This route is around 32 miles taking in some of south Derbyshire roads and lanes.
You can join the route anywhere along it, but we are starting from the Cyclo Monster Bike Shop in Spondon.
First, we head out along Derby Road towards Borrowash, making a right turn at the village center and crossing the bridge over the river Derwent. Shortly afterwards we reach Elvaston Castle which is renowned for its extensive and picturesque gardens. The grounds cover approximately 300 acres and feature various styles, including Italianate gardens, a rockery, and a walled garden. The diverse landscapes make it a popular destination for outdoor activities and leisurely strolls.
Elvaston Castle has been used as a filming location for various movies and TV series. One notable example is the 1962 film “The Prisoner,” where the castle’s distinctive architecture served as a backdrop for some scenes. The picturesque setting and historic ambiance make it a desirable location for filmmakers.
After passing through Elvaston we take an easy-to-miss turn towards Ambaston along a narrow country lane, which brings us out at Shardlow. Shardlow is known for its canal heritage, particularly the Trent and Mersey Canal, which played a vital role in the village’s development during the Industrial Revolution. The canal facilitated the transportation of goods, contributing to Shardlow’s growth as a bustling inland port.
We head out on the A6 towards Castle Donnington most famous perhaps for Donington Park, a motorsport circuit that has hosted various prestigious racing events, including the British Grand Prix motorcycle races and the Donington Grand Prix Collection. Castle Donnington is home to the East Midlands Airport, an international airport that serves the East Midlands region.
We pass by the airport and head towards Isley Walton, Tonge, and onto the furthest point away at Worthington.
From here we start heading back passing Breedon on the Hill which is worth taking a detour up the hill road to the top. Breedon is probably most famous for the Church on the hillside. The impressive Breedon Priory Church, also known as St. Mary and St. Hardulph Church. The church is renowned for its Saxon tower, which dates back to the 10th century. The churchyard contains an array of ancient crosses and medieval sculptures. Close to the summit of Breedon Hill, there’s a natural limestone cave known as the Hermit’s Cave. Legend has it that a hermit or anchorite once lived in the cave, adding an air of mystery to this historical site.
After this, we pass through Melbourne home to Melbourne Hall, a stately home with beautiful gardens. The hall dates back to the early 18th century and is known for its stunning architecture and well-preserved interior. The gardens, featuring a famous yew hedge maze, are open to the public during certain times of the year.
From here we had to Swarkestone with the option to cross the causeway. In 1745, Swarkestone Bridge was the southernmost point of Bonny Prince Charlie’s advance on London, in his attempt to claim the British throne. During the Second World War, it was defended by gun emplacements and tank traps in case of a German invasion.
After this, we head through Weston and Aston-on-Trent for the final leg on the cycle track which runs along the Alvaston Bypass and Raynesway back across the River Derwent again to complete this bike ride from Derby to Worthington