Circular cycle route
One of my favourite routes not only in the Peak District but the whole of the UK! This gruelling but extremely scenic cycle route starts from the quaint village of Hope, where there’s plenty of car parking and the Grasshopper Cafe for the pre-cycle coffee and briefing.
After leaving Hope, at around 5 miles into our ride we reach our first big climb up to Monsal Head where you’re greeted with absolutely gorgeous views across Monsal Dale with the Monsal Viaduct in the foreground (see pictures).
It’s then onto Hassop where shortly after we climb Beeley Hill up to Beeley Moor where there’s glorious views, there’s a sweeping descent down into Baslow. We then follow the River Derwent to the pretty village of Calver, crossing the river here to begin the second big climb (6km, 4.2% average) of the day up Froggatt Edge, descending past Owler Tor.
There’s restbite for those legs now with a flat section following the River Derwent, leading us to the village of Hathersage, onto Shatton and Hope (where the route started).
We then hang a left onto Castleton Road and pass as the name suggests, Castleton. Should you wish to stop you’re spoilt for choice with cafes and pubs to give you an energy for the biggest climb ahead and the one you’ve been waiting for.
Leaving Castleton it’s now time for the famous Winnats Pass climb at 1.4km in length with an average gradient of 12%, it’s a toughie from bottom to top, especially as it nears 20% in places! However as a rewards you’re greeted with stunning views over High Peak at the top and we’ve carefully designed the cycle route so that the Winnats Pass climb is nearing the end of the cycle!
At the top of Winnats Pass, before heading up the climb to circle around Mam Tor, be sure to take a diversion and check the old A625 road near Blue John Cavern. It’s quite a sight and you can see why the local council decided after years of maintenance it was time to call it a day.
Final stretch… Looping around Mam Tor you’re greeted with breathtaking panoramas as we begin the final stretch back to the village of Hope. Congratulations, you’re well overdue a slice of cake and coffee (or pint), let us know how you found the route and if you find any cafes you’d like us to check out!