Hope Valley and Hucklow
Length: 26 Miles (42km)
Elevation Gain: 3,400ft (1,036m)
A longer ride taking in some classic dark peak climbs and descents with breathtaking views throughout. Starting and finishing at the Bike Garage this ride starts off heading north up the Thornhill trail to the Ladybower Reservoir before climbing up towards Hope Cross and descending down Jaggers Clough.
A quick road section to Edale leads you up to Mam Tor then south towards the Peak Forest and on for some gravel road action along the dark/white peak boundary into Abney and on for a final descent from Shatton Moor down to the Bike Garage. This ride makes for a perfect loop for those wanting a longer ride covering a satisfying span of the Peak District.
This ride leaves the back of the Bike Garage towards the Thornhill Trail. The trail is followed for 1.5 miles, it is a perfect warm up to get the legs going before turning left for the climb up to Wooler Knoll, be sure not to fly past the turn off, it is seen just by the bench on the left of the trail. Drop it into a low gear and spin away up this climb until you leave the wooded area and see a large gate on the left, this climb is just over a mile climbing 260ft. Once at the gate head through it for the final climb out of the woods up to Hope Brink giving way to incredible views of Lose Hill and the valley leading to Edale.
After taking in the views the route follows the ridgeline to the right through to Hope Cross, this is a tough little climb with a number of step ledges in it. Once at the top turn left to follow the rocky descent down to Jaggers Clough, before the river crossing get into a low gear for the climb up the other side. The climb out of Jaggers Clough is loose and again has a few steps making it a little technical towards the top. Once at the top the trail meanders along to Clough Farm before dropping down to Edale Road via a narrow singletrack descent through the trees. From, here the route heads towards Edale for 1.7 miles before turning left and heading up towards Hollins Cross.
The climb to Hollins Cross is a 0.65 mile section climbing 250ft, it is possible to ride up it without stopping thanks to the recent maintenance carried out by Peak District MTB. At Hollins Cross the route turns right following the stone slab trail towards Mam Tor, this is a perfect location for a few photos and a good halfway point for some lunch with a view. When you get to the second gate keep to the right as this is the bridleway that runs along the north side of Mam Tor unlike the footpath that goes straight to the peak. Follow this bridleway down to the road then it’s time for another road section. Follow the road to the left through the middle of the hillside then down the south side to the junction with Sheffield Road, turn left and follow down the hill and around the sharp right hand corner for 0.7 miles. On your left shortly after the turn off for Winnats Pass you will see a sign for Rowter Farm, go through this gate and follow the part paved part gravel track for just short of a mile.
After following the bridleway for almost a mile you will get to a gate, the route goes through this gate and turns right through another gate, the bridleway continues through the field along the stone wall be careful not to follow the footpath that runs parallel with the wire fence. After following through the field for a short while you get to a gate, go through this and continue along the wall to a second gate, the trail gets narrower as it runs along the bottom of a hill before becoming a fun singletrack descent down to a property. Join the road and follow it to a second property and look out for the limestone way sign near the rusted gate, this is again a grassy trail that you follow to the A623 where you take a left following it to a back road just after the first property you come to.
This back road is followed for 1.5 miles then you turn right onto a gravel track as the road turns sharply left, follow this track to the end where it joins onto Forest lane, follow this road for a quick mile into Little Hucklow. Once in Little Hucklow turn right and then a very sharp steep left through the village to the junction with the B6049, straight ahead is a second gravel track that climbs a little bit and has a significant gulley in it making for a fairly technical section that is followed for almost a mile into Great Hucklow. Ride through Great Hucklow keeping an eye out for the side road opposite the phone box, this climbs up to the school, follow this road behind the school as it becomes an off road trail climbing up through Great Hucklow woods to another back road. At this back road turn left and follow it for 1.7 miles enjoying the incredible scenery before getting to Abney.
Keep an eye out for a red phone box in Abney, opposite it is Duper Lane, the trail that climbs up to Shatton Moor. This is the final notable climb of the ride and once at the top the bridleway is followed to the right towards the mast. After the mast the trail descends quickly for oly 0.4 of a mile before going into the fields through a wooden gate. This section of trail is then followed for 0.8 miles descending into Offerton. Take a left once you get to the road and ride through the small collection of houses and take a left onto another offroad trail that is followed through a few more fields before coming out onto Shatton Lane after one mile. From here turn right and follow to the junction with the A6187 and it’s back to the Bike Garage!
This is a good ride for those wanting to go a little further than they might usually but take in some incredible views throughout. I would recommend hiring an e-bike for this one so you can enjoy it a little more. A full suspension bike would also be fine however due to the mainly gravel trails with only a few steep/technical sections you would be fine on a hardtail bike as well.
You can download the GPX of the route by following this link.