Hiking and Biking in Derbyshire

Monsal Head viaduct on the Monsal Trail

Monsal Head viaduct on the Monsal Trail

If you love hiking and biking through marvellous scenery, read on…

Visitors to Candlelight Cottage are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to walk and cycle. We are surrounded by amazing countryside and are ideally positioned for you to be able to enjoy all of the well known walking and cycling routes in the Peak District. With over 1,600 miles of marked footpaths and cycle routes from which to choose, you will never run out of new places to explore.

Here are a few ideas within easy reach of Candlelight Cottage:

The Pennine Way.

The Pennine Way offers 268 miles of the finest upland walking in England. Stretching from the Peak District National Park to the Scottish Borders, the trail passes along the rugged backbone of England. The village of Edale, with Kinder Scout to the north, is the starting point of the Pennine Way. Edale is just a short drive from Candlelight Cottage and an excellent place for a day’s hill walking.

The Monsal Trail.

The Monsal Trail can be reached on foot from Litton. One of several disused railway lines in the area, it now provides a traffic free and gentle route for walkers and cyclists of all abilities. It is especially suitable for families and for those who prefer a gentle cycle or walk. Wheelchair and mobility scooter access is provided along the route and there are cycle hire facilities (including electric bikes) at Hassop Station and Blackwell Mill. The route stretches through wonderful scenery across viaducts and through tunnels for 8.5 miles from Bakewell to Blackwell Mill near Buxton.

Cycling on the High Peak Trail, near Minninglow, Peak District, Derbyshire.

Cycling on the High Peak Trail, Peak District, Derbyshire.

The High Peak Trail and The Tissington Trail.

The High Peak Trail and the Tissington Trail are also former railway lines, which now provide safe and accessible walking and cycling trails through the stunning scenery of the White Peak. The Tissington Trail runs for 13.5 miles from Parsley Hay to Ashbourne. The High Peak Trail runs for 17.5 miles from near Cromford via Parsley Hay to Dowlow near Buxton. Cycle hire for all ages and abilities is available on both routes along with cafes and rest stops. These trails run through cuttings, across embankments and bridges and through some of the most dramatic and magnificent scenery in the White Peak.


The Limestone Way.

The Limestone Way runs through the White Peak of the Peak District National Park, from Castleton to Rocester, over the county boundary in Staffordshire. Its route brings it close to Candlelight Cottage at Millers Dale. The trail is 46 miles long and passes through very varied and beautiful White Peak scenery.

The White Peak Way.

The White Peak Way is a challenging 8o mile circular walk or biking route starting and finishing at Bakewell. It passes through many of the prettiest limestone dales, including Dove Dale, Millers Dale and Hay Dale as well as through Chatsworth and Haddon Hall estates and Castleton, home of the famous Blue John caves. From Litton, it can be joined easily just down the road at Tideswell or Millers Dale.

Ladybower Reservoir - Derwent Reservoirs Circuit

Ladybower Reservoir – Derwent Reservoirs Circuit

Other excellent walking and off road biking routes include:

Derwent Reservoir Circuit

The circuit of all three reservoirs, Ladybower, Derwent and Howden is a very good ride through magnificent scenery. A lot of the route is on rough tracks, so a mountain bike is advisable, but this is a fairly flat route as mountain bike routes go, with relatively little rough ground. Fairholmes visitor centre and car park has cycle hire facilities and a very nice café, making this an ideal starting point for the many other walks and rides possible in the area. Alport Castles and beyond Yorkshire Bridge are two of our favourites.


Carsington Water

An 8 mile off road circuit suitable for walkers and mountain bikes circling the Carsington Water reservoir. Very scenic with plenty of wildlife and water sports to watch!

The Manifold Trail

The Manifold Trail is an easy walking or cycling trail following the route of the former Leek Light Manifold railway. A climb up to Thor’s Cave along the route is well worth it for views of the valley below. This trail is suitable for people of all abilities and facilities including a café can be found at Wetton Mill. 

The Longdendale Trail

This trail is a little further away, but suitable for walkers and cyclists alike. The Longdendale Trail starts in Hadfield and runs alongside a series of beautiful reservoirs including Bottoms, Torside, Woodhead and Rhodeswood before finishing at Salter’s Brook. The trail is said to be haunted – Locals report seeing ghosts of Roman soldiers wandering the area and apparently there are regular sightings of flashing lights streaking up the valley!

The Pennine Way between Snake Pass and Kinder Scout

The Sett Valley Trail and The Five Pits Trail

Both of these trails follow former railway lines through pretty countryside and are suitable for families, walkers and cyclists. The Sett Valley Trail is an “access for all” trail linking New Mills and Hayfield and the Five Pits Trail  links Grassmoor Country Park and Tibshelf Ponds.

If all this is too tame for the thrill seeking mountain bikers amongst you, click here for some ideas for more taxing mountain biking routes.

At Candlelight Cottage, we welcome many bikers and hikers to the Peak District every year. We can make route suggestions based on your abilities and interests. Check out our availability here and come and see this wonderful area for yourself.

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