Cycling in the Peak District - day & multi day cycle routes
Cycling in the Peak District
21 routes in and around the National Park by Chiz Dakin
Guidebook to cycling in the Peak District National Park, on road or trail bike. 20 day routes and one multi-day cycle tour. Easily accessible from Sheffield and Manchester. Routes right across the park on quiet roads and off-road trails. All graded by distance, gradient, terrain and ascent from Easy to Hard. More...
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Chesterfield Loop via Transpennine Trail
Total ascent/descent 188m
Surface 25% road, 65% trail, 10% off-road
Start/finish Chesterfield Railway Station SK 388 714. Alternative start at Poolsbrook Country Park SK 435 737, useful if combining with Route 6 for a 48km route
Parking Long stay pay and display car park at the railway station, currently £4 a day after 10am, and various other options nearby. At Poolsbrook height restriction of 2m applies, but some other spaces on nearby roadside verge
Cycle hire No hire available in Chesterfield, nearest is Hassop Station (1km north of Bakewell)
Road bikes? Not recommended
A gentle introduction to cycling in the Peak District and Derbyshire, mostly using the TransPennine Trail (TPT) and canal-side trails with just a few harder sections.
Exit Chesterfield railway station and car park rightwards down the road, following blue TPT signs for Staveley via Bridleway Route. Pass through a traffic-light-controlled bridge (ignoring TPT via Canal turning) then rise up to Tapton Park Golf Course entrance on R67/TPT.
Turn left up the golf course driveway following TPT (Brimington Common) signs. Follow the one-way system past the golf course club house and overflow parking onto a dirt vehicle track, found at the far left corner of the car park. Descend this and bend right to a junction. Fork right then bend left onto a shady stony lane, shielded from the fairways by trees. Rise moderately steeply up this, and close to the top beware of golfers teeing off across the trail, followed by a path crossing. Immediately after this, reach a narrow country lane.
Turn left on this and descend gently for 500m. As the lane emerges into housing turn right onto Pettyclose Lane, and 100m later right again onto Balmoak Lane. Descend to a sharp turn right just before a gateway by a dam, then after roughly 300m take a dirt path left through a gate (easy to miss!). This uphill is narrow and steep; a sharp bend right signals significant easing of the gradient before a wooden gate through to a vehicle track.
Turn right onto this towards Brimington Common, and continue straight ahead onto the residential road at its end. After 50m turn left onto Grove Way, and turn right at its end onto Recreation Road. Dog-leg right then left across a more major road onto Brooke Drive. This bends right then descends gently for 400m to a T-junction at its end. Turn left towards Pools Brook, and continue straight ahead at the end through A-bars onto a dirt/stone bridleway.
Descend a fairly narrow section of stony track to reach 700m of a lovely wide shady dirt track through sycamore woodland. Continue gently descending initially beside a small stream, ignoring a narrow fork right, to reach a small concrete bridge over a larger stream. Go slowly on the descent: it could be difficult in wet conditions.
Now rise up quite steeply on the far side of the bridge, following the main trail straight ahead and avoiding side turns to reach two wooden sculptures by Andrew Frost. Continue gently uphill to exit West Wood through A-bars. Descend a narrow fenced stony track to reach a residential road. Turn right onto this road and briefly uphill past Blue Bell Close. The road ahead bends left and descends for 600m until reaching a bend left beneath power lines.
Bear right through A-bars onto the TPT and turn left along this, running roughly parallel to the road you've just turned off. Continue straight ahead at the junction for Inkersall Green. Continue for 1.8km, past a school, to pass a turning right to Poolsbrook Country Park (toilets and café – summer only Wed–Sun, 10am–4pm).
If starting from Poolsbrook Country Park car park, look for a track leading uphill from the visitor centre. This heads past the caravan site to reach the TPT. Turn right along the trail.
Continue along the TPT for 1km past the Inkersall Road car park turning and reach a toucan crossing over a wide road. The next section has numerous A-bars to go through. Cross the road and continue parallel to the road under a bridge before bearing away to the right. At a merging of trails bear left and soon reach a three-way junction of trails. Turn left following TPT (Chesterfield via Canal Loop) and descend gently, first paralleling the current railway line on the right, then coming alongside the newly excavated channel for the canal extension.
This section of the route currently has a temporary surface that may be difficult in wet conditions, and may be closed during future works to extend the Chesterfield Canal. Check www.transpenninetrail.org.uk.
Continue straight ahead under the B6053 road bridge for 1km to reach the end of the Chesterfield Canal and start of the canalside Cuckoo Trail. Continue along this trail for 8km to Chesterfield town centre. In a couple of places the trail divides into cyclists’ and walkers’ sections: keep to the cyclists’ section, and take care when going underneath bridges, as it's often difficult to see oncoming pedestrians/cyclists. Beware of anglers' rods on the banks of the canal.
Baby ducklings and dragonflies are a common sight on this trail in early summer, and sometimes pied wagtails can be seen in branches above the canal.
Key waypoints along the canal include Hollingwood Lock and road crossing (A-bars, 2.6km) and Dixon’s Lock (3.5km). Less than a kilometre after this, you come to a shady, reed-lined bend just before the red brick bridge of Bilby Lane (4.1km).
A little further on, after Bluebank Lock (4.5km) you are directed right along the Bluebank Loop trail (wider and faster than the canal towpath, but much less scenic). This loop briefly touches the towpath again at Wheeldon Mill Lock (5.7km) and ends with a short steep ascent (dismount) back to the towpath just before Brimington Road North bridge and small car park (6km).
Immediately beyond this is flagstone-lined Brimington Wharf. After two railway bridges – one stone, one steel (6.7km) – and an overbridge at Tapton Lock Visitor Centre (7km or, as the sign says, 2400 km from Istanbul!) tackle a short steep climb (be ready to dismount) followed by a short tunnel. Next comes Tapton Mill Bridge, a small brick footbridge (7.6km), and immediately after this you take a left fork up the bank towards Chesterfield station
Reach the end of this track at a major road; turn right onto the on-road cycle lane (R67). After 900m a short rise leads to a roundabout by The Chesterfield Hotel, and left again onto Station Road – all on an on-road cycle lane. Turn right into Chesterfield Railway station, or if continuing to Poolsbrook, carry on straight ahead downhill, following the instructions from the start.