Britain’s first National Park has a stunning combination of rugged moorland and lush dales. It also has some epic road climbs. Whether you like long, steady ascents or short killers, there’s something for everyone. Search hard enough and you might even find some flat bits… The main hotspots can be busy on bank holidays and weekends but there are enough quiet roads to ensure you have the time of your life.
Bakewell Spice 65 miles More than a mile of climbing
The only real killer climb is the one up the Two Dales, where there are 20 per cent gradients. Starting from Bakewell you’ll make your way down to Ashbourne in the south via Matlock Bath, a perfect stopping point, though you’re spoilt for choice for cafes and pubs en route.
Snake in the Pass 50 miles Challenging, with more than 1800m of climbing
Your chance to tackle the legendary Snake Pass… The climbing starts almost immediately as you leave Hathersage and head up to Ladybower Reservoir. Enjoy the breather. Looping round through Glossop and Chapel-en-le-Frith you’ll encounter some fast bits before climbing to Castleton, where you could detour through Winnat’s Pass, another classic.
Opal Monsal 21 miles Moderate, with a tough climb, great views and a long descent
From the start in Bakewell you begin climbing almost straight away, but the views from Monsal Head are worth the effort. You then get to enjoy the fantastic twisting ride through Miller’s Dale. The picture postcard village of Tideswell is worth stopping at, with a choice of pubs and cafés. After that the ride is finished off with a fast descent through Ashford in the Water.
Have breakfast here…
Pool Cafe, Hathersage
A magnificent full English at any time of day. If a fry-up before Snake Pass is a worry, have it when you get back.
Oddfellows Road, Hathersage S32 1DU Tel: 01433 651159
Stop for cake here…
Sublime scones, brilliant bagels and unusual toasties, plus bike hire and a gift shop.
Hassop Station, on A6020 north of Bakewell Tel: 01629 815668
Get spare tubes here…
High Peak Cycles
All the bits and bobs you could possibly need for your ride, along with a fair amount of bling that’s bound to get you drooling.
2 Smithy Fold, Glossop SK13 8DD Tel: 01457 861535
Fancy a pint?
Monsal Head Hotel
A pub converted from a stable on the side of the hotel, with views to die for.
Great Longstone, near Bakewell DE45 1NL Tel: 01629 640250
Dump the family…
Rides, rollercoasters, magic shows, castles… Spend as long as you like on your bike and they won’t complain.
Temple Walk, Matlock Bath DE4 3PG