Nothing beats the feeling of escaping it all, the wind flowing through your hair and dispelling your troubles into the world. Cycling is a captivating pastime which brings you closer to nature, you feel everything of your surroundings as you pedal along roads or through forests or down mountain trails. Of course cycling is often only as good as where you cycle, which is why the Peak District finds itself a true cyclist’s paradise.
The Peak District was the first great national park in the UK, and to this day attracts over 10 million visitors a year. The success of the Peak District is due in equal parts to its stunning swooping green hills and valleys and its location near to Manchester, Sheffield and other major industrial areas. Being easily accessible to all those in the local area and even nationally via rail and road, means that many can exchange the dull surroundings of the city for the luscious Derbyshire countryside
Having visited the Peak District on many an occasion I have had the great pleasure of riding along the old Buxton railway, around Derwent Valley and its reservoirs and it seems like everywhere in between. But out of my experience cycling through the Monsal Tunnels was one of the most interesting and exciting routes I’d taken to for some time. What makes this trail all the more interesting is the reopening of the four tunnels on the route which had until May last year, been shut for safety reasons. Following this old rail route makes for a scenic ride, but the tunnels bring something extra you don’t often find.
For those who’re feeling a little more adventurous then perhaps the High Peak Trail might be more to your liking. For those who haven’t been on a bike for a little while the climb up the trail can be fairly punishing, however you’ll have plenty of time to stop and rest on the plateau above the valley and admire some of the best scenery the UK has to offer. What’s more, that effort you put into the climb will enhance the feeling of accomplishment and awe as it was under your steam you reached the top.
The question is, do you take your own bike or not? Some of the more challenging off-road rides you can do, around Derwent Valley for example, are going to require a more robust bike which will take what the rough track can throw at you. The three National Park Authority cycle centres in Ashbourne, Derwent and Parsley Hay can provide expert help and advice as well as a range of bikes to suite most, although those among you who’re more experienced might still prefer to bring their own bike, for that piece of mind. If you’re planning a week’s worth of pedalling around the Peak District then of course it might well be worth brining your own bike to cut down on the rental costs.
Whether you take your own bike or rent one when you’ve arrived at the Peak District, a trip through the stunning surroundings will surely be a memorable one.
About the Author:
C Green is an experienced blogger and traveller having spent many occasions in the Peak District, both on and off a bike. He currently writes for Travel and Leisure group, a trusted timeshare resales company specialising in helping those who are thinking about buying into timeshares ownership.