Bone-shaking descents, technical lung-busting climbs and awesome sweeping views are just some of the reasons why the Peak District National Park is a must do mountain biking destination. This is adventure riding in an untamed landscape, a welcome change from the UK trail centre scene – and for some the only way to ride! The Dark Peak and in particular the Hope and Edale valleys are amongst the most popular areas to ride. The riding is generally considered cross country (XC), however down-hill riders need not despair for there are some classic DH runs to keep the adrenaline flowing high. Limited only by your map and compass its easy to see why the Peak District is such an addictive ride!
View from the Chapel Gate public way looking towards the Kinder plateau.
Peak District MTB Routes
The Dark Peak Epic
Ride Guide – The Dark Peak Epic
Experience the thrills of the Dark Peak on this epic 34 mile cross country mountain biking loop. This lung-busting mixed terrain route is for experienced and fit mountain bikers comfortable with technical climbing and fast rocky descents (‘proper’ DH trails are avoided!). The route takes in some of the most iconic trails and locations in the area, if you only get to spend one day in the Peak District this is the ride you should do!
The Dark Peak Blast
Ride Guide – The Dark Peak Blast
Ease yourself into the Peak District MTB scene with this blast around the Dark Peak. This mixed terrain 15 mile loop is suitable for intermediate riders, and takes in the beautiful and undulating Hope and Edale valleys.
Ladybower Loop Extension
Ride Guide – Ladybower Loop Extension
This 4.7 mile loop is an optional extension to the Epic and Blast routes. You will leave the Edale valley and possibly your comfort zone as you take on the infamous Potato Alley and Hagg Farm descents.
View from Dirtlow Rake looking towards Hope.
Down-Hill Mountain Biking in the Peak District
You wont find uplifts in these parts however if you are prepared to put the miles in there are numerous opportunities to chuck yourself down ridiculously steep and rocky runs all in the name of enjoyment! Just don’t forget these are not purpose built MTB trails, watch out for walkers and of course XC riders carrying their bikes in the opposite direction! Amongst the more well known runs are the technically challenging Jacobs Ladder and the boulder field that is Cave Dale – Wild Blighty is still wondering how anybody can ride a bike down there and stay in one piece! Head on over to the good folk at MonkeySpoon for further info.