Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Cut Gate has probably made more appearances in mbr than any trail in England, and with good reason — this is classic moorland atb’ing, as good as you’ll find anywhere in the British Isles, and within easy reach for most of the English population.
We normally avoid out-and-back routes, but Cut Gate is such that the experience gained on the outward leg really benefits your enjoyment on the way home. You set off south from Langsett Reservoir and within minutes you’re out on the moor. Navigation is minimal for the next hour or so, as you simply follow the trail all the way over to the Derwent Valley. Beware the final descent — it’s a rough, rocky brute.
When you hit the valley, you cross the bridge to get to the west side of the reservoir, which you then follow south for a good couple of miles. Give your legs and lungs a break here, as you’ll need all the energy you can muster for the climb up to Hagg Farm. It’s well worth it though, as the descent down to the A57 is a corkscrew of natural berms and stones.
Cross the A57, continuing south, before rejoining the road to follow it all the way along to the Ladybower Inn. This is a great place to stop if you’re peckish — and there’s a long way to go, so refuelling now is a good idea.
What follows is more technical climbing, right up onto Derwent Edge. After a brief — and boggy if it’s wet — traverse, you’re descending back down to the water’s edge, on some fast and varied terrain.
Another flat water’s-edge section comes next, heading north this time back to the end of Cut Gate. It will need to be dry for you to clean this climb, as the middle section is fiendishly greasy if damp. From the top, the trail loses height gradually following what could almost be a riverbed, such is the rocky detritus that lines it.
Eventually, the trail calms down and your speed increases as you ride along Mickledon Edge. Here you’ll be glad of the warning on the way out, as the rocks fly by with increasing rapidity. Then you’re on the final armoured stretch of trail back to the reservoir; a lumpy high-speed track that urges you to get airborne at every opportunity.
Finally, it’s one last push over the river and you’re back at the car, with over 30 miles in the bag. A Killer by anyone’s standards!