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Peak district cycling blog
Peak District Cycling - Sheffrec - Hopey New Year
The Hopey New Year is a 105 kilometre ride organised under the auspices of Audax UK, which kicks off the Peak cycling year.  Sometimes the weather is very challenging - deep snow a couple of years ago and a full gale in 2005 - but Sheffrec normally field around 20 riders among the 60+ who participate.  This year it took place on 7 January which was very breezy, but dry and fairly mild.   We left Bradwell sports centre heading back to the main Hope Valley road and then on to Hathersage.  The tail wind meant it was nearly...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 09 January 2012 11:11AM
Sheffrec - Hopey New Year
Peak District Cycling - Monyash and Back
  The forecast was for cloud turning to rain, but it was in broken sunshine and a strong south-westerly breeze that we left the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield and headed up into the leafy lanes of Fulwood.  Past the Hallamshire Golf Course and the old Lodge Moor hospital complex, we climbed up to Fulwood Head, with Sheffield laid out below us.  At over 1000 feet we were still within the City boundary (allegedly the fourth highest city in Europe).  Passing the 18th century Roundhouse at Ringinglow - actually octagonal...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 28 February 2011 01:12PM
Monyash and Back
Evolution Outdoors Ltd has provided top quality adventurous outdoor activities since 2007.   Based in the Peak District, Evolution Outdoors is a young and exciting outdoors company run by an unusual mix of people with backgrounds ranging from ex-soldiers to chemistry graduates, all with a wealth of outdoors and leadership experience.   We are a family run business with an emphasis on fun but safe outdoors activities. We limit the number of clients we work with in order to ensure the quality of our courses are kept to the highest...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 16 July 2012 01:16PM
Peak District Activities - Evolution Outdoors - Chesterfield
Shining Cliff, which is open all year round, with its own crags, streams, lakes and over 100-acres of mature woodland, has everything on its doorstep. The hostel is ideal for all, schools, youth groups, corporate events and groups of families and friends wishing to enjoy time away in a peaceful woodland setting. The Shining Cliff experience is certainly unique. Starting with a 10-minute walk into the heart of the ancient woodland, you get a real feeling of tranquillity and excitement. The hostel was completely refurbished in 2009...
Peak District Blog Posted on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 10:52AM
Peak District Self Catering - Shining Cliff Centre - Alderwasley
Carsington Sports and Leisure have been providing training courses for professionals and amateur enthusiasts for many years in water based activities. The activities they offer include: Sailing Windsurfing Kayak & Canoeing Powerboating Mountain Biking Climbing Fishing Youth Activities Orienteering Courses Corporate Events Kids Activity Days Peddle and Paddle Days Youth Courses They offer training in a wide variety of disciplines, using a diverse fleet of modern equipment. The centre is a Royal Yachting...
Peak District Blog Posted on Thursday, 05 May 2011 10:01AM
Carsington Sports and Leisure - Ashbourne
For a truly memorable experience which is creative and fun, why not treat yourself to a course or workshop at the Derbyshire Eco Centre. Discover the joy of learning at our flagship eco building in its relaxing setting. From woodland management, dry stone walling or rustic furniture making to stained glass, yoga or map reading and navigation skills, we have something for everyone. Come and share your time with like-minded people and make new friends.   If you have children aged between 4 and 14, we also offer workshops during the school...
Peak District Blog Posted on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:39PM
Peak District Activity Centres - Derbyshire Eco Centre - Middleton-by-Wirksworth
Peak District Cycling - Sheffrec Cycling Report - 13-02-11
    The forecast was for continous rain all day, but it was actually dry at 9 o'clock as the 25 or so Sheffrec riders assembled at Malin Bridge.  We headed out along Loxley Valley, round Damflask reservoir and on to Bradfield.   A short climb up to Ughill Moors was rewarded with views down to Strines and Dale Head reservoirs, though both were a bit indistinct in the increasingly heavy drizzle. Along the Strines road to Moscar, where we joined the A57 for the fast descent to Ladybower.  Win Hill was dimly...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 14 February 2011 06:49AM
Sheffrec Cycling Report - 13-02-11
My cycling after about 40 routine years using touring cycles had in the last year expanded in all directions, now I have another form to add to my bow, electric biking , more correctly battery assisted cycling. Cycling England, in its death throes, just prior to its closure under the Coalition cuts, set up the Electric Bicycle Network a not-for-profit organisation, whose remit is to set up electric cycling networks in various parts of the country, and the Peak District is the first area they have started on. Myself and my wife run...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 18 April 2011 09:41AM
Patrick & Frances Skemp - Electric Bikes
After 26 years of fairly routine road cycling, at the age of 60, my cycling has now broadened out in all directions. Last year I added mountain biking, additionally I went most weeks to the Manchester Velodrome (using therefore a brake-less fixed wheel bike), and also acquired a recumbent three wheel bike, all most enjoyable, (the latter being lethal to boot) so when at the turn off the year I was invited to join a small group of just four people on night time cycle rides, I jumped at it, as yet another form of cycling.   ...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 21 February 2011 12:39PM
Night Time Cycling in the Peak District
"It was a perfect early Spring day - not a cloud in the sky, nor a breath of wind, but the air was cool and fresh.  We set off from Sheffield's Botanical Gardens, heading uphill through leafy Ranmoor to the open spaces of the road past Hallamshire Golf Club.  The hills of the Dark Peak (Howden Moors across towards Bleaklow) were hazy, but distinct, a change from the fog and drizzle of the previous few days.   We cycled round Fulwood Head, looking back towards Sheffield laid out below us, then right at Ringinglow Road up...
Peak District Blog Posted on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 10:05AM
Stunning Scenery and Perfect Weather Conditions
The wonderful early autumn weather tempted us to make the trip to scenic Goyt Valley.  Leaving Sheffield along Loxley Road, we skirted Damflask reservoir, passed through Lower Bradfield and up the short hill onto Annet Lane. A left turn took us over Dale Dyke and onto the long climb up to Sugworth Road, with good views across the tree and heather covered valley with the reservoirs at its base, then a left to the Strines Road and onto the A57.    Down the hill to Ladybower Reservoir, left over Ashopton Bridge and beside the...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 03 October 2011 11:51AM
Sheffrec rode to Goyt Valley on Saturday.
  LOWEST BIKE HIRE PRICES ON THE MONSAL TRAIL. Electric Bikes now available to hire . The Monsal trail is the disused Midland railway line that was closed in 1968 & then recently converted in 2010-2011 into a new cycle track, allowing people to cycle from Blackwell Mill, Nr. Buxton to Bakewell. The eight & half miles follows the river Wye & takes you through several newly opened lit tunnels, between magnificent steep gorges, surrounding limestone hills & across the spectacular Monsal Dale viaduct...
Peak District Blog Posted on Monday, 11 April 2011 09:46AM
Peak District Cycling - Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire and Tuck Shop - Monsal Trail near  Buxton and Bakewell.
If you are looking for excitement, challenge, adventure or a fine day out in the countryside, then look no further. With over fifty years experience and an exemplary safety record Lindley Educational Trust offers adventurous activities and challenges for groups and families. We can offer a wide range of day activities or a structured developmental programme and are confident you will have an experience that will stay with you for many years. Activity Programmes Our programmes provide opportunities for individuals and teams to discover...
Peak District Blog Posted on Thursday, 10 March 2011 11:51AM
Peak District Activities - Hollowford Activities - Castleton
Peak District Cycling - Sheffrec - Spring in the Peak.
I am indebted to Oliver Wright for this route, which is a 110km ride from Hathersage across much of the southern and western Peaks and almost entirely on quiet minor roads.    From the Pool café, down the hill heading towards Grindleford on the B6001.  Over the river, then second right, up the hill on a narrow road that bears some resemblance to Alpine climbs (steep, with hairpins), past Leam Farm and through the wood to join the Sir William Hill road.  A further stiff climb, then along the side of the hill and...
Peak District Blog Posted on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 11:16AM
Sheffrec - Spring in the Peak.
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Peak district cycling

It is of course the hills which make the Peak District. That means cycling here can be arduous if that's what you are looking for, though with the right choice of route, it need not be. As well as the designated cycle trails mentioned below, there are many less steep, but quiet roads with stunning scenery to enjoy.  For example, the Hope Valley is certainly busy, but there are parallel roads available for much of its length (through Thornhill to the north, then from Hope to Castleton via Pindale), and a cycle lane runs along the majority of the road between Hathersage and Castleton; the plateau between Bakewell and Castleton is gently undulating, with options of short climbs up to spectacular viewpoints on Longstone and Bretton Edges.  Further west, once you have got up onto Axe Edge the road along Morridge slopes gently down from beside the Royal Cottage public house, offering views across Staffordshire and on a clear day to the hills of Wales.  And of course the many villages dotted throughout the Peaks offer the prospect of welcomes breaks for tea and snacks, or even something stronger.  Particular favourites with cyclists include Yonderman's at Wardlow Mires, Coopers at Edale Station, Edge Close Farm at Flagg, the Smithy at Monyash, the Courtyard at Hope, while further south are the Post Office at Hartington and Crich tearooms, though there are many others.

 
For the more competitive or committed cyclist, there are sportives each year, for example the "Polkadot Grand Fondo" and the "Action - Peak District 100", both in June, and the CTC "Phil & Friends Challenge Ride" and the "Wiggle Tour of the Peak", both in August  . Peak Audax and others organise non-competitive long distance rides throughout the year, starting from a variety of locations.  And in the autumn there are several hill climbs when you can either test yourself against gravity, or join the many spectators who watch others attempting to do so.  Perhaps the most famous of these is at Monsal Head, now in its 81st year.
 
If you are looking for company, there are local cycling clubs from Sheffield (for example Sheffrec CC -  - who as you can see provide regular reports of rides for us), Manchester, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire organise rides in the Peaks on most week-ends throughout the year, but the area is blessed with a range of roads to suit cyclists of all abilities and inclinations. 

 

The Fairholmes Centre is a gathering point for cyclists in the Upper Derwent Valley, which is a popular place for mountain bikers and road cyclists alike and follows a simple route around the reservoirs. But be warned, some of it is only suitable for rugged mountain bikes! Mountain biking has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in the White Peak where rallies are held along set circular courses which run through steep narrow dales, like Long Dale and Gratton Dale, and in and around the Manifold Valley on the Staffordshire border. Apart from mountain biking and road cycling, there are a number of special walking and cycling trails which follow the routes of old railway lines through the spectacular scenery of the Peak and are free to use and ideal for all the family. One of the most popular cycle routes lies in the south of the area, where riders can enjoy the recently constructed circular route around Carsington Water, which follows the gentle contours of the shoreline through a sylvan landscape of pleasantly wooded slopes for ten miles. The visitor centre complex has cycles for hire, and boasts a cafe, shop and full ameneties. For the real leisure cyclist there are six excellent cycling trails along former, mainly level railway routes through the Peak - The Longendale Trail, Sett Valley Trail, Monsal Trail, Manifold & Hamps Valley Trail, the Tissington Trail, and the High Peak Trail.

 

The Longendale and Sett Valley Trails lie in the north of the region, with the former running along the level floor of the Longendale Valley on the track of the old Light Railway with some fantastic views, whilst the latter runs through the spectacular countryside from Hayfield to New Mills making for pleasant level cycling. The Monsal Trail - runs for eight and a half miles along the old track-bed of the Midland Railway from Coombs Viaduct, a mile south of Bakewell Station, to Blackwell Mill Junction at the head of Chee Dale, about three miles south of Buxton. The trail is interrupted by four closed tunnels, and parts are unsuitable for cyclists, but the section from Bakewell to Longstone Head and the spectacular viaduct at Monsal Dale offers a pleasant and leisurely cycle-ride.

 

The Tissington Trail is very popular with cyclists and runs from Ashbourne thirteen miles northward to Parsley Hay, along the level trackbed of the old London & North Western Railway Company's Ashbourne to Buxton line. There are cycle-hire centres at either end of the trail, and both Mapleton Lane and Parsley Hay Hire Shops are attended from Easter to October. Excellent toilet, washroom and refreshment facilities are available at Hartington and Tissington, and excursion cycle-routes around the Hartington and Biggin villages. The Manifold & Hamps Trail lies to the south & west of the region, and runs from Hulme End to Waterhouses, along the course of the old Manifold Light Railway, with cycle-hire available at the old station in Waterhouses.

 

The trail runs alongside the river in the beautiful Manifold Valley, and is popular for excursions to Thors Cave, set high in the limestone hills above. The High Peak Trail runs from High Peak Junction beyond Cromford Wharf, to Dowlow just south of Buxton, a distance of seventeen and a half miles along the course of the old Cromford & High Peak Railway. A full range of facilities are available at the Middleton Top visitor centre, including cycle-hire, which is also available at Parsley Hay, close to the junction with the Tissington Trail which terminates here. The Tissington and High Peak Trails are perhaps the most popular for hired cycles; both have cycle-hire centres - and customers can ride leisurely through the very heart of the wonderful white-peak countryside experiencing the unique atmosphere of the peak landscape, along two spectacular cycling trails - without changing bikes! Cycle-Hire is also available in the market towns of Buxton, Bakewell, Matlock and Ashbourne, and in a number of village centres throughout the Peak District, and cycling holidays are becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction. With such facilities, and with the freedom of the Peak District National Park beckoning cyclist of all ages and abilities to indulge their passion for two-wheeled pedal-powered pleasure, little wonder that the Peak District of Derbyshire is regarded as the Mecca of cycling enthusiasts!