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 Peak District offers an ideal landscape for the more experienced climber, with amazing crags and bouldering opportunities just minutes from the hostel door.
Stargazing – a simple yet intriguing and inspiring evening activity.
There are an unlimited amount of mountain bike routes around the Hartington area for all abilities.
In just 15 minutes you can be down by the River Dove, feeding the ducks, watching the herons and, if you're lucky, a kingfisher. A gentle, idyllic walk that everyone can enjoy.
Sheen lies between the lower Dove and Manifold Valleys, well known for their scenic beauty. These are some of the most popular walks in the whole country.
The Tissington Trail is just 5 minutes drive away and provides links to the beautiful village of Hartington and the market town of Ashbourne.
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'
One of the most popular circular walks will take you down the valley into Milldale where you can visit the characterful shop/café.
Take an off-road route down to the River Dove, there's lots of rough and ready tracks for you to enjoy.
The hostel is on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful limestone dales in Britain, with trails offering steep cliffs and spires, rare woodlands species and quaint picturesque villages.
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.
Raven's Tor in Dovedale offers superb crack and face climbing on solid rock, all in a beautiful setting above the river.
The River Derwent at Matlock hosts a grade 2 rapids course, with 35 permanent slalom gates in place and floodlights for darker evenings. Contact Matlock Canoe Club for details.
A circular route taking in stunning Lathkill Dale can be tailored to your walking level.
Travel to Carsington Water for their gently undulating eight mile off-road trail around the reservoir, or take on one of the 'Dark Peak' routes for a full day of challenging mountain biking.
The nearby Tissington Trail winds its way gently through beautiful White Peak countryside. Take the opportunity to visit historic Tissington village with its stately home, duck-pond and tearooms.