Cycling in Hartington
YHA Hartington Hall is an ideal base to explore cycling of all natures from family friendly trails to endurance mountain biking routes. We're near the Monsal Trail, plus there are 5 circular routes starting in Hartington called the 'Flower Trails' - each one radiates out from our hostel and forms one 'petal' of the flower! You can buy a map of these for £2 and they're from 24 to 33 miles long.
Our hostel is perfect for cyclists - we have lockable bike sheds, a bike pump, a bike repair kit, bike locks available to hire and even a bike wash.
The Tissington Trail – A linear route along the trackbed of a former railway, parallel with the Ashbourne-Buxton A515, the trail begins with a 350m-long tunnel out of Ashbourne then makes its way north past Tissington, Alsop and Hartington to merge with the High Peak Trail near Parsley Hay. Easy gradient and firm surface throughout, with picnic tables and toilets at the former Tissington and Hartington stations. Cycle hire available at either end.
Map/guidebook: OS White Peak 1:25,000 Map
Best bit: Sweeping views over the rolling green dales of the White Peak around Alsop, plus a chance to explore the exquisite estate village of Tissington.
The Manifold Way - A short but very attractive cycle route along the wooded valley floor that follows the route of the former Leek and Manifold Light Railway, a curious but ultimately unprofitable line that closed in 1934. The trail includes an information centre, seasonal cycle hire (southern end), tearooms and toilets. Most of the route is traffic-free, but there is one short section along a country lane used by vehicles.
Map/guidebook: OS Explorer 24: White Peak 1:25,000 map
Best bit: Wetton Mill to Weag's Bridge, the central part of the route, takes you into the heart of the deep-cut limestone valley with steep wooded slopes, bare rock outcrops and the dramatic entrance to Thor's Cave far above.
The High Peak Trail - Although the eastern terminus of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway is down in the Derwent Valley beside the Cromford Canal, a long 1 in 8 incline at the start persuades many to begin/end their cycle ride a little further along the trail at Black Rocks or Middleton Top. From here the mostly level, traffic-free route heads north west across the open limestone plateau via a short tunnel. With sweeping views in every direction it finally merges with the Tissington Trail near Parsley Hay. There are picnic tables at points along the way, and toilets at start/finish at Black Rocks and Middleton Top. Seasonal cycle hire is available at Parsley Hay and Middleton Top.
Map/guidebook: OS Explorer 1:25 000 series, sheet OL24 The White Peak
Best bit: From Middleton Top to Minninglow (6.5 miles/10km) the trail rides embankments high above the fields and villages, offering a peaceful and entirely traffic-free journey with stunning views.
Other things to do nearby
The stately home and 1000 acre park of the Duke of Devonshire.
There's something for all thrill seekers and families at Alton Towers, with tons of terrific (and terrifying!) rides and amazing live shows. Plus, there's CeeBeebies Land for the little ones.
The most important prehistoric site of the East Midlands, Arbor Low is a Neolithic henge monument atmospherically set amid high moorland. Some say that this is the finest Stone Age 'henge'
Ashbourne has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century, with it's Medieval street pattern and historic buildings.
Take a trip to Bakewell and discover this charming Derbyshire Dales town. You'll find great shopping, plenty of spaces to relax and the famous Bakewell Pudding confection.
The tour starts with a short flight of steps before visitors can appreciate the awe-inspiring majesty of the natural caverns. Then as you go deeper the history of Blue John, or bleu-jaune,
The White Peak offers climbing for all abilities. Popular sites include Dove Dale, the Manifold Valley and the famous Thors Cave - which boasts brilliant crags and bouldering.
There's world famous grit-stone routes and bouldering a short drive away, the nearest crag is just 300 metres from the hostel.
If you enjoy climbing, head for Stanage Edge. Along this 4-mile stretch of gritstone there’s a choice of 1000 challenges covering all grades.
Eyam is a stone's throw from the famous Peak District climbing areas of Stanage, Froggatt, Curbar and Stoney Middleton.
The Peak District offers an ideal landscape for the more experienced climber, with amazing crags and bouldering opportunities just minutes from the hostel door.
Attempt one of the many routes along the famous Stanage, Burbage and Millstone edges. England's finest grit-stone climbing boasts brilliant crags, cracks and bouldering to test your abilities.
Raven's Tor in Dovedale offers superb crack and face climbing on solid rock, all in a beautiful setting above the river.
Nearby Cheedale has a concentration of climbs unmatched anywhere else. Ravenstor Crag is the most ferocious crag in the whole of the Peak.
Cratcliffe Tor provides some of the area's most popular grit-stone climbs.
The Tissington Trail is just 5 minutes drive away and provides links to the beautiful village of Hartington and the market town of Ashbourne.