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The Tour de Peak District


Route Summary

Take a tour between picturesque Derbyshire villages and rural upland views along gentle packhorse trails, ancient toll roads, and quiet lanes. This 160-mile circular cycling route celebrates Britain's first national park, the Peak District, with an engaging lap around its perimeter.

From bustling Matlock, the Tour de Peak District heads along grassy lanes past Oaker, Parson House, and More Hall and Langsett Reservoirs. There's a steep climb from Marsden that rises over Redbrook Reservoir before sweeping into Diggle and beyond along a disused railway track. A wooded riverside trail squirms on from Carrbrook, past Upper Swineshaw, and across Ogden Brook. The route follows Middlewood Way past Whaley Bridge and rises to Gun Moor before the final day’s riding brings it back to Matlock.

Although it includes wholly road-based alternatives for the strictly-street cyclist, the Tour de Peak District is still one of the best for anyone looking to try a few easy off-road stretches.

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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.

ELEVATION HILLY

Gentle climbs and descents roll between steeper sections.

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.

Route profile

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THE TERRAIN LANES AND TRAILS WITH ON-ROAD ALTERNATIVES

  • Country lanes
  • Bridleways
  • 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.

Route NEWS

12/06/2017 Update
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Route Details

Length: 154 miles / 246 km
Start & end: Matlock / Matlock
Season: 2nd January to 24th December

Itineraries


TOUR CODE ITINERARY NO LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
WITH LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
GRADE more info more info  
C-PD1 3 nights, 2 days £235 £325 Hard More Info Book Now
C-PD2 7 nights, 6 days £545 £686 Easy More Info Book Now

The above itineraries show our preferred overnight stops. If accommodation is unavailable at any of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly.

Please note that if you choose not to book luggage transfers for your holiday, you must make sure that you are able to carry all of your luggage with you for the duration of the holiday, whether this be via the use of panniers or any other method you wish. Ensure that you test the weight of your luggage while riding well in advance, so that you are comfortable transporting your own luggage during your holiday. We particularly recommend booking mountain biking holidays with lugagge transfers included.


Pricing Information

Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are riding on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo rider supplement: £45 per person / per night
  • Single supplement: £20 per person / per night

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

  • Extra night (Standard) : £50 per person / per night

What's Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • A comprehensive information pack containing maps and/or guide books, a full itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Travel Information

Detailed travel information is sent to you in your holiday pack, but we have provided a summary below.


By Air
The most convenient major city and international airport is Manchester and East Midlands.

By Rail
There is a railway station in Matlock.

From London - There are fast and frequent trains from St Pancras rail station to Matlock via Derby.

Please note that most train lines will allow for bikes to be taken on board. We advise that you check on https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ 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.

By Car
For advice on driving to the start of the route, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Please note that most buses in the UK are unable to store bikes on board so we would recommend avoiding this form of transport.

Return to Start
This is a circular route, starting and ending in Matlock.

Extra Night / Rest Day

The Peak District National Park is a truly beautiful area, rich in wildlife and packed with breath-taking scenery. If you wish, you can extend your cycling holiday by adding in a few extra nights at any of the route's overnight stops, thereby giving you more time to fully explore this wonderful part of the UK.

The county town of Matlock is a tempting choice for a rest day either at the start or the end of your cycling holiday, with excellent facilities for shopping, leisure and recreation. Those interested in the local history will want to visit the selection of museums and heritage centres dotted around the area, while those looking for great scenery can venture out into the surrounding Peak District countryside along a choice of accessible trails. Nearby attractions include a theme park, an animal farm, the Heights of Abraham and a range of outdoor activities such as golf, horse riding and water sports, meaning there is something for everyone in Matlock.

If you're looking for a picturesque place in which to unwind, Bakewell is an ideal destination in which to take a rest day and relax surrounded by beautiful scenery. The mellow stone buildings, medieval stone bridge and quaint courtyards give this town a wonderfully quintessential feel, along with plenty of streets and trails along which to take a gentle stroll. Filled with specialist shops, cosy cafes, inviting pubs and quaint tea rooms, Bakewell has all the facilities and services to ensure you have a pleasant stay, along with interesting sites to see such as the Old House Museum and the world-famous Thornbridge Brewery.

Marsden is a large village with a typically Yorkshire feel to it, ideal for a rest day if you want to learn more about the local area. Marsden has been used as the location for a variety of television programmes, most notably 'Last of the Summer Wine' and 'Where the Heart Is', among many others. The village also has a rich textile heritage, which is evident from the weavers' cottages and converted mills peppering the landscape, and is also demonstrated at the Colne Valley Museum nearby. There is also a range of outdoor activities available to try and easy access to the beautiful surrounding countryside, should you wish to enjoy a gentle walk or bike ride.

Macclesfield is another good option for an extra night's stay, with wonderful countryside, parks, rivers, canals, reservoirs and woodland all on its doorstep. This market town is home to a wealth of artistic culture and has a dedicated Arts Trail to help you find venues and exhibitions to visit, such as the permanent Macclesfield Brick Project and a range of fantastic pop-up displays. Fully stocked with a full range of shops, eateries and attractions, this town is the perfect destination for keen photographers, painters and other artists looking for inspiration or a place in which to simply soak up the pleasant atmosphere.


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GRADE 1: Beginner

Daily distance: approx. 10 – 20 miles / 16 – 32 km
These itineraries are perfect for beginner cyclists, families or explorers eager to sight-see along the route. Expect plenty of time to relax along the way thanks to short-mileage days, with barely a hill in sight!

GRADE 2: Easy

Daily distance: approx. 15 – 25 miles / 24 – 40 km
With longer-mileage days, these itineraries will suit occasional riders who want a bit more of a challenge. As they still steer clear of steeper or more frequent climbs, they're perfect for quick riding, so you can still make plenty of time for lunch or a spot of exploration.

GRADE 3: Moderate

Daily distance: approx. 20 – 40 miles / 32 – 64 km
Longer daily distances team with a few challenging sections on these itineraries, ideal for regular cyclists confident in their fitness. Exploration stops may require an extra rest day - but there should still be time for a relaxing lunch!

GRADE 4: Hard

Daily distance: approx. 25 – 50 miles / 40 – 80 km
If you're looking to test your abilities as a keen cyclist, these are the itineraries for you. The daily mileages aren't just high, they may also include tough or frequent climbs. Get ready to pedal hard and push yourself!

GRADE 5: Epic

Daily distance: approx. 50 miles + / 80 km +
For these itineraries, you're going to need previous experience cycling long distances over consecutive days. Each is designed to test your strength and your stamina, with high mileage days and tough, frequent climbs.

*** Occasionally our itineraries can straddle between two levels of difficulty, such as 'Easy-Moderate' or 'Hard-Epic' etc. This can be for a number of reasons, such as if there is a wide range of distances between the days of the itinerary, or if the distances are ‘Easy’ but the hills and terrain involved are a bit tricky and more ‘moderate’ etc. If you require more information about any of our itineraries, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance.

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