This month’s Killer Loop leaves behind the hiatus of Peak District honeypots and takes to a path less travelled among the limestone dales of the White Peak. At just over 40 kilometres in length, the route belies its 1,200m of climbing and makes the perfect accompaniment to a summer’s day.
The A6 gives easy access to the start point in Rowsley, whereupon you’re straight into a steady woodland climb through Lees Manor Wood. A rapid descent and short climb through pastureland leads to the stately charms of Chatsworth House. Diverting east, the route heads into the outskirts of Bakewell via a singletrack descent before heading back out into the fields for a quick Sustrans-style bash. By the time the short leg brings you into Bakewell proper, it’ll probably be time for a spot of lunch. Make sure you pack one of the town’s famous cherry-topped treats for later.
With appetites satisfied, climb south towards Youlgrave, where a testing little descent takes you past the picturesque River Lathkill. After Youlgrave, there’s another light ‘up and over’ to Birchover, where a long rattling downhill leads to Darley Bridge. The final leg takes in some well-worn singletrack at Northwood that traverses the hillside for just over 1km, and a long pull up to Hell Bank. Blat out the four kilometres of road atop East Moor and enjoy a rousing singletrack finale back to the wagon at Rowsley.