Peak District Mountain Bike Trails

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Fairholmes Visitor Centre, Upper Derwent Visitor Centre Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 0AQ
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The Peak District Mountain Bike Trails are in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, England. They attract riders locally as well as from the big urban conurbations of Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leeds and Manchester and even further afield.

The natural terrain which is rocky, rut laden, steep, often muddy and always epic is renowned in the MTB community as some of the best in the UK. Names such as Jacob's Ladder, Doctors Gate, Cut Gate Path and the Stanage Steps resound with fond and tough memories for many a mtb'er. 

The network of trails probably frequented the most are around Edale, Hope Valley, Ladybower and the Upper Derwent reservoirs. Meeting in Hope on a summers afternoon can often seem like a mini MTB village has popped up quite reminiscent of a trip to the Alps.  All these trails are natural and often evolved over old ruined roman roads and bridleways and there is no way-marking so be prepared and if you can hook up with a local or club to get the best out of it.

The local trail advocacy group is Peak District MTB and you can get up to date trail conditions from the Keeper of the Peak twitter feed.

Here is a taster of some of the top routes:

Doctors Gate and Cut Gate Path

  • This is approximately a 36 mile epic that kicks off around the Ladybower reservoir (Fairholmes Visitor Centre car park is a good place to start). Rocky and often muddy as well as exposed in places, Cut gate starts off on a  descending track takes you down an old roman stone path typical of the area and down steep rock steps that are very technical in places. Route here

Stanage

  • Starting at the Fox House Inn, near Hathersage this is approximately another 27 mile rocky epic.  Expect Gritstone flag stones, slabs & small boulders, peaty mud and grass. The Stanage steps are infamous for good reason. Route here

Jacob's Ladder

  • This is approximately an 18 mile route starting in Edale. This covers classics such as Rushup Edge, Roych Clough and Jacob's Ladder. The Jacob's ladder descent is long, fast track that is seriously rock laden. It is hard work, punishing, technical, takes no prisoners and rewarding. Route here

Hope Triple Eight  

  • This is approximately a 19 mile route that starts off in Hope and is rocky in nature. Known for tough ups and descents and reasonable for all year riding.

Hollinsclough  

  • Kicking off in Longnor this is approximately a 25-mile trail in the less popular part of the Peaks for riding and goes through the three counties of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. The Hollinsclough steps are rocky and tough. 

Eyam & Bakewell

  • Starting in Eyam this is approximately a 19-mile route made up of terrain ranging from rocks, grass, gravel, mud and tarmac. 

Ashover  

  • This is approximately a 29-mile route starting in Ashover. Although there quite a lot of tarmac on this route, it is used to link up some good bridleways. Typically you climb on the tarmac on this route but then descend on rocky trails. 

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User reviews

7 reviews

 
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(3)
 
(1)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.6  (7)
Trail Variety 
 
4.8  (7)
Skills Development 
 
4.4  (7)
Trail Quality  
 
3.9  (7)
Facilities 
 
3.3  (7)
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Ratings
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
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Great Fun to be had in the peaks
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
3.5
started riding the peaks as my mate moved up there and i now use his place as a rather comfortable base!
only done a few rides here however. the 2 best ones I have done so far are mam tor/rushupedge and the other is ladybower/derwent reservoirs. both had plenty of fast bits, plenty of technical descents and technical climbs (pushed my bike up alot) but still every time i ride there i am walking away grinning.
plan to do edale soon, ive walked up jacobs ladder before and said to my mate when i did that i wished i had a bike on me at the time to send it!
cant wait to keep exploring up here. i cant see me ever getting bored.

User Review

Good Points
seemingly endless routes in a huge area
bit of riding for all abilities
amazing scenery
fun!
Bad Points
not having time to try all the different route options!

Would you recommend?
Yes
B
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Simply The Best
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
My intro' to M'biking was in the Peak District around 25 years ago.
I've been to Spain, France, Wales and Scotland and for all round funthe Peak District is the best.
Some of the tracks need to be ridden with confidence.
I'm looking forward to trying the rocky trails on my new e-bike.

User Review

Good Points
Exciting fun, good drainage on most tracks. Something for everyone.
Good facilities in the Peak District villages are never too far away.
Bad Points
Derbyshire council trying to create access for all.
Would you recommend?
Yes
M
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1
Trails for all skills in mtb.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
One of the best natural trails to go mountainbiking.but always remember some of these trails are shared with hikers and horses.respect is a must

User Review

Good Points
Very wide area and diff trails for all levels in MTB.every year there is always a MTB ride organized by different groups.some of the rides here are brutal .
Bad Points
The only bad points i can think of is the meddling of the councils destroying the natural trails. I just hope they stop.
Would you recommend?
Yes
J
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jacobs ladder
(Updated: June 07, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
2.0
Epic ride at Edale and Jacobs ladder. Trails are tough and technical but so much fun. Best I've done yet. Awesome ride, would definitely recommend.
H
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Peaks - Ride now before they are all santised
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
2.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
4.5
Quick get there and get riding before the sanistisation is done - the classic Jacobs ladder from Edale route is awesome, great old bedrock trails - being slowly covered in gravel and road planings by the council :(

User Review

Good Points
Epic bedrock trails
Bad Points
Trail santitisation by the council has ruined several classic paths already.
Would you recommend?
Yes
S
Top 10 Reviewer 50 reviews
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Peak District Hope/ladybower
(Updated: February 18, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
3.0
The area around Hope is what can only be called a dream for mountain bikers,it has without doubt some of the best trails in England and stunning scenery to match.
Given that most of the trails have a hard rock base they ride well in all conditions so can be enjoyed at all times of the year.
Hope is a good place to start given its abundance of cafes and shops and there is even a bike shop(18 Bikes), the area can get pretty busy with other outdoor users so my advice is either go midweek or get there early before the crowds.
Most of the descents around this area are written into the folklore of mountain biking with names such as 'The Beast' , 'Jacobs Ladder' to name just two.
If you've never ridden in this area I'd recommend the book "Peak District mountain biking -the dark peak" (published by Vertebrate publishing) a great book that includes all the best routes descents and climbs you could ever wish for.

User Review

Good Points
Some of the best trail riding in England
Bad Points
Weather can be a little unpredictable
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1
The Peak District wins hands down for natural trail riding
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
1.0
I have ridden the Peaks a good few times over the years. I have always been lucky enough to have mates that part of the world that can show me around. I think as far as natural terrain riding goes it is hard to beat. The muddy, rocky unpredictable descents are some of the most memorable to date. There are so many route choices that the opportunities are abundant. There is more than enough to satisfy the serious Technical XC rider or Downhiller.

User Review

Good Points
- Fantastic natural terrain riding
- Lots of choices and route options
- Friendly community
- Setting is quite magnificent
Bad Points
- Limited facilities
- No waymarking
Would you recommend?
Yes
S
#1 Reviewer 89 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0