Dark Peak MTB Short Break

Dark Peak MTB Short Break

Ride the Dark Peak on a long weekend with this 49-mile mountain biking circuit, beginning and ending in Bamford.

3 nights
49 miles
Demanding / Strenuous

From £370 per person

Find out about the tour

About this route

A shorter version of our Dark Peak Mountain Biking route, the Dark Peak Short Break takes in the very best riding in the area, full of rocky trails through wild moorland and above the gleaming waters of Ladybower Reservoir.

With a steady climb out of Bamford along the southern flank of Win Hill, the trail hits narrow bridleway at Hope Brink to follow the Roman road to Hope Cross and the rocky descent known as 'The Beast'. After looping back alongside Ladybower to climb back over Hope Brink, descend to Hope for a tough climb up Pin Dale and a superb technical, rocky challenge descending Cave Dale. Wild moorland becomes a staple as the Dark Peak Short Break heads west via Rushup Edge and Roych Clough on hard-packed trails beneath looming Kinder Scout and into Hayfield.

Day two cuts back to Coldwell Clough to tackle the long climb up to Edale Cross, rewarded by the spectacular descent of Jacob’s Ladder. Climbing to and descending from Hollins Cross on the Great Ridge, the trail climbs back to Hope Cross, this time to descend 'Potato Alley'. A good climb to Lockerbrook leads to a fantastic downhill to Gores Farm, with a loop around Ladybower leading to one final climb to Whinstone Lee Tor and a final long, sinuous descent back to Bamford.

© Contours Walking Holidays Dark Peak MTB Short Break map
49 miles (78 km)
19th March to 31st October

Holiday highlights

Tackling the best descents in the Dark Peak in one circular cycling holiday.

Hitting remote bridleways as you cross beneath Kinder Scout.

Riding high above the surrounding countryside on rocky hilltop trails.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
C-DP-MBSB A circular trail beginning at Bamford 3 nights, 2 days riding Demanding / Strenuous£370

Dark Peak MTB - Short Break 3 nights, 2 days riding

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Elevation & terrain
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Bamford where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Bamford to Hayfield. 25.5 miles (40.5km) / 3976 ft (1212 m) ascent

Day 2

Hayfield to Bamford. 23.5 miles (37.5km) / 3740 ft (1140 m) ascent


Depart from Bamford after breakfast

Your Itinerary

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than 2.5 miles from the trail to your accommodation.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£45.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 3 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Book an extra night into your holiday and see the sights, explore the local trails or take the time to rest and relax in picturesque surroundings.

Wondering where to book that extra night?

An extra night in Bamford adds a day to enjoy the stunning countryside out here in the Dark Peak. Ride up to Ladybower Reservoir for a quiet day by the water (or a fast-paced day exploring still more bridleway) or head to Bamford Edge to explore the brilliant rock formations.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 49 miles (78 km)
Duration: 3 nights, 2 days riding
Minimum daily distance: 23.5 miles (37.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 25.5 miles (40.5 km)
Code: C-DP-MBSB Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 19th March - 31st October
Start of holiday: Bamford
End of holiday: Bamford

Elevation & Terrain

Route profile

Dark Peak MTB - Short Break Route Profile

Favouring gradual ascents where possible, the Dark Peak Short Break includes a few short stints of relatively flat trails along the shore of the reservoir, but is largely an undulating route that rises to high-up trails with a mix of long and intense descents.


  • Rocky, muddy and hard-packed bridleway and byways
  • Low-traffic roads

The Dark Peak MTB short break favours unsurfaced terrain along bridleways and byways. Expect a mix of rocky, technical terrain; muddy, rooty pathways across the moors; and some less technical surfaces of grit and hard-packed soil. The trail avoids tarmac where possible, save a few linking sections and the run down into town to overnight accommodation.

We recommend you have experience riding off road before attempting the Dark Peak MTB short break. You’ll need a capable mountain bike to ride these off-road trails, especially the more challenging sections.


Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air – The most convenient major cities and international airports are Manchester, Leeds Bradford & East Midlands.

By Rail – There is a train station at the start/end of the trail (Bamford).

From London – Trains run from London Euston & St Pancras International stations to Bamford.

Return to the Start – This is a circular route starting and ending in Bamford.

Please note:

Most train lines will allow for bikes to be taken on board. We advise that you check on https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/cyclists.aspx as you may need to book a space for your bike or there may be a limit as to how many bikes the train can store.

Most buses in the UK are unable to store bikes on board, so we would recommend avoiding this form of transport.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Routes on this trail

Dark Peak MTB Mountain biking
4 to 5 nights
62 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
From £485 per person
Take on the best Peak District bridleways on this 61-mile-long self-guided mountain biking holiday, beginning and ending in Bamford.Find Out More