The White Peak Loop (WPL)
Thes 60 mile circular White Peak Loop through the heart of the Peak District is currently under development. However there are major stretches of it that offer fabulous traffic-free cycling:
Matlock to Rowsley Cycle Path
The Matlock to Rowsley cycle path, part of the White Peak Loop, runs for 5 miles along the valley of the River Derwent and largely follows the route of the former Midland Railway. It provides a safe off road route for walkers, cyclists and is fully accessible including being available for motorised mobility scooters and children’s pushchairs.
The route enjoys great views of the valley and the surrounding hills. It is easy to access from Rowsley (Station Road car park) , Darley Dale (Station Road) and Matlock (A6 opposite ARC Leisure). Why not start at one end and take a half way break at the popular Terrace Café at the Whitworth Centre at Darley Dale?
The traffic-free Tissington Trail runs for 13 miles from Parsley Hay (53.1706°N 1.7828°W) in the north to Ashbourne (53.0196°N 1.7397°W) in the south along the route of the former London and North Western Railway (LNWR). Cyclists, walkers and horse riders on the Trail enjoy superb views across the 'White Peak' plateau.
The railway first opened in 1899 and closed around seventy years later. The beautifully preserved signal box near Hartington is a reminder of the railway days.
High Peak Trail
The High Peak Trail runs for 17 miles from Dowlow (53.2059°N 1.8349°W) near Buxton to High Peak Junction at Cromford (53.1004°N 1.5354°W). This traffic-free trail enjoys splendid views of the surrounding countryside.
Originally built as the High Peak Railway, the line first opened in 1831 to carry minerals and goods across the high ground between Cromford Canal and the Peak Forest Canal.
Cycle hire is available at Middleton Top.
The Monsal Trail is a 8.5 mile traffic free route through some of the most spectacular limestone dales in the Derbyshire Dales. It passes through four spectacular railway tunnels - Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel (which are lit during normal daylight hours) and offers spectacular views of the valley of the River Wye.
The trail runs along the former Midland Railway line between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell.