Route 66 is a new orbital cycle route around Derby. Roughly 40km long, it runs through Little Chester, Chaddesden, Spondon, Alvaston, Boulton, Allenton, Sinfin Moor, Sinfin, Littleover, Mickleover, Mackworth, Allestree and Darley Abbey.
Most of the route is well signposted, but occasionally some signs are missing. Look out for unexpectedly subtle signs on quaint black signposts in some sections (particularly Darley Abbey), and some rather incongruous Route66 American interstate signs.
Like the 50k orbital route around Auckland (New Zealand), the route is much more of a utility route than a tourist route. It’s one that joins up several places around Derby together to make it more convenient to cycle between places, rather than being a pleasant scenic route in its own right. As such it’s not surprising a substantial part of it runs through housing estates. The southern and western parts of the route are perhaps the most pleasant scenically – with the stretch on dirt track/narrow country lanes across Sinfin Moor and the woodland section of Mackworth park being two of the best sections. On the flip side, the section that goes through Sinfin Asda carpark has to be the next daftest section of cycle route I’ve come across after the route that ended in five flights of steps in Edinburgh! Surely there must be a better option than straight across a busy car park?
That aside, it’s a useful route for cycling between places in Derby that has some pleasant green spaces en-route, and some convenient off-road sections connecting quiet roads together.