Three great reasons for cycling holidays in the Peak District and Derbyshire
Come at stay at Derwent House in Matlock and find out why its ideally suited for your self-guided cycling holiday:
- The Peak District is a fantastic place for self-guided cycling holidays with a wealth of traffic-free cycle trails.
- The Peak District has something for every level of cyclists from a beginner or small family to the cyclist who want challenging terrain and steep climbs.
- We are able offer secure cycle storage facilities for guests staying at Derwent House just next door at our Bed and Breakfast property, Glendon.
The cycling trails
One of the joys of cycling is exploring areas that are not accessible by car –There are several cycle routes throughout the Derbyshire and Peak National Park. A great option for family groups are the trails around the reservoirs. There is the 8-mile trail that circles Carsington Water or the longer 15-mile trail around the Derwent Reservoirs. The Carsington trail. Most of this trail is off-road so ideal for family groups. There are also good places to eat and drink, toilets and play facilities for children. The Derwent trail is more challenging with some steeper climbs and downward slopes. The trials around the reservoirs are great for seeing varied bird species, adding an extra interest, as well as the famous link with the World War Two Dam busters. One of our favourites is the Monsal Trail, located at the edge of Bakewell to Blackwell Mill. The trail runs along the former railway track and offers some stunning scenery and allows riders to experience travel through the former train tunnels, which are still in place.
The cycling terrain
The Peak District National Park offers different terrains at three levels: easy going, explorer and extended. The easy-going routes are traffic free and are ideal for beginners and mixed groups. The explorer routes offer more challenge and provide the opportunity to explore some of the ‘real’ Peak District. The extended routes are well suited for multi-day cycle rides and are designed to for more experienced riders. The different levels of trail have multiple routes and are supported by GPX files.
The GPX files contain location data, such as way-points, routes and the tracks to follow. They use a standard format that can be imported and read by multiple devices such as smartphones and apps such as Google maps and and offer useful guides along the way. The GPX files for the easy going, explorer and extended routes can all be accessed from the national Parks website.
For mountain bikers there is the South Peak Loop, a 70-mile route, divided into sections. This route was created by Peak HorsePower, a horse-riding advocacy group, and provides a great ride. The route covers farm tracks, converted railway lines, and quiet country lanes. It takes in some wonderful sites of the Peak District along the way, including the Manifold Valley, Chatsworth and Chee Dale. A few riders complete the route in one-day, but this is a steep challenge. And it leaves little time to enjoy the sights along the way. Spread over 2-3 days it will allow time for a more leisurely ride exploring the varied landscapes and sites along the route.
The cycling facilities
There are plenty of places to hire cycles in Derbyshire. Carsington water has a cycle hire centre, ideal for exploring the reservoir. At Derwent Reservoir cycles can be hired from Fairholmes visitor centre. Hassop Station, which is located along the Monsal trail, offers a variety of cycles for hire, including electric bikes. Electric bikes are becoming more popular and are great to allow groups of different ability to experience the same trails.
At Derwent House we are keen to welcome cyclists. Our secure cycle storage facilities hold several bikes, which is ideal if you are bringing your own cycles. There is also a cycle shop located in Matlock if needed.
Places to cycle to on Google Map
Click on the map icons for details.