Derbyshire Cycle Routes
Derbyshire has some beautiful scenery and excellent cycle trails and tracks.
Cycling attractions include the splendid Trans Pennine Trail and the Pennine Bridleway both of which contain miles of traffic free cycle tracks giving wonderful views of the beautiful Peak District National Park. Many of the routes below cover these two trails and other cycling attractions in the county.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Derbyshire Cycle Map
There are several National Cycle Network signed routes in the county many of which have been mapped and can be viewed and downloaded below.
For more information on NCN routes in the county (including free cycle maps) please click here
For more information on cycle routes in Derbyshire including tips, advice and free cycle maps please click here
|Ashbourne to Buxton||30 miles (48 km)||This ride takes you along various off road cycle paths and tracks through the Derbyshire countryside.|
The start point is at the beginning of the Tissington trail -a 13 mile off road path following the trackbed of a disused railway line.
You'll then join the off road Penine Bridleway and the Midshires way before a short on road section taking you into Buxton and finishing at the railway station.
|Bakewell Loop||9 miles (15 km)||This lovely short ride first follows the Monsal Trail through the Derbyshire countryside before returning to Bakewell via Ashford in the Water.|
The Monsal trail is an off road track with splendid views of the River Wye and the peak district scenery - it is a must see if visiting the area for cycling.
|Burton-Upon-Trent to Derby||16 miles (26 km)||Travel through Staffordshire into Derbyshire along NCN route 54 on this pleasant short route. The ride begins with a stretch by the River Trent, heading north towards Etwal with views of the Trent & Mersey Canal on the way. At Etwal you join a dismantled railway line for an off road stretch which takes you to the outskirts of Derby. You then head on road into the centre of Derby.|
|Burton-Upon-Trent to Uttoxeter||25 miles (40 km)||Travel through Staffordshire and Derbyshire along NCN route 54 on this interesting route. You start near the railway station in Burton-Upon-Trent and head north to Egginton in Derbyshire, with views of the River Trent and the Trent & Mersey Canal. The route continues through the countryside mainly on road but with a short stretch along a dismantled railway line near Etwal and Hilton. Other villages of note on the route are Hatton, Marston on Dove and Sudbury - home to National Trust owned Sudbury Hall with its interesting history and attractive gardens. Shortly after leaving Sudbury you will cross the River Dove and arrive at the finish point at Uttoxeter railway station.|
|Buxton to Hadfield||21 miles (34 km)||This ride takes you along NCN route 68 through the beautiful Peak District. The route starts by the railway station in Buxton and soon joins the lovely Midshires Way which has a nice traffic free section. You then continue onto Whaley Bridge and New Mills with views of the River Goyt. |
A spell along the Pennine Bridleway then takes you through Charlesworth, before a traffic free section crossing the River Etherow takes you into Hadfield, where you finish by the train station.
|Buxton to Marple||20 miles (32 km)||Follow NCN routes 55 and 68 from Buxton in the Peak District to the lovely town of Marple in Cheshire.|
Highlights on this route include the beautiful Peak District scenery and the Middlewood Way - an off road path passing by the Macclesfield Canal.
|Buxton to Matlock||31 miles (50 km)||A challenging but rewarding route taking you through the heart of the Peak District. |
Highlights include views of the Rivers Wye and Derwent and Chatsworth House - an attractive country house home to the Dukes of Devonshire. There is also a run along the lovely Monsal Trail which follows the River Wye. Attractive towns on the route inlclude Ashford in the Water and Bakewell. The route finishes in the county town of Matlock.
|Buxton to Uttoxeter||42 miles (68 km)||Take a trip through the lovely White Peak area of the Peak District on this challenging route which also passes by the famous Alton Towers theme park . You start by the railway station in Buxton and head south along NCN route 68 towards Hurdlow where you join the off road Pennine Bridleway for a short stretch. Country roads take you onto Hartington shortly before crossing the River Dove at Beresford Dale. You then join the Manifold Way - a terrific off road section that follows a dismantled railway line along the River Manifold. |
Country roads then take you onto Oakamoor where you join another dismantled railway line taking you along the River Churnet through the Churnet Valley. This is where you can stop for a ride on a roller coaster if the biking isn't exciting enough!
The final section takes you through Rocester and onto Uttoxeter in Staffordshire on country roads. The route finishes by the railway station in Uttoxeter
|Carsington Water||7 miles (12 km)||This route follows the circular cycling and walking trail around Carsington Water in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. The trail starts at the excellent visitor centre where cycle hire is available. It includes long shoreline sections and several woodland sections with great views of the surrounding countryside. |
The lake is also good for birdwatching. Look out for little owl, little grebe, great northern diver, Eurasian oystercatcher, common tern and breeding common redshank.
|Chesterfield to Alfreton||14 miles (23 km)||Follow NCN route 67 on this lovely largely off road route through Derbyshire. The ride starts by Chesterfield train station and heads south out of the town to join NCN route 67 on the Five Pits Trail - this lovely trail takes you through Grassmoor Country Park and on to Tibshelf Ponds. From there a short on road section takes you through Alfreton to the finish point at the train station.|
|Chesterfield to Sheffield||19 miles (30 km)||This is a nice route that follows the Trans Pennine Trail from Chesterfield to Sheffield. |
The route starts by the Chesterfield Canal and follows it for a few miles before a spell along a dismantled railway. The route finishes in the centre of Sheffield near the train station but apart from the finish is mainly off road.
Route highlights include the fine Renishaw Hall stately home at Renishaw and shortly after the lovely Rother Valley Country Park (below)
|Cloud Trail||13 miles (21 km)||This super traffic free cycle route runs from Derby to Worthington along National Cycle Network route number 6. Most of the trail takes place on traffic free, well surfaced paths so it's a lovely one for families or anyone looking for an easy flat ride.|
The route begins in the centre of Derby near the train station and takes you along the River Derwent and Derby Canal path, passing Pride Park, the home of Derby County Football Club. The rest of the ride takes place on a dismantled railway path which passes Swarkstone, Melbourne, the Trent Viaduct, the Trent and Mersey Canal and the River Trent. The route finishes at Cloud Quarry in Worthington.
It's a lovely route with waterside sections and great views of the surrounding countryside to enjoy.
|Derby to Ashbourne||22 miles (35 km)||Follow NCN route 54 through Derbyshire on this lovely route. The route starts by the tourist information centre in Derby and heads west to Mickleover where you join a dismantled railway line taking you to Etwal. The route continues through the countryside on quiet roads, through the villages of Longford and Rodsley, before finishing by the tourist information centre in Ashbourne.|
|Derby to Loughborough||25 miles (40 km)||Follow NCN route 6 from Derby to Loughborough. Much of this route follows off road paths and tracks including a pleasant stretch along the River Derwent at the start. This section takes you past Pride Park football stadium and also through Alvaston Park. You then pick up the Cloud Trail along a dismantled railway before another waterside stretch along the Trent & Mersey Canal and then across the River Trent. You then enter Leicestershire passing by the villages of Wilson and Breedon on the Hill and through some lovey countryside on the approach to Loughborough.|
|Derby to Matlock||22 miles (35 km)||Starting by the River Derwent in Derby this route follows a series of quiet country roads to Matlock.|
Route highlights include splendid views of the River Derwent especially at Duffield and Milford with its photographic weir. There is also another lovely waterside stretch along the Cromford Canal to enjoy.
|Derby to Nottingham||19 miles (30 km)||This easy route takes you between two major English cities. The routes starts on the banks of the River Derwent in Derby and the follows National Cycle Network route 6 to Long Eaton and then Nottingham, finishing on the banks of the River Trent. Much of the route follows the River Derwent with the lovely Attenborough Nature Reserve a further route highlight. The final stretch into Nottingham is particularly enjoyable taking you through the lovely university park, before a pleasant stretch along the River Trent brings the ride to a close.|
|Elvaston Castle Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 321 acres of open parkland, woodland and formal
gardens on this cycle or walk near Derby. In the park you will find the 17th century Elvaston Castle surrounded by delightful gardens with stables, kennels, a walled garden, a home farm, several cottages, gatelodges, an ice house and a boathouse.
In the country park there are a number of footpaths and bridleways to follow while National Cycle Network Route 6 also runs through the park. There is also a Nature Reserve where you can follow a number of footpaths to reed bed areas, wildflower meadows, wet woodlands, a lake and islands.
The River Derwent runs very close to the park so you can follow the riverside path into Derby to extend your walk or cycle.
|Five Pits Trail||6 miles (10 km)||This is a super off road cycling and walking trail running from Grassmoor Country Park to Tibshelf. The route follows National Cycle Network route number 67 but there is also a detour at Wolfie Pond which heads east to the Williamsthorpe Nature Reserve before rejoining the route south. |
The trail follows the route of the old Grand Central Railway through the countryside passing the Locko bird and wildlife reserve on the way. The start and end points of the route are also delightful with Grassmoor Country Park at one end and the woodlands and meadows of Tibshelf Ponds at the other. The trail is located just three miles south of Chesterfield town centre. If you're are on your bike you could follow the Chesterfield to Alfreton cycle route along NCN 67 as an extension of your ride.
|Grassmoor Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy meadows and lagoons in this pretty country park near Chesterfield. The park is a haven for wildlife - look out for water voles, grass snakes and butterflies. Grassmoor is the start of the Five Pits Trail so there is scope for continuing your walk or cycle.|
|High Peak Trail||17 miles (28 km)||This splendid, shared walking and cycle trail follows a disused railway line from Cromford to Dowlow through the beautiful Peak District National Park.
The trail starts near Cromford railway station and climbs through the stunning High Peak area of Derbyshire giving fabulous views of the area.
For more information on this trail, including picnic areas and cycle hire please click here
|Howden Derwent and Ladybower Reservoirs||16 miles (25 km)||This super cycle route takes you around three beautiful reservoirs in the Derbyshire Peak District. The route starts at the information centre at the top of Ladybower Reservoir where cycle hire is available. You then follow a series of waterside roads and traffic free paths around Derwent and Howden Reservoirs before returing to the start point. |
There's some spectacular scenery to enjoy including the Upper Derwent Valley with its mixture of water, woodlands, open moors and the dramatic Victorian dams. The area is well know for its birds of prey so look out for goshawk, sparrowhawk, buzzard, merlin and peregrine falcon.
The route is around 4 miles from Hope train station and 12 miles from Sheffield.
|Linacre Reservoirs||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy cycling and walking trails around these three pretty reservoirs near Chesterfield. Cyclists can enjoy a good track running around the middle and lower reservoirs while walkers can follow the same trails plus another around the upper reservoir. The trails are a mixture of lovely waterside paths plus some woodland trails through Linacre Woods. Look out for nuthatches, flycatchers and woodpeckers in the woods and kingfishers and mandarin ducks on the water. |
The circular route below starts at the car park and follows the shared cycle and walk trail around the middle and lower reservoirs. Linacre Reservoirs is located just a few miles west of Chesterfield city centre.
|Long Eaton to Langley Mill||12 miles (20 km)||This lovely ride starts at the Nuttbrook trail just north of Long Eaton rail station following it north to Langley Mill.|
The trail follows the Erewash canal and also includes a section through Shipley Country Park which makes it ideal for a leisurley afternoon's cycling.
The finish point is Langley Mill rail.
|Longdendale Trail||8 miles (13 km)||This splendid cycling and walking trail follows a disused railway line through the Longdendale in the Peak District National Park . The path starts in Hadfield and runs alongside a series of beautiful reservoirs including Bottoms, Torside, Woodhead and Rhodeswood before finishing at Salter's Brook.|
|Longshaw Estate||4 miles (6 km)||The Longshaw Estate is a National Trust owned country park in Upper Padley in the Peak District. The estate is perfect for walking with fabulous views of the Peak District, ancient woods, parkland and heather moorland. In the park there are pretty ponds, a waterside path along Barbrage Brook and the lovely Big Moor where you should look out for red deer. There are also excellent facilities with a tea room, shop and the Moorland Discovery Centre.|
From easter 2014 there will be two new bridleways suitable for cyclists. The routes will be waymarked so you can explore the estate on two wheels or on foot.
The Derwent Valley Heritage Way runs near the estate so you could continue your walk along the River Derwent. You could also continue south and climb up to Froggatt edge and Curbar Edge where there are spectacular views of the Peak District. The wonderful Padley Gorge Trail with its babbling brook and pretty waterfalls is another good option.
The park is located just a few miles from Sheffield.
|Manchester to Buxton||36 miles (58 km)||Follow NCN routes 6, 62 and 55 through Manchester, Cheshire and Derbyshire on this lovely ride. You start by Manchester Oxford Road station heading south through Chorlton to the River Mersey. Here you join a lovely traffic free section along the Trans Pennine Trail which takes you to Stockport. You then pass through Bredbury where you join another off road stretch by the River Goyt taking you onto Marple where you join the Middlewood Way - a lovely off road cycle path running along the Macclesfield Canal to Bollington. Quiet roads then take you through the beautiful Peak District to Buxton.|
|Monsal Trail||10 miles (16 km)||Follow the Monsal Trail through the Peak District National Park on this cycle and walking path.|
The trail follows a disused railway line from Chee Dale to Bakewell with the first section following the River Wye to Monsal Head via Cressbrook and Miller's Dale. The second section runs onto Bakewell passing Great Longstone with more stunning views to enjoy.
|National Forest Trail||25 miles (40 km)||Explore the National Forest in Leicestershire and Derbyshire on this super figure-of-eight cycle ride. The ride follows country lanes through woodland and countryside near Burton Upon Trent, visiting Donisthorpe Country Park, Conkers Waterside and Moira.|
|Pennine Bridleway||120 miles (193 km)||This fabulous 120 mile long trail runs through the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District, through Lancashire and on into Yorkshire.|
It is suitable for mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers taking you on a tour through some of the most beautiful parts of the country. The trail generally runs along dismantled railway lines, tracks and quiet roads passing through moorland, open fields and purple heather moors with the Pennine Hills providing a splendid backdrop.
Highlights on the route include several picturesque reservoirs and the eye catching 1300 ft Stoodley Pike Hill in Yorkshire.
For more information on this route, including accomodation and holiday ideas please click here
|Pleasley Pit Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||This former colliery site in Mansfield has been converted into a lovely country park and local nature reserve. There are a series of nice walking trails taking you to ponds, reed beds, grassland and woodland. It's great for flora and fauna with orchids, butterflies and dragonflies. There's also a bird hide where you can look out for Sand Martins and the various other species that visit the park.|
The park also includes a cycle path so you can bring your bike. Parking is available at the south eastern end of the park.
You can also learn about the history of the site by touring the engines and south shaft pit top on open days. The remaining pit buildings are an impressive sight and are now a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM).
If you would like to extend your walk you could head a mile to the east and visit Pleasley Woods. Here you will find more good walking trails within broadleaved and coniferous woodland. Also nearby is the wonderful Hardwick Hall Park where you will find miles of footpaths taking you around 2,500 acres of parkland, woodland, wetland and farmland. This is located just a couple of miles west of Pleasley.
|Poolsbrook Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||This 180 acre park consists of 85 acres of woodland, 42 acres of grassland and 23 acres of green water. There are several miles of well maintained paths suitable for cyclists or walkers. The park is located in Staveley, very near to Chesterfield.|
|Sabrina Way||203 miles (327 km)||This route is part of the National Bridleroute Network and primarily designed for horse riders but can be used by walkers and cyclists also. The trail starts at the deer park at Great Barrington and heads north to Hartington. The route passes through the Cotswolds, the Malvern Hills, the Wyre Forest and Cannock Chase Forest, before finishing in the Derbyshire Peak District. For cyclists a mountain bike or hybrid is advised.|
The route is waymarked with a blue arrow.
|Sett Valley Trail||2 miles (4 km)||This splendid cycling and walking trail runs through the beautiful Sett Valley in the Peak District. The route follows a disused railway line from New Mills to Hayfield via Birch Vale. It's a good surfaced path which provides a fairly easy ride for families. Along the way there's fantastic views of the River Sett, the pretty reservoir at Birch Vale and the surrounding Peak District countryside and hills. The route finishes at the former Hayfield Station where there are good facilities including a cafe and visitor centre. Please note that West of St Georges Road in New Mills the route is unsuitable for cyclists. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could visit the wonderful Torrs Riverside Park and Millennium Way in New Mills. In the park you will find a beautiful river gorge with a fabulous 160 metre long walkway elevated over the water. You could also pick up the Goyt Way which runs along the River Goyt and the Peak Forest Canal to the nearby Whaley Bridge.
|Shipley Country Park||6 miles (9 km)||This large country park near Ilkeston boasts 700 acres of attractive and varied landscape. In the park you'll find a number of lovely walking trails while the Nutbrook Trail cycle route also runs through the park.|
The trails visit Porter Wood, Mapperley Wood, Shipley Lake, Shipley Hill and Mapperley Reservoir. There's excellent facilities with a visitor centre, play areas, and a wildlife garden. The park is not far from both Derby and Nottingham.
|Stockport to Glossop||19 miles (30 km)||This route goes from Greater Manchester into Derbyshire via NCN route 62. The route starts by the railway station in Stockport and soon joins the Trans Penine Trail taking you along the River Tame and through Reddish Vale Country Park. You continue off road along the trail until Godley Green where quiet roads take you onto Broadbottom and then Hadfield crossing the River Etherow. A short stretch south then takes you through the High Peak district of Derbyshire with some wonderful scenery before you finish in Glossop at the train station.|
|Tissington Trail||13 miles (21 km)||The Tissington trail is a 13 mile off road path following the trackbed of a disused railway line through the stunning Peak District National Park.|
The trail is shared by walkers and cyclists offering fabulous views of the Derbyshire countryside. For more information on this trail, including picnic areas and cycle hire please click here
|Trans Pennine Trail||215 miles (346 km)||This terrific walking and cycling trail runs from coast to coast across northern England entirely on surfaced paths. It starts on the Yorkshire coast at Hornsea and passes through Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester before finishing on the Merseyside coast at Southport.|
|Trent and Mersey Canal||95 miles (153 km)||Follow the Trent and Mersey Canal through Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire on this long distance waterside walk. |
The route start at Shardlow near Long Eaton in Derbyshire and heads through Weston-on-Trent and Willington to Burton-Upon-Trent where you will pass the lovely Branston Water Park with its woodland, wetland and meadow. You continue to Alrewas where you will pass the National Memorial Arboretum. The Arboretum contains over 50,000 trees with nearly 300 memorials for the armed forces, civilian organisations and voluntary bodies who have played a part in serving the country.
The next stage takes you through Handsacre to Rugeley where you will pass the wonderful Cannock Chase Country Park. It's worth taking a short detour to explore the Cannock Chase AONB with miles of woodland walking and cycling trails, lakes, ponds and wildlife including deer and various birds to look out for.
You continue through the beautiful Trent Valley passing the National Trust Owned Shugborough Hall at Great Haywood. It is worth a visit with a grand hall, museum, kitchen garden, model farm and extensive parkland with follies, woodland and a Chinese House with two Chinese-style bridges.
The route continues through Weston to Stone before coming to the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent where you will pass the splendid Trentham Gardens. Also in Stoke you will pass Westport Lake which is worth a small detour.
You continue north to Kidsgrove where you will find the Grade II* listed Rode Hall, surrounded by parkland and formal gardens. The hall and gardens are open to the public from April to September and are well worth a small detour from the canal.
The canal continues through Cheshire to Sandbach where you will pass close to the Watch Lane Flash Nature Reserve. Onward to Middlewhich and Northwhich where you will pass Marbury Country Park. It's a delightful area with magnificent Lime avenues, an Arboretum and the delightful Budworth Mere.
The final section takes you to Runcorn passing Barnton and Weaverham with views of the River Weaver. You finish near Runcorn where the Trent and Mersey Canal links with the Bridgewater Canal.
You can walk along the towpath for the whole route while cyclists can enjoy a long section through Stoke-on-Trent and a shorter section between Weston-on-Trent and Swarkstone.