Whichever Premier Cottage you choose in the Peak District, you’re never far from one of the many superb off-road cycle ways that crisscross the area. If you're planning a trip where you have the freedom to roam open country from the limestone dales of the White Peak to the high moorlands of the Dark Peak, here are 6 fabulous cycling routes:
The scenic Monsal Trail is an 8.5 mile stretch between Bakewell and Blackwell Junction near Buxton. The trail offers an amazing journey through newly re-opened tunnels, in narrow cuttings and over imposing viaducts above the River Wye. If you're staying in a holiday cottage in Derbyshire, then this is a perfect way to embrace stunning scenery and get active.
Enjoy a peaceful cycle on the Monsal Trail near Churchdale Farm, Derbyshire.
High Peak Trail
Ride 18 miles of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway, across the crest of the limestone uplands with wide-open vistas and big skies, and through countryside rich in industrial history. At Parsley Hay, the trail intersects with... Tissington Trail! The 13-mile trail follows the route of the old Buxton to Ashbourne railway, passing the chocolate box village of Tissington, and close to Dovedale - the dramatic limestone ravine with its remarkable scenery and famous stepping stones over the picture-perfect river Dove.
Take in stunning scenery whilst cycling the gorgeous High Peak Trail.
The fabulous Carsington Water is an 8 mile cycle around the reservoir between Ashbourne and Cromford. Head towards the dam head and enjoy its wide, open views. When you fancy a break, you can stop off at one of the bird hides to spot some of the 200 species of birds that inhabit the reed beds and islands.
Give your bike a rest while you seek out and enjoy the local wildlife.
This superb 15 mile trail encompasses Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley. A mix of road and track including the edge of the moorland where buzzards, merlins, peregrine falcons, goshawks and sparrowhawks hunt for prey.
Try your hand at mountain biking.
Following the track of an old milk-train line, the Manifold Trail descends gently through 9 miles of the ‘Little Switzerland of Staffordshire’ from Hulme End to Waterhouses. The pillars of rocks that rise out of the steep-sided hills and iconic Thor’s Cave make for a dramatic contrast to the gentle farmland.
Discover the picture-perfect Manifold Trail near Parkfields Stable, Derbyshire.
A 6.5 mile cycle beginning at Hadfield (better known as Royston Vasey in The League of Gentleman), the trail rises gently through the valley flanked by moorland and on past a series of five reservoirs to its end at Woodhead Tunnel.
All words by Deborah and Martin Hofman of the lovely Wheeldon Trees Farm Holiday Cottages, Derbyshire.
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