Grade: Moderate. 27.7 miles with 2800ft of ascent. I’ve described this route as moderate, but it does have a couple of steep climbs in it, notably up to Calton Village from Waterhouses, and Thorpe near Dovedale. Apart from that it is fairly level along the Manifold Trail and a gradual upwards climb along the Tissington Trail heading north. I would say it is doable on a road bike, but only just, some parts of the Manifold Trail are quite uneven, and I decided against 23mm road bike tyres in favour of wider hybrid tyres.
Highlights to keep an eye out for on this route include Thors Cave and Wetton Mill (refreshments) on the Manifold Trail. Throwley Old Hall, and then the beautiful Ilam Village, (although it can get very busy around here at peak holiday times, or summer weekends). Dovedale and Thorpe, and then Tissington Village, (refreshments) which is well worth a stop. Hartington Station, (refreshments) is another nice place to take a break, before reaching another pretty Peak District Village – Hartington.
Key Route Points:
- Start: Hulme End Visitor Centre
- Manifold Trail
- Calton Village
- Throwley Old Hall
- Tissington Village
- Tissington Trail
- Finish: Hulme End Visitor Centre
Directions: Starting from Hulme End (refeshments) travel down the Manifold Trail towards Waterhouses, where you reach the A523 at the end of the trail, turn left here, for the short, but least enjoyable stretch of this route, as you travel along an uphill section of the A523 before turning left towards Calton. This is the first steep climb of the day and is a bit of a shock to the system after the flat Manifold Trail, but it does not last for too long.
In Calton bear left, following signs for Ilam, carry on along Farwall Lane, gradually climbing until you reach a high point with spectacular views of the valleys below. Be cautious of the roads around here, there are several cattle grids, but there were all in good order at the time of writing. From here you will be able to catch the first glimpse of Throwley Hall down below, to see the hall you effectively go through the farm, bearing right at the bottom of the hill and then you will see Throwley Old Hall on your left.
From Thowley Hall carry on along the road until you reach another farm, where you turn left to cross a bridge before you reach Ilam Village. Turn first left in Ilam and follow the road past Dovedale uphill towards Thorpe. Follow the road, passing The Peveril of the Peak Hotel on your left. Turn left, heading opposite to the Dog and Partridge Pub, signposted towards Tissington along Narlow Lane, then Washbrook Lane. At the end of the road cross the A515, heading through the gateposts towards Tissington Village. Carry on along this road through Tissington until you reach a turning on the right towards the car park for the Tissington Trail.
Follow the Tissington Trail for eight miles, until reaching Hartington Station, where you leave the trail, bearing right towards the car park and then left through the car park, dropping down a hill towards Hartington. At the bottom of the hill turn left, and enjoy the long downhill section into Hartington. Carry on through Hartington Village sticking to the main road, and then back to Hulme End.