The Long Route
The beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest
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.
|Ilam||Breakfast (14 mi)|
|Millers Dale||Lunch (52 mi)|
|Goyt Valley||Afternoon Tea (83 mi)|
Starting elevation 1110 ft above sea level. Highest elevation 1724 ft above sea level.521m 0 mi 25 mi 50 mi 75 mi 100 mi
Points of Interest
Take in a little bit of paradise along the aptly named ‘Paradise Walk’ by the River Manifold.
A beautiful Grade II* listed building and 17th-century Jacobean mansion house in Tissington.
Almost 2 miles and 15% gradient at times. There are two Bronze Age burial mounds at the peak of Mam Tor which are the oldest remaining features on the mountain at approximately 3,500 years old.
The settlement was established by the Normans in the 12th century, originally as a hunting lodge within the Forest of High Peak.
A real challenge awaits! You will however be rewarded with the best cycling in the Peak District, passing through a diverse landscape of river valleys, heather moorlands and scenic reservoirs.
You start riding by heading north on the High Peak Trail where you exit the trail at Parsley Hay from here you will enjoy a leisurely descent all the way towards Hartington village, quintessential English country village.
Breakfast at 14 miles
The route undulates on a mix of trails and tarmac country roads before arriving at the first refreshment stop at Ilam Hall (‘Eye-lamb’). an impressive Tudor Gothic mansion which is run by the National Trust, this pretty hamlet of Alpine-style cottages nestles among spectacular hills beside the River Manifold. This is the perfect place for you to soak up the atmosphere with a quintessentially English breakfast.
More hills follow before you rejoin the Tissington Trail. Why not take a detour into Tissington village to see the beautiful Tissington Hall built in 1609 and the home to Sir Richard Fitzherbert. Tissington is one of the prettiest and most unspoilt villages not only in Derbyshire but in the whole of the country. Tissington is known as the mother place of well dressing and visitors come from all over the world to witness the annual well dressing ceremony on Ascension Day.
Be sure to retrace your wheels to the route to take the ford or bridge crossing the Bradbourne Brook and onwards to Bradbourne and Brassington both attractive villages.
You’ll rejoin The High Peak Trail - all the way down into the valley of the River Derwent – with far reaching views across a green landscape of fields and hills. Along your way look out for former railway buildings and features, including Middleton Top Engine House and Hopton Tunnel.
The trail ends with an unavoidable 3 mile steep and tricky descent to the Cromford Canal at High Peak Junction, part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Extreme care is needed on this stretch – we recommend 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!
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. After crossing a stone bridge over the River Derwent 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 your ride through the parkland, landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, passing the beautiful village of Edensor on your left.
Lunch at 52 miles
You join the Monsal Trail, a former railway line and now a superb traffic-free route, perfect for cycling at Bakewell Station for a superb traffic free route for the next 6.5 miles all the way to the impressive Millers Dale Railway Station and your lunchtime Feast Stop. Millers Dale railway station was once a large and important station on the Midland Railway’s line between Manchester and London which opened in 1861 the perfect stop for our Great British Adventure.
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.
2 miles at 15% gradient
After climbing out of the valley of the River Wye at Millers Dale you pass through the sleepy little village of Wormhill, little changed in centuries and with a set of old stocks and a drinking fountain and with troughs on the village green. Then past some stone cottages in the small hamlet of Wheston before dropping down in to Tideswell, one of the biggest villages in the Peak District and onwards towards Hope and the beautiful Edale Valley. On leaving Edale village you come to the first very major climb - the dramatic Mam Nick - 2 miles at 15% gradient at times! The effort is well worth it as the views along the ridge and back down the Edale Valley are stupendous.
Afternoon tea at 83 miles
The route then heads downhill to the ancient market town of Chapel-en-le Frith, “The Capital of the Peak District" established by the Normans in the 12th Century. From here you head past Combs Reservoir towards the delightful, wooded Goyt Valley. Here you will enjoy your third refreshment stop at the Erwood Sailing club house overlooking Errwood Reservoir.
After climbing out of the valley up onto the moorland west of Buxton, you'll cross the famous ‘Cat & Fiddle’ road where the route undulates on a mix of trails and tarmac country roads. You will pass by the cobbled market place in Longnor village and your route heads out with far reaching views across the upper valley of the River Dove. Here the valley is beautiful and wide, very different than the same river’s narrow valley at Ilam where you enjoyed your breakfast stop.
Enjoy the ride as you drop down into the valley bottom – your climb up again on the other side is the last challenging climb of the day with a short sharp climb at times 20% gradient. Views to your left include iconic Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, two actual ‘peaks’ in the Peak District National Park. Pass two traditional English pubs, the Packhorse Inn at tiny Crowdecote and the Royal Oak at Hurdlow, then immediately join the High Peak Trail for your final 6 mile leg back to the Festival finish-line.
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
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