Eastern Moors Extended MTB – Eastern Edges (19 miles/31 km)
I first learned about the Eastern Moors circuit through an online search, and then again from Vertebrate Publishing’s White Peak Mountain Biking guide book. This super Peak District mountain bike ride has been made available thanks to the work carried out by the Eastern Moors Partnership in conjunction with Ride Sheffield. The Eastern Moors circuit, is fun rather than gnarly. Though, the ride back along Froggatt Edge will offer the novice rider a bit of spice! To lend it even more interest I have added in here a visit to the technical trails at Ringinglow. Even with this addition, it’s all blue, and nothing too hard to worry about.
From the pub, turn left up the hill. A couple of hundred meters later and the gradient eases as you ride through the Longshaw Estate. If you’re lucky you may spot one or two deer running through the grounds and marvel that you’re just a stone’s throw from the city of Sheffield.
You probably won’t need it, but shortly you’ll pass the Longshaw Estate’s cafe and toilets, before crossing the road and following the trail through the gate and on another few hundred meters or so, before turning right up to the main road. Over the road and slowly upwards now for a couple of miles with the gritstone edges of Burbage up to your right. The trail presents easy-going cycling, though the gradient will get you warmed up nicely. Before long you’ll be turning right onto the road, and heading towards Sheffield.
After being on the road now, for just over a mile, you’ll see Lady Canning’s Plantation on your right. Take a right turn through the gate and along the wide stony trail, with the woods on your left. A few hundred meters on, and to your left you’ll find a metal gate that will give you entry to these two wonderful flowy trails. You’ll be at the top of the central thoroughfare now. If you’re facing down hill, over to your right is the slightly easier, slower but longer route of the two, and immediately in front of you to your left is the faster more technical option. Both trails offer risers and berms but no drops or jumps. Choose one, (or come back and do them both), before heading all the way down to the bottom and turning right, once through the metal gate. (A left turn will take you to the Norfolk Arms at Ringinglow – but it’s too early for that!)
Up and over the Houndkirk Trail then. This trail takes you up and over a hill. It’s wide and occasionally forces you to ride over broken rocky ground, but nothing ever too serious or technical. Down to the A625 and turn left onto this road and head down towards the woods at Blacka Moor. Turn right at the nearest apex of these woods, where you might see some cars parked also, on your right. Down a lovely trail, which is normally wet!
At the bottom of this trail you exit onto some lovely green grassy pastures. For me this is the most beautiful bridleway section in the world. If it’s wet you might be grateful for some chunky tyres, since you may find it a bit slippy. Down the hill, and at the posts, right turn down towards the beck. (If you ride back into the tree-line you’ve gone too far).
Over the stream, and follow the single track a short way, skirting round the hill, so that the stream is down to your left. Marvel, that this is a legitimate bridleway. You’ll come out at a junction of wide trails. Yours goes off uphill (literally onto the Eastern Moors now) and slightly forking left. (Forking I said).
Select that big cog at the back and in no time you’ll be at the top of the hill, and within the mile, at the road on the other side. Carefully cross this and through the gate. Turn right so that the road is now on your right, just the other side of the wall. 500m later turn hard left and follow another idyllic trail down to a fork, where you take the right fork down to the tarmac trail. Right turn down to the buildings and then left turn along a great trail that follows Bar Brook. (Soon you’ll pass a reservoir which is ideal for swimming on a hot day). Eventually you’ll come to a road to cross.
Over the road, and onto the next trail which takes you along and down to the next road, maybe 1Km later. Turn right onto this small road and head along, back to the main road. Turn left onto the A621 and a few hundred meters later escape right onto another minor road, in the direction of Curbar. Then 100m or later, turn left onto the bridleway. Past the Highland Cattle grazing there, and then up to Wellington’s Monument. Shortly later turn right along the top of Baslow Edge. (There is an option for taking a bridleway below Baslow Edge, but for me there’s not enough joy to justify the height to climb to get back up again).
Along Baslow Edge and over the road. Curbar Edge leads to Frogatt Edge with views abound! (Take the obligatory picture of yourselves on the edges with your bikes). This part of the route is about as technical as it gets, with some fastish rocky sections. Take it as fast or as slow as you like, carefully sharing the trail with the other users. Eventually this brings you to the main road again. Turn right, and back to your car. The Grouse is a lovely pub, and worth stopping at for a bite to eat or for dinner.
Start / Finish Location – The Grouse Inn, A625 Froggatt S11 7TZ (parking spaces just down the road)
Distance: 19 miles / 31 km
Height gain: 435m
Time required: 3.5 – 6.5 hours
How tough? Wonderful riding, perfect for the novice or anyone just looking for a scenic x-country ride.
How technical? Nothing too fast or technical, but definitely with enough interest to make this route the preserve of mountain bikers over gravel riders. (I ride both).
Local pubs we would recommend: The Grouse Inn, Froggatt, on the A625. Lovely pub serving well kept ales, always a warm welcome for hikers, bikers and climbers. Good food, not too pricey.
What bike for this ride?
For all these routes I ride an On One Scandal hard-tail. Really, for 95% of mountain biking in the Peak District, a decent hard-tail will see you right. On this route though – I reckon you could even get by on a … gravel bike. Eek! (But it would never be as much fun – especially the trails at Ringinglow or the bit along Froggatt Edge).
Mountain bike hire in the Peak District
We’ve listed here a few places that offer higher spec mountain bikes for hire. Typically you can expect to pay around £35 per day for hiring a decent bike from these places. For families looking to do a circuit of the reservoirs, lower spec bicycles will be perfect and cost closer to £20 for the day.
- The Bike Garage – Bamford/Hope Valley
- Derwent Bike Hire – Derwent / Ladybower Reservoirs
- Peak eBikes – Hassop Station (near Bakewell) on the Monsal Trail
- Carsington Water Bike Hire (southern most White Peak)
Further reading / information
- 10 of the Best Peak District Mountain Biking Trails
- Peak District Accommodation
- Mountain Biking Skills Courses
- 10 Ways to Be Better at Map Reading for Mountain Bikers
- Ten GREAT Peak District walks to do
- The Tongue In Cheek History Of The Peak District
- Vertebrate Publishing – mountain biking guidebooks
- Peak District MTB – voluntary organisation that aims to preserve, improve and promote mountain biking within the Peak District National Park