The Medium Route


On Sunday 18th June 2017, you, our adventurers will gather, bikes polished and magnificent for a 3 route tour of the Peak District. We're known as The World's Most Handsome Bike Ride so be sure to ensure your ride day outfit is as handsome as your bike! Bells will ring and the thrill of thousands of Riders on pre-1987 bikes will resonate around hill and through vale for Eroica Britannia.


Distance 55 miles
Elevation 4,084 ft
Effort 4/6
Completion 6-8 Hrs

Food Stops

Thornbridge Hall Brunch (32 mi)
Biggin Afternoon Tea (50 mi)


Starting elevation 1110 ft above sea level. Highest elevation 1349 ft above sea level.

521m 89m 0 mi 27.5 mi 55 mi

Points of Interest

Middleton Top Engine House

The stationary engine was used to wind trucks up and down the Middleton Incline.

Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

The birthplace of the factory system. It was for this reason that they were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001.

Thornbridge Hall

Designed in the 1890’s and set in 100 acres of parkland, within the heart of the Peak District.

Litton Mill

Built in the late 18th century, ultimately said to have helped the passage of the Factories Act of 1833 and may have inspired Dickens when he wrote Oliver Twist.

Enter the Ride
Words by Routemaster - Marco Mori

You begin immediately on The High Peak Trail our equivalent of the 'Strade Bianche' or white roads. It is part of the fantastic network of traffic-free trails in the Peak District and well used by cyclists. Enjoy far reaching views across a green landscape of fields and hills.

Look out for former railway buildings and features, including Middleton Top Engine House and Hopton Tunnel. Middleton Top is the last surviving winding engine from the Cromford and High Peak Railway. The stationary engine was used to wind trucks up and down the Middleton Incline and is a beam engine built by the Butterley Company in 1829 - these are the original engines for the railway began operation in 1830.

The trail ends with an unavoidable 3 mile steep and tricky descent to the Cromford Canal at High Peak Junction, now part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Extreme care is needed on this stretch – you may want to get off and walk!

The steam locomotives would approach this incline with trepidation and rapidly slow to a crawl. Please keep your speed to a crawl. At 1 in 14, it was the steepest in Britain - you have been warned!

You finally arrive at High Peak Junction (the second oldest railway workshops in the world built between 1826 and 1830 to service the line).

In no time at all you will be climbing again to pass under the arch of the famous John Smedley knitwear factory before heading onwards and upwards to reach a high plateau route across the moors for some excellent moorland scenery.

Then there is a steep descent towards Beeley on the Chatsworth estate. You will see the famous Chatsworth House, a grand stately home which has been home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire since 1549. Enjoy the view of this unique 1000-acre parkland setting as you head past on your left the beautiful village Edensor.

As you leave the village of Pilsely you climb towards Bakewell passing through the middle of the golf course and arriving at the old Bakewell railway station and join the Monsal Trail all the way to Thornbridge for 3 miles.

Thornbridge Hall

Brunch at 32 miles

A surprise awaits you as you enter the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, a grand English country house to enjoy your first refreshment stop after a well earned break you join the Monsal Trail.

You re-join the Monsal Trail, a former railway line and now a superb traffic-free route, perfect for cycling. Along the way you will pass through spectacular long tunnels and get amazing views of the Wye Valley and surrounding Peak District countryside. Enjoy the scene as picturesque dales such as Monsal Dale, Cressbrook Dale and Water-cum-Jolly Dale open up as you cycle along.

After leaving the Monsal Trail there is a long climb out of Millers Dale towards Taddington and across open countryside. Then you join the "white road" which is the start of the High Peak Trail, along another former railway line - the Cromford and High Peak Railway.

At Hurdlow you leave the trail and eventually descend 5 miles towards Hartington, a quintessential English country village.

Take time to see Hartington, a lovely village complete with duck pond standing at the northern end of the Dove Valley. Dovedale's other attractions include rock pillars such as Ilam Rock, Viator's Bridge, and the limestone features Lovers' Leap and Reynard's Cave. Lovers leap was named after a rejected maiden who threw herself off the precipice but was saved by the bushes that broke her fall. It is believed she spent the rest of her life in total seclusion.


Afternoon tea at 50 miles

You’ll then head out uphill past Hartington Hall (now a Youth Hostel) and arrive at the Waterloo Inn country pub in Biggin village for your second food stop. The building was originally a farm inn on a droving road. The shepherds would probably stop for the night and put the sheep in a neighbouring field while the shepherds stayed and had a meal at the inn. In those days the beer was served from jugs. Later the pub was called The Waterloo after the famous victory.

After Biggin you will head out uphill toward the next section of "white road" when you rejoin the High Peak Trail and head back towards the finish.

Enter the Ride


Short Route


Elevation 1,250 ft
Difficulty 2/6
Typically 3-4 Hrs

A great choice for riders of all levels of fitness. It is fairly undulating but definitely enough of a stretch to give you a challenge.

Read On


Medium Route


Elevation 4,084 ft
Difficulty 4/6
Typically 6-8 Hrs

A bit more adventurous and does require you to be reasonably fit. Several long climbs will give you a stern work out – but the descents are glorious!

Read On


Long Route


Elevation 8,406 ft
Difficulty 6/6
Typically 8-10 Hrs

A real challenge but it covers all the very best of the Peak District National Park. Open to all you Men and Women of Steel out there!

Read On