Routes

Exploring Derbyshire on Two Wheels: The Ultimate Family Bike Ride Adventure

Derbyshire, with its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and stunning natural landscapes, is a haven for cycling enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride through serene countryside or an adventurous trek along rugged trails, Derbyshire offers a plethora of options that cater to all ages and abilities. Here are five fantastic locations perfect for a family bike ride:

  1. Monsal Trail
  2. Tissington Trail
  3. Carsington Water
  4. Derwent Valley
  5. High Peak Trail

1. Monsal Trail

Nestled in the heart of the Peak District National Park, the Monsal Trail is an 8.5-mile-long route that offers a delightful ride for families. The trail follows the former Midland Railway line from Blackwell Mill to Bakewell, featuring dramatic viaducts, tunnels, and breathtaking views of the Wye Valley.

The mostly flat, well-surfaced path makes it suitable for riders of all ages. Along the way, you can stop at the Monsal Head viewpoint to marvel at the iconic viaduct spanning the river below. With picnic spots and cafes like Hassop Station Café, it’s easy to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.

2. Tissington Trail

Another converted railway route, the Tissington Trail, stretches for 13 miles from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay. This traffic-free trail is perfect for families, offering a gentle gradient that ensures an easy ride. Starting in Ashbourne, you’ll pass through beautiful countryside, charming villages, and historical landmarks.

The trail provides plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture, with stops at Tissington village, known for its picturesque wells and historic hall. The trail’s northern end connects with the High Peak Trail, providing an option for extending your adventure.

3. Carsington Water

For a scenic ride with plenty of amenities, Carsington Water is an ideal choice. The 8-mile circular route around the reservoir is mostly flat and well-maintained, making it perfect for families with young children. The path offers stunning views over the water and the surrounding hills.

Carsington Water also boasts a visitor center with a café, playgrounds, and water sports activities, ensuring a full day of fun. The nature reserve areas along the trail are great for spotting wildlife, making this ride both enjoyable and educational.

4. Derwent Valley

The Derwent Valley Heritage Way offers a mix of tranquil riverside paths and wooded trails, running alongside the River Derwent. While the full route stretches 55 miles, families can enjoy shorter sections such as the route between Cromford and Matlock Bath. This section is particularly scenic, with the river, woodlands, and historic mills providing a picturesque backdrop.

Matlock Bath is a great stop for families, with its fun attractions like the Heights of Abraham and Gulliver’s Kingdom theme park. The combination of gentle paths and engaging sights makes the Derwent Valley an excellent choice for a family bike ride.

5. High Peak Trail

For a slightly more challenging ride, the High Peak Trail offers 17.5 miles of adventure along a former railway line from Dowlow near Buxton to High Peak Junction. The trail’s gentle gradients are manageable for families, though the longer distance may be better suited to those with older children or enthusiastic riders.

The trail passes through the scenic White Peak landscape, with highlights including the limestone valleys and the iconic Middleton Top Engine House. The route’s history and natural beauty provide plenty of interest, and the nearby National Stone Centre offers a unique educational stop.

Tips for a Successful Family Bike Ride

  • Plan Your Route: Choose a trail that matches your family’s cycling abilities. Ensure the distance and terrain are suitable for all riders.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit. Helmets are a must for safety.
  • Take Breaks: Plan regular stops to rest, refuel, and enjoy the scenery. Many trails offer cafes, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
  • Check the Weather: Derbyshire weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and be prepared for changes.
  • Have Fun: Encourage children to explore, spot wildlife, and enjoy the adventure. Make it a fun and memorable experience for everyone.

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just looking for a fun family outing, Derbyshire’s diverse trails offer something for everyone. So, grab your bikes, pack your bags, and set out on an unforgettable journey through one of England’s most beautiful regions. Happy cycling!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.