Cycling & Mountain Biking
The Peak District – ‘the outdoor capital of England’ – has literally hundreds of miles of mountain biking and cycling trails just waiting to be discovered and Buxton is the perfect base from which to explore.
Much of the family-friendly cycling takes place along the trails which follow the tracks of former local railways. Routes such as the Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail start only a few miles to the south of Buxton at Parsley Hay (opposite the junction of the Youlgreave road with the A515), and offer excellent traffic-free cross-country routes which pass close to many pretty villages. Mountain biking tracks are found in the Hope Valley and Castleton, around the Goyt Valley, the Roman Lakes near Marple and across Kinder from Glossop or Hayfield.
Nearby Cycle Trails
The Monsal Trail is a traffic free route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales. The trail runs along the former Midland Railway line for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill in Clee Dale and Coombs Road in Bakewell. To view a map, click here.
9 miles, Hulme End to Waterhouses near Leek along the disused Leek and Manifold Light Railway, through the Manifold and Hamps Valleys. To view a map, click here.
High Peak Trail
A 17.5 mile linear route from Dowlow near Buxton to High Peak junction, Cromford along the old Cromford to Buxton railway line. Links up to the Tissington Trail at Parsley Hay. To view a map, click here.
Nearby Cycle Routes
Buxton to Whaley Bridge
High Moors and Gritstone Tors. 28 miles, ascent 964m. For more information, click here.
Tideswell & Millers Dale
Discover limestone dales, a former railway, the historic plague village and the ‘Catherdral of the Peak’ in an unspoilt farming landscape.20 miles. ascent 527m. Start/finish: Millers Dale Station SK17 8SN, Eyam or Tideswell. For more information, click here.
The Roaches & Rudyard Reservoir
Uncover a landscape shaped by water, experience traditional villages and enjoy spectacular gritstone edges. Roaches loop 6.8 miles, ascent 248m. Rudyard loop 10.8 miles, ascent 328m. Start/Finish: Tittesworth reservoir ST13 8SW, Rudyard Lake, or Leek. For more information, click here.
Take a journey through the hills and limestone dales of the Peak District and enjoy traditional villages, medieval settlements, copper mines and a disappearing river. Short loop 9.5 miles, ascent 355m. Full loop 23 miles, ascent 1025m. For more information, click here.
Minninglow Circuit (10.5 miles)
Buxton to Goyt Valley, Cat & Fiddle (10.5 miles)
Hayfield Circuit (10 miles)
Ashbourne to Matlock (20 miles)
Buxton to Ashbourne (27 miles)
Buxton to Castleton (15 miles)
Castleton to Buxton (23 miles)
Hayfield to Buxton (12 miles)
Including Carsington Reservoir, Tissington Trail and the Thornhill Trail. More information here.
Including Ashbourne, Carsington, Matlock, Hathersage and Bakewell. More information here.
Including the National Cycle Network, Pennine Cycleway and the Tour de Peak District. More information available here.
The Sett Valley Trail
The Sett Valley Trail runs from Hayfield to New Mills, also along the route of the former railway. It is mostly fairly level cycling with some nice views, though much of the area is quite built-up.
Upper Derwent Valley
Further north, the Upper Derwent Valley is a popular venue for cyclists. A simple route from the Fairholmes Centre up the valley following the small road alongside the reservoirs is a pleasant ride – especially on Sundays when most traffic is banned. A circuit of the reservoirs is also a fine excursion.
See the Peak District National Park website for further information. www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/cycle/cycle-routes
Eroica Britannia Festival
The Eroica Britannia Festival now takes place over a long weekend in August at Bakewell Showground. There are three cycle routes for the Classic Ride on the Sunday (also The World’s Most Handsome Bike Ride): 100 mile, 55 mile and 25 mile with all riders returning to a big ‘Welcome Home’ party with bars, food vendors and fairground rides. There is also a Family Ride on the Saturday.
Peak Epic Sportive
The Peak Epic is one of the UK’s most challenging road cycling events. Comparable to the Fred Whitton and Dragon Ride.The ride starts and finishes from Lady Manners School in the beautiful Peak District market town of Bakewell. The truly epic long route ascends 4000m/ >13000ft in just 166km/ 103 miles, across the full breadth of Peaks taking in the Hope Valley, Edale, Chapel-en-le-Frith, The Goyt Valley/Cat & Fiddle, Macclesfield Forest, Axe Edge, Longnor and finally Lathkill Dale.
The majority of the ride is held on narrow country lanes away from the traffic filled A and B roads. The terrain is relentless, continuously up and down, twisting and turning leading to low average speeds e.g the average finish time last year for the long route was 9 hours. The Peak Epic is certainly not to be underestimated! In addition to the long route there is a Medium route.
Parsley Hay is the nearest cycle hire to Buxton, situated eight miles to the south at the junction of the High Peak and Tissington Trails; easily reached via the A515 from both Buxton and Ashbourne. More information on the Peak District National Park website: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/cycle/cycle-hire-centres/parsleyhay
Some bikes are also available for hire from Mark Anthony’s Cycle Shop.
Maps & Books
Ordnance Survey: Explorer Series (1:25,000) – OL1, OL24
Ordnance Survey: Landranger Series (1:50,000) – 110, 118, 119
Peak District mountain bike guide books
Dark Peak Mountain Biking – VG Guidebooks
White Peak Mountain Biking – VG Guidebooks
The Peak District & Derbyshire Mountain Bike Guide – Ernest Press
Mountain Bike Guide – Derbyshire & The Peak District – Ernest Press
Roman Lakes Leisure Park (http://www.romanlakes.co.uk/mountain_biking.htm)
Pennine Bridleway (http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/PennineBridleway/)
Mary Towneley Loop (http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/PennineBridleway/downloads.asp?PageId=37)
Buxton Mountain Rescue Team (http://www.buxtonmrt.org.uk/)
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