrowhawks – you’re likely to find an amazing creature. 


High peak trail 

This is another dismantled railway trail, located in the crest of limestone uplands with wide open vistas on a countryside full of history. With a distance covering 18 miles one way, you’ll likely have to spend the whole day on this one and come well prepared! It is common to start at Parsley Hay, where you can hire bikes and grab a coffee before you set off. As you start to ride, you will descend to a high peak junction with jaw dropping views above cromford and the matlocks with their rocky tors. This cycle ride is quite literally downhill all the way, making it great if you wish wanderlust without the high effort. 


Longdendale Trail

Beginning in Hadfield, this cycling journey unfortunately doesn’t have any bike hire nearby, but there is a train station, meaning you can transport your own bike relatively easily. This trail also follows a dismantled railway, while including moorland and a series of reservoirs in the picturesque landscape. The trail ends at the wonderful woodhead tunnel, before you turn around and let your bike ride you back down to Hadfield again. 


Sett Valley Trail

This trail is perfect if you want something a little shorter (5 miles and back). Beginning at Hayfield, this trail descends to New mills and carries on throughout the woodland which can give you those endorphins you were looking for. The marvelous lantern pike is within your surroundings as well as pasture and hill which makes this trail have a variety of scenery for various different tastes. You can stop by at the audio post to learn more about the history of your surroundings and hear a verse from a local poet. This could well be the most aesthetically pleasing out of our 10 best cycle routes in the peak district. 


Tissington trail

You can hire bikes on this trail from both starting points either in Parsley Hay or Ashbourne, where you will begin a 13 mile ride that takes in the stunning views of upland, pasture and woodland. Stopping off at the village of Tissington will allow you to view Jacobean hall, honey-coloured cottages, wide grassy verges, a duck pond and hillside Norman church. You can also stop off for a break during your ride either at Bassettwood farm, just outside the village of Tissington, or at Herbert’s fine english tearoom. You have the opportunity to make your route circular by leaving the Tissington trail and crossing over to the high peak trail by using back roads. 


Manifold trail 

This dismantled railway track takes in the scenery from Hulme end to waterhouses on a steady incline for 9 miles. You will be engulfed within the valleys of the hamps and witness the manifold rivers via the hamlet of Ecton. On this route, you can also stop off at the famous Thor’s cave and take in the history of the location. There are car parking spaces at both ends of the trail, making it accessible to the majority. 


Thornhill trail

This trail is perfect for all abilities as it is a flat and linear route along a railway line starting from Bamford station to Ladybower Dam. This trail is the perfect destination for a family with individuals of all ages as it’s only 2 miles long. The trail takes you through the countryside and you can look across to witness the Bamford edge. At the end of this ride, you can either continue with your journey or stop and explore the Derwent Reservoirs. 


Mam nick

This bike ride is suitable for intermediate riders and good fitness is required. This ride is suitable for people traveling as there are plenty of public transport options available. You will journey through hills and valleys and open plains of greenery. This is the best ride out of our 10 best cycle routes in the peak district for families. 

We hope you loved our blog on the 10 best cycle routes in the peak district. If you’re thinking about taking a holiday to the peak district, we offer beautiful holiday cottages with hot tubs! Take a look at our website today.