Lovers Leap, Eyam, High Rake, Great Longstone (17.5 miles/28 km)
This is a White Peak ride that you has plenty of flexibility built into this one super route. This ride leads you through the historic plague village of Eyam, and then descends down a couple of gnarly rocky trails to Stoney Middleton, before ascending the heights of High Rake. From here you’ll enjoy easy descents all the way to Hassop and then onto the Monsal Trail for just a couple of miles before you commence a mighty hill climb back to High Rake from Great Longstone.
Starting in the depths of Stoney Middleton head West in the direction of Eyam, and shortly you will come to your first climb of the day. This is no lung buster, but it’ll certainly warm you up, so dress down as you leave your parked car. If you have the time, take a look around Eyam – it’s a great little village with a story to tell. If you have a lock for your bike, maybe have a wander around the local church too – it’ll be worth your time. From the village head up past the Riley Graves until you see a permissive bridleway dropping down through the woods on your right. (For mountain bikers there’s an added bonus in these woods too …) From these woods enjoy a technical down hill which will spit you out to the road below. Right turn to the bend, and then another rocky downhill back to Stoney Middleton.
Turn left onto the main road and then right, steeply up Middleton Lane. About a mile later, at the top you’ll turn left up Black Harry Lane which in reality is a trail. This will lead you steadily up to a junction of bridleways, and veering leftwards you continue up to High Rake. At the top turn right and shortly later left down a gravely bridleway. You’ll quickly pick up speed – so watch out for any walkers coming the other way. Follow this down hill to Rowland, and then country lanes to Hassop. In Hassop bypass Home Farm on your left down another bridleway to the A619. Follow this westwards towards Great Longstone. Escape from the road at the roundabout, (Hassop Station Cafe and bike hire) and get yourself onto the Monsal Trail. Cruise along here for just about a mile and exit at Thornbridge Hall.
and then through Great Longstone and up up up Moor road back to High Rake. From the top, take a quick left turn down a bridleway and down to the junction of bridleways. Follow Coombs Dale sublimely back down to Stoney Middleton and your waiting car.
Start / Finish Location – Along the A623 just out of Stoney Middleton and before the Eyam turnoff there’s parking laybys, S32 4TF
Distance: 17.5 miles / 28 km
Height gain: 799m
Time required: 2 – 3 hours
How tough? Strong legs to get you out of Great Longstone and a steady head to get you down to Stoney-Middleton are required
How technical? Two red-graded (rocky) descents out of Eyam which can be avoided and the rest is easy going blue territory
Nearest bike hire: Peak eBikes – Hassop Station (near Bakewell) on the Monsal Trail (And you can just as easily start your ride here)
Local pubs we would recommend: The Moon Inn, Stoney Middleton, S32 4TL
My old mate Rob (of Robz Rootz) has created this great film showing a variation of the route described above. While the route he takes is slightly different, it gives you a great flavour of some of the descents you can expect.
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