Fancy a challenge in the Peak District? Bring your mountain bike and that should do the trick! Why not try this route around Eyam for starters...?

Mountain Biking around Eyam


Starting point: Eyam or anywhere on the route as it’s a circular trip. Distance approx: 18 miles Map: OL 24 Ride suited to good mountain bike riders with experience, not for young children.

This part of the Peak District is not as hilly as the more northerly Dark Peak area but it has some fantastic trails both for the serious mountain biker and the family out for a weekend ride.

This route is made up of various surface types and includes some great descents that will have the stones popping of your lower frame and wheels. This route I have done in summer and winter but can get very muddy in the great British summers and winters!

Getting started

If you park in Eyam if travelling in to the Peak District, as there is plenty of free parking as well as a Pay and Display with public toilets, in case you had too much coffee before you set off. Once you have your gear on set off towards Grindleford which is up the hill past the Tea Rooms on your right and the butchers on your left.

Just under a mile from the village as the road begins to bend to the left you take the trail to the right down a good descent to Stoney Middleton. When you hit the surfaced road you swing round to the right and then you come to a T-junction. Turn left and meet the main A623, turn left on to the main road and follow it out of the village.

After about half a mile turn up right into Coombs Dale signposted “Private Road”, this is just near the football pitch and is very wet and does flood the main road in bad weather, so overshoes are essential in wet weather or you will have seriously wet socks! A good stiff climb, leads up to where there are several tracks shooting off in various directions.

Go through a gate on your left and straight up to another gate where you go into a field, follow the edge of the field to another gate and then on through to a good single track climb. Climb again to another gate and then out onto a gravel quarry road and turn left. Climb up this gravel road and then down into a dip and then on the right between dry stone walls is a tricky and very steep descent.

Go down with care in case of walkers coming up and in the wet go steady, I’ve managed to go down with a bump on this descent. It gets the heart up pumping coming up and the nerves jangling coming down.

A speedy exciting rocky descent leads to a T junction at the bottom of the hill, turn right towards Rowland, where outside one of the cottages you can buy honey and jam, leave your money in the pot, I recommend it.

Go out of Rowland and at the next junction turn left and down the road to Hassop. You will have the big Catholic Church on your left and Hassop Hall with flaming torches lit on your right. Take a right and pass a farm on the left and then up a ramp to a gate. Open the gate and follow a track through several gates to a ford. Go through the ford and then ascend a climb to a double track through a couple of more gates to the A619. Turn right on this busy main road, be careful on here, then almost straight away onto another track.

Follow this track to Pilsley where it eventually rejoins the tarmac, turn left and go into the village, two right turns will put you on the road towards Bakewell. As you leave the village if you went straight ahead you can get a drink and plenty of food at the Chatsworth Farm Shop. This is the B6048.

Take the first left and climb up past a wood and ignore the left turn and just over the hill take the bridleway on your left through the woods to the Bakewell golf course. If the weather is wet or your skill is not up to down hill technical through the woods just speed down the steep road and check out your brakes, it’s a single track road so watch out for poor out of breath cyclists struggling up the hill.

I use this hill as a training ground at lunch times after being sat at my computer all morning. At the bottom of the hill turn right, go through the Pay and Display car park and turn left on to the Monsal Trail. This is my commuter route home every day and is beautiful, far nicer than the M1, but be careful of dog walkers and make sure you shout out, “ring, ring”, or they get upset if you sneak up on them.

Head up the trail past the Hassop Book shop, another café here if you need a cuppa. Under the bridge here and on up to the next bridge and then there is an exit on your right at the bottom of the beautiful village of Great Longstone, where I live, go down this and turn up the hill right.

This road is called Longreave Lane, follow this road past Bungalow City as it’s called, basically just houses on your left, to a T-junction and turn right, then first left back up to Rowland. Keep on through the village but don’t turn up left where you came down earlier but keep on straight up a rocky track where the rocks will ping off your tyres and you will need your lower gears.

Turn right when you meet another track and then this climbs up and takes you left but make sure you take in the views over Calver Edge. Eventually it dips with a gate on the right and a small wood on the left.

Go through the gate across the quarry track to another gate. Now go up over the slight rise and down very speedily on a rutted track down to a gate at the bottom and take a right to the gate you came through earlier in the ride, go straight on and down Black Harry Lane, this takes you to another lane, go straight over to drop through the quarry. Watch out for trucks if you are doing this ride in the working day of the quarry as there are usually quite a few trucks about in midweek.

A fast steep descent brings you to the main road and then if you have the energy the climb back up to the plague village of Eyam and back to your vehicle or if you prefer a pub for a pint or a cuppa at the Tea Rooms, they do lovely scones!

Have a nice ride and if you don’t want to see the area totally spoilt by quarrying, then please check out this website and sign up.

Mark “muddy skinny bum” Street rides from Great Longstone on a Focus Carbon Frame hard tail mountain bike built by his great boss JW at Trelleborg Forsheda Pipe Seals, daily to work and at the weekends when he can.

Mark Street

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015