The Peak District has an abundance of cycle paths, largely due to the ‘Beeching Cuts’ where many railway lines were closed in the mid-1960s.
As a consequence, many miles of former railways were converted to cycle, walking and bridal paths, mostly level or with very low gradients.
Separated from road traffic, these cycle ways are safe and easy to use by all the family.
In the barn there are some cycling books and also some leaflets describing the many Peak District routes open to cyclists.
Some that we have used and would recommend are:
Re-opened only in 2012, when 3 formerly closed railway tunnels were re-opened, this runs through beautiful valleys and gorges, from near the Haddon Hall estate, past Bakewell, Monsal Head, over the famous viaduct, Cressbrook & Litton mills and nearly to Buxton.
Cycle hire is available at the former Hassop station, which is also a cafe and bookshop, and at the northern end at Blackwell Mill where refreshments are also available
- Tissington Trail – Parsley Hay to Tissington
Cycle hire is available at Parsley Hay. This is gently reducing cycle path down to the lovely Tissington village and beyond to Ashourne. Excellent cream teas are available in Tissington.
- Derwent Reservoir – Practice dams for the Dambusters
Although the map in the link above for Derwent reservoir shows a larger route, we would recommend a cycle path which hugs the edge of the large Derwent reservoir. Ample parking is available on the road from the A57 towards the visitor centre and cycle hire shop (shown on the linked map as the start point flag). Either head up the woodland road, or start down by the bottom of the dam and take the path up past Derwent cottage (marked on the map).
Just follow the path round the reservoir until you arrive back at the start point. About half-way round (going anti-clockwise), at the northern end you will need to take a trail to the left, leading over a VISIBLE stone bridge to go back down the other side of the reservoir. This can be a lovely place to rest beside one of the feeder streams.
- High Peak Trail – Middleton Top to Parsley Hay
This route starts with an unusual but manageable incline (for an ex-railway) but was actually part a famous feat of railway engineering – the Middleton Incline. The industrial archaeology at near-by Cromford which was one of the birth-places of the industrial revolution – is also well worth exploring.
The High Peak Trail also links up to Parsley Hay (see Tissington Trail above) where there is cycle hire available.