The Peak District

The Peak District is one of the best places in the country for mountain biking.

The routes described here include some classic "must do" trails. The region is made up of two areas:

The Dark Peak
The trails here are typically rocky and technical with singletrack stretching across Gritstone moors.

The White Peak
Less popular with mountain bikers this Limestone area still offers top quality trails varying from bridleways through the dales to full on rocky descents.

Whinstone Lee Tor

Where: Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire.
Ascent: 5,017ft.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
Parking: There are several free car parks along the edge of the reservoir. There is also a car park at Fairholmes visitor centre.
Overview: A true Peak District epic. Cut Gate Path is a classic trail on it's own and makes a fine out and back ride. However this route turns it into the finale of a testing loop. This ride takes you across some remote and exposed countryside. Unlike a lot of Peak trails these (and this route) are probably best saved for good weather. Sections of both the "Gates" get very boggy in wet conditions.

Where: Fox House Inn, near Hathersage.
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.

Where: Edale, Derbyshire.
Ascent: 3,566ft.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
Parking: There is a large pay and display car park in Edale.
Overview: A classic loop containing the "must do" trails of Rushup Edge, Roych Clough and Jacob's Ladder. Don't let the distance make you think this is an easy route! There is a lot of climbing on it. The terrain is typical Peak District and is ridable all year round though some sections can be boggy in wet conditions..

Where: Hope, Derbyshire.
18.6 miles.
Ascent: 3,231 ft.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
Parking: There is a pay and display car park in Hope. Also there is free parking on the road opposite the car park if you can get a space?
Overview: This part of the country contains some fantastic trails. Everyone has their favourites and this route includes some of mine. The route is mostly made up of typical rocky Peak District trails and includes some tough ascents and tricky descents. Rideable all year round.

Where: Longnor, Derbyshire. If you are coming from the north then a good alternative start would be the Cat & Fiddle pub on the A537.
25 miles.
Ascent: 3,764 ft.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL24
Parking: Parking is available in the village square. There is also a car park behind the Cheshire Cheese Inn. Ask the landlord and spend some money in there when you finish!
Overview: This part of the Peak District is not as popular with mountain bikers as others but contains some great riding that the masses are missing out on! This route is tough with a variety of trails and surfaces. The most technical of those are saved for the final off road sections. There are several pubs on route to tempt you and you will also be riding through three English counties in one ride too - Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire.

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