Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Hathersage makes a refreshingly different place to kick off a big Dark Peak loop — even though it’s only a few kilometres east of the main honeypots of Edale, the Hope Valley and the Ladybower Reservoir. It allows access to a few trails that don’t see so many tyre tracks — particularly the ones that cross Offerton and Shatton Moors; and it throws some new light on a few old Peak classics, including the rocky runway around Blackley Hey, the steep, sunken delights of Nabs Wood, and the wonderful moorland trails around Whinstone Lee Tor.
This is one of those rides that starts easy then turns the wick slowly but surely with almost every crank of the pedals. The Offerton and Shatton bridleways offer an easy leg-up to start with, but the drop back to Brough is a boneshaker of epic proportions — keep an eye on your speed. But this is only the starter. Win Hill provides the next obstacle, and it’s a long, drawn-out pull onto its slender crest, but it’s good once you’re up, and the undulating track that leads past Hope Cross and onto Blackley Clough is just reward for the effort. Another rocky horror show follows, this one equally as demanding as the last; and then it’s up again, this time on a better surface.
The descent through Nabs Wood has to be one of the best in the area — even sweeter if you’ve tried it the other way round and feel you owe it one! But it leaves you down on the shores of the Ladybower Reservoir, and there’s no easy way from here onto Derwent Moor. Just stick with it. Push if you have to. From the top it’s totally delectable — sinuous single and doubletrack of the highest quality.