Where: Fox House Inn, near Hathersage.
Distance: 27.4 miles.
Ascent: 3,876 ft.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
Parking: There is a car park behind the Fox House Inn.
Overview: The causeway down Stanage Edge is a rocky Peak District classic. This route includes that and some other excellent dark peak trails. There are some lengthy tarmac sections but they are necessary to join up the good bits. Rideable all year round but there are some muddy sections if it is wet.
Map: (click the symbols on the map to view photographs of the route)
Details: (click on a grid reference to centre the OS map above on that point)
1. (0 miles) SK266802 Turn left out of the car park and go up the road for a quarter of a mile to a track on the left. This goes through a gate, climbing a little at first but soon levels off and finally descends for a fast blast over the moor to join tarmac at Ringinglow.
2. (2.7 miles) SK290837 In Ringinglow turn left then immediately right into Fulwood Lane. Follow the road until you come to a T-junction at the bottom of a steep hill with hairpin bend on it. Turn left and again follow the road to another T-junction. Another left turn takes you onto the road which skirts the edge of the reservoirs. Follow this to it's end.
3. (6.3 miles) SK256851 Turn right onto the track. This is climbs gradually up to a gate. Through this the trail is paved with gritstone slabs leading to Stanage Pole. Past the pole double track leads to the top of Stanage Edge. Here begins a fast and very, very rocky descent! (There is also a slower more technical alternative if you take the bridleway through the plantation but beware walkers and climbers coming up).
4. (8.7 miles) SK226843 When you meet the road go straight on over the cattle grid and then take the first right up a tarmac climb. Follow the road through a dip and up the other side. Over the brow look for the entrance to Bamford Clough on your left. This descent is very steep and has concrete sections which are very slippy in wet conditions. Your brakes will be hot by the time you reach Bamford!
5. (10.2 miles) SK208836 When you meet tarmac go straight on down to the main road and turn left onto it. Descend through the village and then take the right turn over a bridge over the River Derwent. Follow the lane until you meet a disused railway. Turn right onto this which is the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. Follow the railway until just after a gate there is a short section of tarmac on your left leading up to the road. Climb up into Thornhill and take the right turn at the top of the hill onto Thornhill Lane. Follow this as it undulates until just the other side of Aston. The next turn is easy to miss!
6. (12.8 miles) SK181839 Turn right and climb up tarmac to a house. Just before the house the bridleway goes left. The next section can be a very wet and muddy climb. Follow the obvious bridleway through gates and contouring around Win Hill until eventually it meets a wide rutted trail. Turn left onto this and enjoy a fast rutted descent to a junction with the Roman Road near a gate. Turn left and continue descending on rockier terrain towards Hope. Go through the gate at the bottom and continue on tarmac down and over a railway bridge. At the bottom go straight on over the bridge and follow the road into Hope.
7. (16.4 miles) SK172834 When you reach the T-junction with the A625 turn left. At the traffic lights turn right towards Bradwell. Go over the river then take the first left and start the long climb up Brough Lane. This starts as tarmac but the surfacing ends after the entrance to Elmore Hill farm. Follow the lane to the top and then on around the edge of a boggy field until it becomes Shatton Lane. Follow this past the mast into a fast descent. Be ready with the brakes though as you want to stop at the bend half way down to take the bridleway on your right!
8. (20.9 miles) SK201814 This bridleway can be boggy in places if it's wet but is still enjoyable. In the dry it's a great trail. Follow it until you meet the road near Offerton Hall. Turn right and follow the lane to a junction. Turn left and descend to Leadmill. Turn left and head into Hathersage.
9. (24.2 miles) SK229815 At the T-junction in Hathersage turn right. There now (unfortunately) follows a long road climb to finish. Follow the A625 all the way back up to the Fox House.
Possible extensions: Loads! Especially at the Hope end of the ride where you are in the heart of some of the best trails in the area. A different area for a good extension is to explore the bridleways on Blacka Hill just up the road from the start. There are some fantastic downhills to be had without adding too much distance.