The Peak District’s traffic-free paths, tranquil rural lanes, picturesque villages and untouched countryside are a delight to discover. And one of the finest ways to do so is on a bike.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist, or a humble novice, there will be routes to suit your every taste and requirement. But there’s more to planning a bike trip than deciding on where to cycle. There’s also the logistics, the practicalities and the contingencies. So we’ve put together a quick guide to help you along the way.
Popular Cycling Routes
There is an array of cycling routes to choose from in the Peak District, but perhaps the most interesting is the High Peak Trail. This route is better suited to more experienced cyclists, as it combines several steep inclines with sharp curves.
Another popular route is Tissington Trail and Parwich. This takes you from Parsley Hey along the High Peak Trail to Gotham, then along a minor road to the delightful village of Parwich, returning by minor roads and the Tissington Trail to Parsley Hey.
Finally there is Carsington Reservoir Circuit, on the southern edge of the Peak District. There is a marked-out trail around the reservoir which follows a mixture of cycle ways and small roads. This is a fairly long ride (approx 16 km), but there are also plenty of opportunities for shorter rides in the area.
Bike-Friendly Hotels in the Peak District
As you would expect, much of the accommodation in the Peak District caters towards cyclists who are bringing their own bikes. Many of the hotels in the region have secure places to store bikes overnight. Below are some of our recommended bike-friendly Peak District hotels, based on our own experiences.
There are several accommodation options in the attractive village of Calver, most of which are mid-to-high range. One of the best Calver hotels is the 4-star Valley View Guest House. There are a number of nearby attractions including Haddon Hall, as well as amenities such as pubs, craft shops and garden centres.
Another popular town in the Peak District is Buxton, and there are several Buxton hotels to choose from, including the 4-star Roseleigh Guest House. This hotel is ideally placed for exploring the Peak District National Park and Derbyshire Dales. Nearby attractions include the impressive Buxton Opera House.
If they are a little rich for your budget, how about the 3-star Legacy Chesterfield hotel. Situated at the gateway of the Peak District National Park, and close to the famous Crooked Spire church. This hotel has leisure facilities, a steakhouse restaurant and free on-site parking.
If you’d rather stay on a camp site, there are several to choose from in the region.
Rivendale Caravan Site sits in a 13 acre site and has a central-heated shower building, as well as a lounge, bar and café. This site is also just 100m from the gateway to the Tissington Trail, close to Hartington and Dovedale.
Another option is Middle Hills Farm Campsite, a small peaceful campsite surrounded by delightful scenery. A local pub is within easy walking distance.
It’s vital for cyclists to know that should their bike give up on them, there’s a reliable shop within reach where they can restore it back to working order, assuming you can’t do it yourself of course.
There are several that can be accessed from points across the Peak District, including The Bike Shop in Derbyshire.
Places for Lunch
A fine choice for those choosing to stay at the Roseleigh Guest House would be the nearby Old Hall Hotel in the centre of Buxton. Located across the leafy square from the Pavillion Gardens and Opera House, the Old Hall Hotel boasts a restaurant overlooking the Gardens and offers an a la carte menu with vegetarian options.
The Peak District is dotted with some fantastic attractions, including villages, old buildings, monuments, churches, railways, caves and other places of interest.
One of the finest attractions is the beautifully preserved Haddon Hall, which is arguably the best example of a medieval manor house to be found anywhere in England. The Peak District is also home to a world famous church, known as the Crooked Spire (for literal reasons), which draws visitors from across the globe.
There are also a couple of impressive natural wonders that are well worth a visit. Firstly, the Roaches, which is an area of rock and heather that attracts walkers and rock climbers from near and far. Secondly, Stanage Edge, which is an escarpment made of gritstone, also popular with rock climbers.
Let us know your experiences by leaving a comment below.