Classic MTB Peaks Ride from Hope to Hayfield
This classic MTB peaks ride in the peak district is for the serious mountain biker. The route is around 25 miles with 4000ft of mostly off road cycling. This makes for challenging yet rewarding route.
We start off in the Hope Valley which is a picturesque region in the Peak District National Park, located in Derbyshire, England. The valley is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including rolling hills, green fields, and rugged gritstone edges. It is home to several charming villages, such as Castleton, Hope, and Hathersage. Visitors can explore local history and traditions.
The valley is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities, including hiking, climbing, cycling, and birdwatching. One of the valley’s most famous landmarks is Mam Tor, a hill with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Hope Valley is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the beauty of the Peak District.
Pindale is the first climb of the day. The trail itself is challenging and technical. There are plenty of rocky sections, and tricky switchbacks to keep you on your toes. As you navigate the twists and turns of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys including views of Mam tor at 1719ft.
Passing near Rushup you will need to navigate the bridleway for a number of miles. This path is rocky and steep in places before beginning your descent towards Hayfield.
Hayfield makes for a convenient location to stop for refreshments. Hayfield itself is a picturesque village located in the High Peak area, situated at the foot of Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District at 636 metres (2,087 ft).
The village is surrounded by rolling hills and fields, providing a stunning backdrop for walking and hiking. There are numerous footpaths and trails leading from Hayfield to other parts of the Peak District, including the famous Pennine Way and the Snake Path.
Hayfield itself is a charming village with a range of amenities for visitors, including pubs, cafes, and shops. The village has a long history, with many buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. One of the most notable is the Grade II listed Hayfield Hall, which was built in 1650 and now serves as a bed and breakfast.
After Leaving Hayfield, we start climbing again for around 4 miles with gradients hitting 20% for brief periods. This leads us to the highest point of the ride at around 1800ft and to the top of the iconic Jacobs Ladder. This is a lot easier to ride down than up, but there’s plenty of potential hazards on the way down so care is recommended.
Jacobs ladder is popular with walkers and cyclists and is a steep and winding staircase-like path that ascends the side of Kinder Scout. The ladder was originally built in the 1800s to provide access to the Kinder Plateau for grazing sheep, and has since become a popular hiking trail for outdoor enthusiasts. The path is made up of roughly 200 steps, and it is quite challenging, with a gradient of around 45 degrees. The ascent to the top of the ladder offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the beautiful Edale Valley.
After reaching the foot of Jacobs ladder we pass though Upper Booth and Barber Booth into Edale. Edale is situated at the start of the Pennine Way, a long-distance hiking trail that runs through the Pennines mountain range. The village is quite small but does have a train station and is a popular starting point for walking and cycling.
After passing through Nether Booth you have the option to stay on the relatively flat road section back to Hope or take the preferred left onto the bridle way that takes you towards Ladybower. Ladybower was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) for training and testing of new technologies. One of the most famous operations carried out in this area was the “Dambusters” raid, which took place on the night of 16-17 May 1943. To prepare for the raid, the crews of the 617 Squadron trained extensively in the area around Ladybower. The reservoir was chosen for its similarity in size and shape to the target dams. The crews practiced low-level flying, dropping the bouncing bomb and evading enemy defenses.
At the top of the climb before descending towards Ladybower take a right at the crossroads. From here you will be treated to the final descent of the day and a gentle final spin back to the starting point at Hope.
To follow this classic MTB peaks ride route please download the GPS file from this link