Grade: Challenging. 27.5 miles with 3000ft of ascent. Starting at Parsley Hay Visitor Centre, this hilly route offers a mixture of challenging climbs, with rewarding views, and visits some of the most iconic Peak District locations, mostly along quiet lanes. This route is suitable for road bikes, but not in icy conditions.

Key Route Points:

  1. Start: Parsley Hay Visitor Centre and Cycle Hire (Refreshments)
  2. Youlgreave
  3. Climb to Stanton In Peak (Views across to Haddon Hall)
  4. Rowsley (Refreshments at Peak Village and Caudwells Mill)
  5. Chatsworth House
  6. Bramley Lane Climb
  7. Hassop
  8. Great Longstone/Little Longstone
  9. Monsal Head (Refreshments)
  10. Ashford in the Water
  11. Climb to Haddon Grove
  12. Monyash (Refreshments)
  13. Finish: Parsley Hay Visitor Centre and Cycle Hire (Refreshments)

From Parsley Hay cross the A515, (sharp left then right) signposted towards Youlgreave and Monyash. Turn right again shortly after, following signposts to Youlgreave. The road passes close by the Arbor Low Stone Circle, which is worth a visit if you have the time.

Stanton in Peak

In Youlgreave keep an eye out for pedestrians walking in the road, as it is a popular place, with narrow lanes and no footpaths. As any cyclist will know, some pedestrians have a tendency to assume there is nothing coming if they cannot hear a car coming. Head straight through Youlgreave and Alport until you reach the turning with the B5056, where you turn right then shortly left towards Stanton In Peak. The climb up to, and through Stanton In Peak is the first test of your legs on this route. Keep going through the village and then turn left along Pilhough Lane, signposted toward Rowsley. It is along Pilhough Lane that you are rewarded for your efforts with spectacular views towards Haddon Hall to the left.

Drop down to Rowsley where you pass Caudwells Mill and the Peak Village, be very cautious on this descent, this is one section of the route to be avoided in icy conditions as it is very rough and steep.

Monsal HeadWhen you reach Rowsley turn right on  to the A6 and then quickly left. Follow this road, the B6012 Chatsworth Road, past Beeley Village before reaching Chatsworth House. Carry on past Chatsworth House until you reach Baslow, but turn left before you reach the main roundabout, signposted Bubnell. Keep going along this lane where the second climb of the route begins as you head up Bramley Lane, until reaching the junction with Hassop Road. Keep an eye out on the left as you climb, with great views across the fields towards Chatsworth House. On reaching Hassop Road turn left and recover from the climb, as you roll towards Hassop. In Hassop turn right at the junction with the Hassop Hotel, and the imposing looking All Saints Church, along Longreave Lane.

Head towards Great Longstone, until you reach the end of the road where you turn right along Main Street, then left towards Little Longstone and the Monsal Head, where it is worth taking a moment to enjoy the views over the Monsal Trail Viaduct.

Ashford In The WaterFrom the Monsal Head turn right out of the viewing area and enjoy the downhill journey towards Ashford In The Water. Dismount at Ashford In The Water, and walk across the old Sheepwash Bridge towards the A6, (you can just stick to the roads if you do not want to cross the bridge). Turn right along the A6 for a very short distance before turning left towards Sheldon, and starting the third big climb of the day. Keep battling along the 15% hill until you reach a junction where you turn left, signposted towards Bakwell. After a short distance you will reach the Bakwell to Monyash Road B5055 where you turn right towards Monyash.

When you reach Monyash turn left in the centre of the village along Rakes Road, signposted towards Youlgreave and Newhaven. Follow the road to the right as it climbs out of Monyash along the Rake. You will eventually reach the A515 which you cross back towards Parsley Hay Visitor Centre.