Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

A leafy suburb on the outskirts of Manchester seems like an unlikely spot to start a ride. But then it also seems an unlikely place to find a series of lakes, a deep, heavily wooded valley, and some excellent all-weather trails. That’s perhaps the beauty of the Goyt Valley — that and the fact that it provides an easy knee-up onto the moors of the Dark Peak, where the legendary gritstone trails lead away in all directions.
This is quite a short outing, even for an Easy route. But it boasts some pretty stiff climbing in places, and there are one or two short sections where most riders will be calling on all of their technical know-how too.
By riding the opening loop clockwise, the first climb becomes rideable, and leads onto a swooping descent that plummets down into Brook Bottom. Narrow lanes lead back out of the hollow, eventually spilling onto Mellor Moor, where a short semi-technical descent leads to a sweet and totally unexpected strip of singletrack.
The real rough stuff’s still to come though: first from the flanks of Lantern Pike down into Rowarth — if ever a short section of track could sum up all that’s good about Dark Peak riding it would be this one — then to The Banks, where the red dirt offers a few hops, skips and jumps before tarmac takes over.
But there’s a sting in the tail of this one, so save a bit of energy for the narrow, stepped, switch-back descent that leads back down into the Goyt Valley at the very end. It’ll definitely leave you with a smile on your face.