It is a pleasant multi-day cycling challenge that anyone with moderate fitness and reasonable cycling ability can achieve, but those new to cycling should tackle easier and shorter routes before working up to this route!
Distance: 255km (150 miles)
Total Ascent/Descent: 6235m
- Moderately fit person with some cycling experience: 5days (roughly 50km/30miles a day)
- Regular and committedcyclists: 3 days (roughly 80km/50miles a day)
- Superfit enduro types: your challenge is to do it in a day, but beware it does include some off-road bits and riding it on a very lightweight road-racing bike won’t be a good idea without altering the route somewhat!
Recommended access points/Overnight stops:
- Matlock (access point and overnight stop)
- Dungworth (overnight stop 5 dayer)
- Marsden (access point and overnight stop 3 or 5 dayer)
- Whaley Bridge (access point and overnight stop 3 or 5 dayer)
- Macclesfield (access point and overnight stop 3 dayer)
- Blackshaw Moor (nr Leek) or Waterhouses (overnight stop 5 dayer)
It should be noted, the route does not stick absolutely religiously to the boundaries of the national park. In some cases there is no permissible path for cyclists along the boundary, in which case the nearest “nice” route is taken. In other cases, where a nicer off-road route or quiet country lane exists near to one running along the boundary, the nicer route is also used. And the route cuts across the gap created by the exclusion of Buxton from the national park.
Purists may disagree with these choices, but they are welcome to devise their own variation!
The route is described in full in Chiz Dakin’s Cycling in the Peak District guidebook (published by Cicerone Press).
The links below take you to Amazon – if you use these links to buy a copy, Chiz Dakin gets a very small amount of commission which helps her research and write the next guidebook 🙂