Ten Great Peak District MTB Trails –
Slippery Stones Family MTB Adventure (12 miles/20 km)

Ever since my children have been old enough to sit upright in a chair I have been cycling with them around this lovely route. If you give this ride a go on a weekend it is also car-free. The ride starts and finishes at Fairholmes Visitor Centre where there is a bike hire centre which will cheaply cater for all your family’s needs including a buggy that you can tow your toddlers around in. Adults could manage this 12 mile circuit comfortably in one and a half hours. With children in tow and a picnic at Slippery Stones, you could easily make this into a four or five hour adventure.

Cycling perfect for children around the Upper Derwent Reservoirs

Route details

Start at the Fairholmes Visitor centre and head northwards in a clockwise loop, always keeping the reservoirs on your right. Really, you can’t go wrong … Ride in this direction also because this way you will have good tarmac for most of the way to Slippery Stones which will make the uphill easier for all. On the return journey you will enjoy great off road cycling the whole way with super views down the valley. And since it’s practically down hill the whole way back it’ll be whops of yahoo all the way!

A circuit of the Upper Derwent Reservoirs

General Information

Start / Finish LocationFairholmes Visitor Centre, Bamford, Hope Valley S33 0AQ

Distance: 12 miles / 18 km

Height gain: 326m

Time required: 3 – 5 hours (with kids)

How tough? With plenty of time on your hands, this is the perfect Peak District ride to take on with your children!

How technical? Nothing more technical than a bit of gravel to contend with from time to time, but still has a bit woo-hoo downhill factor included

Nearest bike hire: Derwent Bike Hire – Derwent / Ladybower Reservoirs

Local pubs we would recommend: The Yorkshire Bridge Inn, S33 0AZ
(There are two pubs local to this ride, this is the pub, we would recommend, by far!)

Headed out the forest to Slippery Stones

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 ride specifically though, pretty much any bike will work!

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.

Further reading / information