Distance: 114.5km (71 miles).
Total climb: 3,250m (10,663ft).
Time: 8hrs to 14hrs.
The southern Peak District, aka the White Peak, provides a great variety of riding, with rolling hills and deep valleys, technical rocky tracks and lush green singletrack. The trails suffer in the wet though, when mud forms and the rock becomes slippery.
Bakewell Bridge car park (grid ref SK 220/686, postcode DE45 1AQ).
There are numerous places to start, but we’ve chosen Bakewell, on the A6 between Buxton and Matlock. Bakewell Bridge car park is on the eastern side of the river, on the banks, and is open 24 hours.
There’s lots of accommodation and food both in Bakewell and along the route – visit the website of the Peak Horsepower group, who developed the South Peak Loop, for a comprehensive list (www.peakhorsepower.co.uk/south-peak-loop). For spares, try Bakewell Bikes (01629 815077).
Maps and useful books
Ordnance Survey Landranger 119: Buxton & Matlock. See the Peak Horsepower website (above) for detailed text directions.
NOTE: There are blue and white waymarker arrows along the route.
Go right, up Station Road. Follow the Monsal Trail left, past Miller’s Dale and through the Chee Tor tunnels. Join the Blackwell Mill & Pennine Bridleway (PBW), heading south. Go past Chelmorton, cross the A515, then leave the PBW and head to Crowdicote.
Head south-east, alongside the River Dove, then join the road into Hartington. Go left on the B5054. Take the first right (Hall Bank), then go right again towards Wolfscote Grange Farm. Turn right on National Cycle Network (NCN) route 54 to Hulme End. Follow the Manifold Way beside the river, heading south.
Head left/east at Weags Bridge on the road to Alstonefield. Bear right at Hopedale towards Milldale. Continue east to cross the A515. Join the Tissington Trail and follow it right/south to Tissington. Keep left/east on NCN 54 to the B5056, then go right, leaving the NCN route.
Go uphill to Wigber Low, then left down to a road at Bradbourne. Turn right, on NCN 547 to Carsington Water. Keep right, around the reservoir, crossing the B5035 to Hopton. Turn right on NCN 547, uphill. Cross the road and join the High Peak Trail, left, towards Parsley Hay.
After 1km turn off right on a bridleway to Grangemill. Cross the A5012, then turn right up Grange Dale. After Tophill Farm go left at two crossroads and a T-junction. Turn right on the B5056, then immediately left on another road.
Keep ahead/left on the Limestone Way. At the road junction turn left. Go through Elton to Dale End, then left on the Gratton Dale bridleway. Keep bearing right, down to a road. Turn left to Middleton, then next left, first right and right again, down towards Conksbury.
Turn left before the bottom, past Meadow Place Grange, up to Over Haddon. Keep right through the village. Go left at a junction opposite a farm, then right on a bridleway. Turn right on the A6, then left on the Haddon Hall Farm bridleway.
Follow the bridleway up over Calton Pastures and keep left down to Edensor. Keep left, uphill, to join a road. Go left and then left again on a bridleway back down into Bakewell.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide
MBUK Big Ride images by Russell Burton