The Peak District may be at the geographical centre of England, but there's nothing middling about the selection of awesome singletrack that passes through the park.
The Peak District is located pretty much smack, bang in the centre of England and offers some of the best mountain biking anywhere in the UK. Ladybower, Chinley Churn, Wildboarclough, Jacob’s Ladder and The Roych… iconic names in British biking.
A plethora of trails that range from grippy gritstone to sharp and unforgiving limestones, with the odd smattering of sand, super-gloopy mud and plenty of peat. Speaking of which, owing to the popularity of the area and the fragile nature of its trails, always check trail conditions before you ride. Up-to-date info can be found at @KoftheP (Keeper of the Peak) on Twitter. Read more: Where to ride in the Peak District when it’s wet
1. Ladybower Reservoir
Bite-size version of some of the Dark Peak’s best trails
Ride time: 2 ½ hours
Where to eat? Fairholmes visitor centre
This is one of the shorter loops around Ladybower, but it’s also one of the best. . Head out of Fairholmes – Landranger 110/SK172893 and loop N then S beneath the dam and then S on the road SK187883, where a steep climb E then S gains Whinstone Lee Tor. Descend E almost to the road, then SW to the road at Ashopton. Cross the bridge and turn R towards Fairholmes and then climb W then NW over Crook Hill to Haggside where a great descent drops you N to the reservoir road.
2. Chinley Churn & Middle moor
A real mix of trails and a great singletrack descent
Ride Time: 4 hours
Where to eat? Waltzing Weasel, Birch Vale
This is an awesome loop that sees far fewer tyre tracks than the area around Edale and Ladybower. Start at Hayfield (Landranger 110/SK035869) and take the Sett Valley Trail to the road at Birch Vale. Take the A6015 E for a few metres then climb S to the top, where a BW leads E past Peep o Day to the A624. Continue NE into Coldwell clough and climb E to SK066860. Take BWs N to Kinder Reservoir then NW over Middle Moor. Take A624 N to Hollingworth Farm, lanes NW to Plainstead, then lanes then BW S over Lantern Pike to finish.
A couple of wicked descents and some great scenery
Ride time: 31/2 hours
Where to eat? The Cat & Fiddle is on the route and a bit of an institution
A great, varied loop away from the honeypots. Start by climbing up Wildboarclough (Landranger 118/SJ978714) and then climb W to into the Macclesfield Forest. Loop W around the wood on a permissive cyclepath and bear R then L at the road. Turn R at the T then climb NE up to another lane. Turn R then drop SE then E to Bottom-of-the-oven. Roads lead E to the Cat & Fiddle and a BW then tracks S to the A54. Loop S to Three Shires Head and up around Cut Thorn Hill and take the A54 NE for 1km, before descending sweetly NW then W back into Wildboarclough.
4. Jacob’s Ladder & the Roych
Awesome rocky trails with technical climbs and descents
Ride time: 3 hours
Where to eat? Ramblers Inn, Edale
Non-stop action and year-round trails make this a UK classic. Start at Edale (Landranger 110, SK124853) and climb S to Hollin’s Cross. Head W on the ridge to the road, where you climb L then R onto Rushup Edge. This ends at the top of Roych Clough where a real rock n roll descent NW gets you to the bottom quick. It’s a stiff climb out but head NW to Mount Famine then E then N into Coldwell Clough. A huge climb E ensues and from Edale Cross it’s more techie rock all the way to the bottom.
5. Eastern Moors
A permissive access on some great, well-surfaced trails
Ride time: 2 hours
Where to eat? The cafe in Longshaws Estate is great!
An easy loop that explores a great corner of the White Peak. A lot of it on permissive bridleways – the work of the awesome Ride Sheffield advocacy group. From Longshaws (Landranger 110/SK265789) head N on the A625 to the fork, then take the trail E onto Totley Moor to SK284795. Head S (not marked on map) to the B6054 and hang a R for 500m, then L onto a track that heads S then SW, eventually looping back over the A621 to Ramsley Reservoir. Take the road W then the track to Wellington’s Monument. From here head N on a good track to the A625. Another BW takes over then road to finish.