The Medium Route
The beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest
A bit more adventurous and requires reasonable fitness. Several long climbs will give you a stern workout but the descents are glorious.
High Peak Junction
Afternoon Tea (48mi)
Starting elevation 1,110 ft above sea level. Highest elevation marked at 1,350 ft above sea level.0 mi 30 mi 60 mi
High Peak Trail
60 miles through the Peak District reveals the all the highlights of this stunning region without committing to the more gruelling 100-mile route. Leaving the Festival at Friden, you will steadily pedal along the High Peak Trail for a few warming miles. Take in the sights of the rolling fields of the White Peak, which is found in the lower, southern part of the Peak District, its namesake due to the underlying limestone.
Hartington & Longnor
After a relaxing spin along the Trail, you’ll drop into Hartington Village before continuing up a short 5% climb, which will quickly raise the pulse in preparation for the next county along the route, Staffordshire. You’ll cross paths with the 100-mile route in Longnor, which one of the oldest villages you’ll venture through with the first-recorded church building dating back to the middle ages.
The undulating roads of Sterndale Moor will lead to stunning panoramas across the High Peak so be sure not to forget your camera and capture the view along the tops. Recover along the flat for a couple of miles before enjoying a descent into Taddington, a quaint village sitting on the central limestone plateau of the White Peak. This 8-mile descent will allow much needed recovery before an 11% burst up to the delightfully classic Monsal Trail.
Rolling terrain and respite through the charming villages of Litton, Cressbrook and Great Longstone, which are new on the route this year, lead to the classically delightful Monsal Trail, a former cross-Pennine railway line built back in 1863. Shortly after passing the market town of Bakewell a short, sharp climb through the forest leads to Beeley where a gradual 2-mile closed-road climb brings you to the top of the Moor and its huge vistas.
Enjoy pedalling along the famous disused 19th century railway line popular for walkers and cyclists alike before replenishing your food stores at Thornbridge Hall in Great Longstone after 25 mile of tough pedalling. This stunning building is a real sight to savour and the surrounding gardens and topiary mean you’ll be reluctant to leave after refuelling with quality local produce of sandwiches, pies and snacks. After forcing yourself away from the grounds of Thornbridge, you’ll rejoin the Trail and head towards the market town of Bakewell, well known for the famous dessert and its agricultural heritage. Spy the River Wye which runs through the town and move on to a testing climb past the golf course and through the forest, up and over the ridge to Beeley Moor.
You’ll soon be able to see the world famous Chatsworth House, set in glorious pastures with herds of sheep and deer roaming free. Climbing up on to the closed-road 2-mile stretch towards Beeley Moor, the landscape changes to a view of Chesterfield and the more northern part of Derbyshire.
A 10-mile descent from the moors allows for some well-earned recuperation close to Carsington Water, bustling with wildlife. Your final rest-stop is High Peak Trail junction at 47 miles where you’ll again meet with the 100-mile riders and share tales of your adventures over a drink and fine locally baked cakes. Just when you thought you’d climbed them all, you’ll rejoin the High Peak Trail for one last gear-grinding off-road climb towards the Festival hub of Friden Grange, where you can relax for the rest of the day with your friends and family.