TOURING HIGHLIGHTS TRAINS, CANALS, HOUSES AND HILLS
From the wild moors of the Dark Peak, punctured by crops of black granite and windswept heather, to the long, thin medieval strip fields of the White Peak area, the Tour de Peak District enjoys plenty of natural beauty. Take the time to explore it on foot at Marsden Moor, or spend an extra day riding the Peak Railway to witness the park’s breath-taking views from the window of a steam train.
Transport links are frequent and reliable in the Peaks, so outings to Bakewell, home to the bakewell tart, or stately homes such as Chatsworth House are easily achieved. Get an aerial view of the area from Matlock Bath’s cable car at the Heights of Abraham. Standedge Tunnel is the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain, and counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. Take a boat trip along its length, or head up into the hills for a Bronze Age experience at Nine Ladies Stone Circle.
The departure from Marsden is particularly challenging. Other stand-out climbs feature after Whaley Bridge and the trek from Thorncliffe up to the ridgeline, both of which boast panoramic views at their summits.
One of the best descents, meanwhile, leads the way into Disley. It’s a wonderfully sweeping stretch of road – one of many on this rising, diving route.
THE TERRAIN LANES AND TRAILS WITH ON-ROAD ALTERNATIVES
- Country lanes
- Hard-packed trails
- Old railway lines
- Road alternatives
The Tour de Peak District follows country lanes as it circles the border of the Peak District National Park. In places it departs the tarmac along green pathways and hard-packed trails, including sections of the Pennine Bridleway.
A hybrid bicycle is best-suited to these off-road diversions, but there is always a road-based alternative to hand for cyclists on road bicycles.
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