Mountain biking on the Tissington Trail is ideal for families - cycle hire available at certain times of year.

Mountain biking on the Tissington Trail


Tissington Trail, suitable for families. Starting point: Parsley Hay to Hartington signal box or further. Distance approx: Depends on how far you want to go and where from. Get the map out and discover. Map: Explorer OL 24 Ride suited to mountain bike riders and is suitable for young children.

The railway line that ran between Buxton and Ashbourne was closed in the 1960s after being in use for over 66 years. The track bed carried milk from farms in the Peak District to London until after the Second World War. The disused line was purchased by the Peak Park and the County Council in 1971 and was opened as the Tissington Trail for cyclists, horse riders and walkers, this was one of the first of its type in the country. It is suitable for wheel chairs and pushchairs along the flat sections.

Mountain bikes were in their infancy 30 years ago, but the trail is now frequented most days by a plethora of modern mountain bikes as well as youngsters making their first real cycle outing. There are a number of car parks including Parsley Hay, Mapleton, Hartington, Alsop en le Dale, Tissington and Sparklow all just off the A515 Ashbourne to Buxton road.

At Parsley Hay at the northerly end of the trail, you can hire a bike or get help with any cycle repairs, the centre is open most days of the week during the summer but only at the weekends during the winter period, the contact number is 01298 84493. Note that most of these car parks are pay and display.

If you head south from the Parsley Hay visitor’s centre keeping to the right when you come to a junction with the High Peak Trail, after cycling through the railway cuttings you come to the former signal box at Hartington this has been turned into a Visitor Centre and refreshments are available here from Easter to the end of October and on Bank Holidays and weekends.

This is a nice little ride for youngsters as the ride back to Parsley Hay is slightly uphill. If you want to go further you can either go further south then the route runs all the way to Ashbourne going past the villages of Hartington and Tissington as well as running close to Dovedale which are all picturesque and interesting spots to check out or head back up north where the trail runs up to Pomeroy Cottages and my name sake farm, Street Farm.

Alternatively if you start at the southern end of the trail from Mapleton, just north of Ashbourne, where there is a car park, cycle hire centre and refreshments are also available, you could do a route north to Thorpe where you could leave the trail and head off into Dovedale depending on the ability of the children in your charge.

There is plenty to divert to see in the area including Tissington Hall, a Jacobean Manor House, home of the FitzHebert family for five centuries in the beautiful and elegant village of Tissington.

Ashbourne cobbled Market Place holds markets twice a week on Thursday and Saturday.

Ilam Park is a National Trust managed park and has an information centre and tearoom. Entrance to the grounds is free to walkers.

Hartington is a picturesque village with a great cheese factory shop if you are into cheese.

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 escape from domestic duties.

Mark Street

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015