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“Far and away the best Peak guide we’ve come across.” BIKEmagic.com Featured are 26 of the best mountain bike rides in the Dark Peak, between 11.5km and 105km in length, suitable for all levels of mountain bikers. Researched, ridden and written by a local rider, each route features:

» clear and easy to use Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 maps » easy-to-follow directions » details of distance, times and difficulty » refreshment stops and local knowledge A Bonus Section includes Top Tens, Sheffield City Links, information on Sheffield trails (Greno Woods, Wharncliffe, Parkwood Springs and Lady Cannings) and a detailed appendix.

PRICE: £15.95

746i VG 07/16

Peak District Mountain Biking – Dark Peak Trails is the full second edition of the groundbreaking mountain biking guidebook Dark Peak Mountain Biking – True Grit Trails.

PEAK DISTRICT MOUNTAIN BIKING – Dark Peak Trails

designed & published by Vertebrate Publishing

Dark Peak Trails

Written by

Jon Barton


Dark Peak Trails

Written by

Jon Barton Photography by John Coefield


Dark Peak Trails Copyright

© 2010 Vertebrate Graphics Ltd and Jon Barton

First published in 2010 by Vertebrate Publishing. Reprinted with revisions in 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright herein may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanised, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without the written permission of the publisher. ISBN 978-1-906148-18-8 Front cover photo: Cy Turner on Whinstone Lee Tor singletrack, above Ladybower Reservoir. Back cover photo: Jon Barton and Tom Fenton begin the drop into Stanage Plantation. Photography by John Coefield, unless otherwise credited. All maps reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. © Crown Copyright. 100025218 Design by Nathan Ryder, production by Jane Beagley. www.v-publishing.co.uk

Every effort has been made to achieve accuracy of the information in this guidebook. The authors, publishers and copyright owners can take no responsibility for: loss or injury (including fatal) to persons; loss or damage to property or equipment; trespass, irresponsible riding or any other mishap that may be suffered as a result of following the route descriptions or advice offered in this guidebook. The inclusion of a track or path as part of a route, or otherwise recommended, in this guidebook does not guarantee that the track or path will remain a Right of Way. If conflict with landowners arises we advise that you act politely and leave by the shortest route available. If the matter needs to be taken further then please take it up with the relevant authority.

PLEASE GIVE WAY TO HORSES AND PEDESTRIANS.


Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii How to Use this Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii Rights of Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x The Bike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x Essential Kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x General Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi In the Event of an Accident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii Planning Your Ride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii Rules of the (Off) Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Maps & Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Peak District Mountain Biking – Area Map & Route Finder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv

SECTION 1 – CLASSICS Classics Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvi 1 u Blacka Moor – 16.5km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 2 u Ladybower Lite – 18km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 3 u Digley Circuit – 11.5km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 4 u»u L angsett – 9km/22km . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 5 u Mam Tor Figure-of-8 – 15.5km . . . 25

SECTION 4 – KILLERS Killers Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 22 u Bleaklow Circuit – 64km . . . . . . . . . . 131 23 u Killer Loop – 60km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 24 u»u The Lord of the Loops – 105km+ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

SECTION 5 – A TO B RIDES A to B Rides Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 25 u»u Edale to New Mills – 17km . . 163 26 u Hope to Sheffield – 26km+ . . . . . 167

SECTION 6 – BONUS SECTION

SECTION 2 – EPICS Epics Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 u»u B  radwell Circuit – 21km . . . . . . . . 7 u»u D  isley Circuit – 23km . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 u The Beast – 20km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 u Chinley Churn & Rowarth – 21.7km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 u Misty Marple – 22.3km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 u»u Snake Doctor – 16km . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 u This is Ladybower – 26.5km . . . . . . . . 13 u»u K  inder Circuit – 23km . . . . . . . . . . .

15 u Cut Gate Special – 28.5km . . . . . . . . . . 87 16 u Hathersage Circuit – 29.8km . . . . . . 91 17 u High Peak Circuit – 25.5km . . . . . . . . 97 18 u Kinder Enduro – 30km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 19 u»u Mam Tor Classic – 34km . . . . 109 20 u Stanage Circuit – 25km . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 21 u Hope Tour – 33.3km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

28 33 39 45 49 53 59 63 69

SECTION 3 – ENDUROS Enduros Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 14 u Hope Valley Watershed – 34.2km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Bonus Section Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 27 u Sheffield Links – Out – 5.5km . 176 28 u Sheffield Links – Back – 8.5km . 180 Sheffield Trails: Greno Woods and Wharncliffe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 Sheffield Trails: Parkwood Springs . . . . . . 184 Sheffield Trails: Lady Cannings Plantation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Top Ten Climbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 Top Ten Downhills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 Top Ten Singletrack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190

APPENDIX

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

192

ROUTE GRADES u = EASY  u = MEDIUM  u = HARD (see page ix)

CONTENTS

v


THE AUTHOR UP ON CHINLEY CHURN, KINDER IN THE DISTANCE


Introduction There’s no doubting the Dark Peak offers excellent riding – some of the best in the world. The Peak District is criss-crossed with ancient roads, moorland trails and technical open ground; it has been a worthy challenge reriding, checking and collating the rides in this book. Rest assured, the routes feature a fierce collection of climbs, some very challenging descents and some sublime stretches of open trail, swooping across this rugged landscape. In an update over the first edition, all the routes in this book are taken from the area of the Peak District covered by the Ordnance Survey OL1 The Dark Peak map – well, apart from a couple of hundred metres on Blacka Moor that nip south onto the White Peak sheet! The Dark Peak is an area that gives us real mountain biking: these rides are hard, exhausting and they will destroy bikes and components. Yet they are equally rewarding, offering a wealth of experiences – some of my happiest moments on a bike have been spent high on the Howden Moors, or traversing Win Hill. Contained in these pages are many routes and clues of what to expect and how best to enjoy the area. They will take you to the brink of world-class downhills, carry you across ribbons of moorland singletrack and challenge you on some real climbs. Cave Dale, Cut Gate, Whinstone Lee Tor, Jaggers Clough, Middle Moor...what pleasures we have on these legendary trails. Stop every now and again and enjoy the landscape; it truly is beautiful, the wildlife, people and spirit of the place is quite special, I know you will respect it, and keep coming back for more. This book builds on that guidebook, the guidebook that changed the way mountain bikers produced and used guides, Dark Peak Mountain Biking – True Grit Trails. Of course I have carried forward many classics from that volume, some have been refined a little as we found better ways and new delights to ride, quite a few are longer – but I know you wanted that. I have added a few new rides and lost a few abused ones. I’ve also dragged the photographer over every inch of the Dark Peak in order to serve up the finest selection of inspirational images we could produce – although to be fair he loved every minute of it. Thanks to everyone who supported our first guide to the Dark Peak, it gives me a real buzz when I see someone leaning on a gate, out there on the true grit trails reading about the next leg of their ride. Give us a nod as you ride by.

Jon Barton

??????????????????????????????? INTRODUCTION

vii


M62

A635

M60 A635

22 23 24

27 28 A B C

xiv

Glossop 11

PEAK DISTRICT MTB  –  DARK PEAK TRAILS

A624

HIGH PEAK 17 Hayfield

5 A601

9 Chinley

Chapel -en-leFrith

4 A500

25 26

ALE DEND NG O L

A624

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

A5 4

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

CLASSICS Blacka Moor – 16.5km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p5 Ladybower Lite – 18km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p11 Digley Circuit – 11.5km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p15 Langsett – 9km/22km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p19 Mam Tor Figure-of-8 – 15.5km . . . . . p25 M67 EPICS Bradwell Circuit – 21km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p33 Disley Circuit – 23km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p39 Manchester The Beast – 20km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p45 Charlesworth Chinley Churn & Rowarth – 21.7km . p49 Misty Marple – 22.3km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p53 Snake Doctor – 16km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p59 This is Ladybower – 26.5km . . . . . . . . . . p63 Marple Kinder Circuit – 23km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p69 ENDUROS M60 Hope Valley Watershed – 34.2km . . . . p79 Stockport 10 Cut Gate Special – 28.5km . . . . . . . . . . . p87 A6 Hathersage Circuit – 29.8km . . . . . . . . p91 New High Peak Circuit – 25.5km . . . . . . . . . . . p97 7 Mills Kinder Enduro – 30km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p103 Disley Mam Tor Classic – 34km . . . . . . . . . . . . . p109 Stanage Circuit – 25km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p115 Hope Tour – 33.3km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p121 KILLERS Bleaklow Circuit – 64km . . . . . . . . . . . . . p131 Killer Loop – 60km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p141 The Lord of the Loops – 105km+ . . . p151 A TO B RIDES Edale to New Mills – 17km . . . . . . . . . p163 Hope to Sheffield – 26km+ . . . . . . . . . p167 BONUS SECTION Sheffield Links – Out – 5.5km . . . . . . p176 A537 Sheffield Links – Back – 8.5km . . . . . p180 Macclesfield Sheffield Trails: Greno Woods and Wharncliffe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p182 Sheffield Trails: Parkwood Springs . p184 Sheffield Trails: Lady Cannings Plantation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p185 A6 26

1 2 3 4 5

A6

Errwood Reservoir

GOYT’S MOSS

Buxton A54 A 515 A53


Holmfirth A6 35

A635

3 4 02 A6

Digley Reservoir

A6 29

16 A6

8 A62

Barnsley

Penistone A628

M1

A616

4 Langsett Reservoir

A6 1

Stocksbridge

W HA

Peak District National Park

29 A6

Langsett

head Pass A628 Wood

LIF

FE

A6102

R NC

15

A A6135

22 A57 Snake

Derwent Reservoir

24

Pa ss

B 1 A6

Ladybower Reservoir

2 25

Edale

13 5

LE E DA

23 19

8

14 Hope

21

26

20

H O PE

A61 87

Sheffield 1 A6

27

Redmires Reservoir

Bamford

6

Castleton

A57

12

A6 21

18

C

Hathersage

VALL 16 EY

02 A61

28

Bradwell A6 23

1

A6 25

Dronfield

A623

Tideswell

A6 1

Calver 21 A6

A5 27 0

A6020

A619 A619

Chesterfield

A6

Area Map & Route Finder

PEAK DISTRICT MTB – AREA MAP & ROUTE FINDER

xv


1

SECTION Classics

A quick blast after work, a night loop you can finish before your lights die, or a ride to squeeze in when time is short. That’s a classic. Relatively low on distance, short, but not necessarily easy, these are still good, solid rides.


DERWENT EDGE AND WHINSTONE LEE TOR SINGLETRACK (ROUTE 2)

1


ANCIENT TRAILS OVER HOUNDKIRK MOOR (ROUTE 1)


PEAK DISTRICT MTB – CLASSICS

3


CY TURNER ON DERWENT EDGE TRAILS


02 Ladybower Lite

18km

Introduction

Ladybower Reservoir and its surrounding complex of hills, ridges, woodland and moorland is quite rightly a mecca for mountain bikers. This ride provides a great introduction to the area or, for return visitors, a timeless classic worthy of many a visit. Challenging, technical climbs and exhilarating descents are complemented by brilliant scenery – some of the best that Derbyshire has to offer. The paving slabs up to the twin barns remain one of the daftest, most infuriating Peak hill challenges ever.

0

From Heatherdene, on the shores of Ladybower, follow the cycle path over the bridge to the foot of Crook Hill. A sharp climb past the farm leads to open pasture with fine views over to Derwent Edge on your right and Win Hill on your left. Duck into the woods and onto the fine descent of Gores Farm (Lockerbrook). A quick spin around the reservoir, past Fairholmes, leads to a tough climb up to Derwent Edge and Whinstone Lee Tor. It’s worth it – the fine trail that traverses the edge, and the flying descent down to Cutthroat Bridge are world class. A final rocky tumble spits you out at the Ladybower Inn car park. Drink, anyone?

LOCKERBROOK FARM

WHINSTONE LEE TOR

ALTITUDE PROFILE

Metres

390

The Ride

0 Km

2

4

LADYBOWER LITE

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

GRADE: u

TOTAL DISTANCE: 18KM » TOTAL ASCENT: 700M » TIME: 2 HOURS » START/FINISH: FAIRHOLMES, LADYBOWER RESERVOIR  »  START GRID REF: SK 202859 » SATNAV: S33 0AZ (NEAREST) » PUB: LADYBOWER INN, TEL: 01433 651 241; YORKSHIRE BRIDGE INN, TEL: 01433 651 361 » CAFÉ: FAIRHOLMES VISITOR CENTRE, TEL: 01433 650 953

02 LADYBOWER LITE  –  GRADE u

11


Directions – Ladybower Lite Turn R out of the car park, cross the road and pick up the cycle lane on the pavement near the reservoir. At the traffic lights turn L and continue along the cycle lane and over the bridge. Once over the bridge turn R up the Fairholmes/Upper Derwent Valley road. 2  Take the first L up steep tarmac to Crookhill Farm. Follow bridleway markers up through

the farm, bearing R through two gates to join the track up onto Crook Hill. Follow the right-hand wall, ignoring all tracks that fork left. Go through a gate, follow the wall for 100m then bear L to cross exposed moorland, following wooden marker posts to a gate. Cross a field and go through more gates, signed Rowlee Farm and Lockerbrook. Go SA through a gate, descending with woods on the right, and SA through double gates ignoring a bridleway to the right. Follow a sandy/gravel track to drop down to a junction with a larger track. Turn R uphill to a junction with a larger track. 3  Turn R and drop to Lockerbrook Farm, climb a little and then start the long and ever-more

thrilling descent through the trees to be spat out by the shore of Derwent Reservoir. Turn R and follow the tarmac road back to the mini roundabout at Fairholmes. Take the first L at the roundabout and drop down past Derwent Dam. Follow the road up and bear R at the top – effectively SA – to ride along the eastern shore of Ladybower Reservoir. Cross the stream at the inlet of Mill Brook and tarmac turns to hardpack. Shortly afterwards look out for a bridleway through a gate branching steeply L up paving slabs through a field – take this. 4  Climb up the slabs – tough at the end into the courtyard. Bear R through the courtyard,

cross a stream and continue climbing. Continue climbing through gates, eventually emerging at the bridleway that traverses the hillside below Derwent Edge. Turn R and traverse the hillside to the shoulder at Whinstone Lee Tor. Savour the view then chuck yourself down the great pedally descent to Cutthroat Bridge. After almost 2km, as the path drops down and swings right towards the stream and main road, take the R fork to keep some height and traverse off across the moor with the power lines on your right. Moorland track leads to a gate – through this and the stream crossing. At a vague track junction after 100m keep L and plunge downhill to another gate. Through this and SA to drop down to the road (A57) by the Ladybower Inn (recommended). Turn R onto the A57 and L at the traffic lights to return to Heatherdene.

12

PEAK DISTRICT MTB  –  DARK PEAK TRAILS


02 LADYBOWER LITE © CROWN COPYRIGHT AND/OR DATABASE RIGHT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. LICENCE NUMBER 100025218.

02 LADYBOWER LITE  –  GRADE u

13

Peak District Mountain Biking Dark Peak Trails Guidebook Sample - Reprint 2016  

Updated with minor amends November 2016. Sample pages from our guidebook to mountain biking in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District. Incl...

Peak District Mountain Biking Dark Peak Trails Guidebook Sample - Reprint 2016  

Updated with minor amends November 2016. Sample pages from our guidebook to mountain biking in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District. Incl...

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