Cycling from Hartington Cottages
Below is information about possible cycling routes.
Hartington is 1.5 miles from the famous Tissington Trail and within 3 miles of two further popular cycle trails - the High Peak Trail and the Manifold Valley trail, all of which follow the course of disused railways, and are on average of 15 miles in length.
The Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 54, using a combination of bridleways, part of the trails and extremely quiet lanes, passes through Hartington. There is in fact quite a network of bridleways in the immediate vicinity, which are excellent for cycling on.
The Tissington Trail runs from Hurdlow, near Buxton, in the north, to Ashbourne in the south, and goes almost right through Biggin. Since Buxton is higher than Ashbourne, there is a gradual but steady incline (guaranteed nothing steep at all) going up from South to North for the first 10 miles of its length to Biggin. Thereafter from Biggin to the Northern end in the direction of Buxton, it is basically level. Cycle hire is available at Parsley Hay, less than 4 miles north of Hartington.
The Manifold Valley Trail runs from Hulme End (2.5 miles from Hartington) down the Manifold Valley to Weags Bridge, where it turns right and very gently indeed goes up the Hamps Valley (a subsiduary of the Manifold) to Waterhouses. This is the route of a former light railway which once ran between Hulme End and the main railway line at Waterhouses. Cycle Hire is available at Waterhouses. The surface of this trail is tarmac throughout. This is a good trail on widy days, as being in the valley, it is usually fairly well sheltered..
The third trail, the High Peak Trail, is in many ways the most interesting, There are numerous archaeological and many other features to be seen from this trail, and at that part nearest Biggin some wonderful high embankments, one in particular on a very sharply curved section which is a sight to behold. This trail is just about totally level apart from three 'inclines', one with a gradient of 1:13, a second is 1:8.5 and the third over a mile long, starting right at the far end of the trail (and which can therefore avoided) is about 1.7, where all but the stronger cyclists will dismount and push.
In the immediate environs of Hartington, there are quite a number of bridleways, which have for the most part been converted to what the National Park Authority describe as 'Leisure Lanes'. The grass and stony surfaces have been covered with limestone and limestone dust, similar to the surface on two of the railway trails. One of these bridleways/leisure lanes is 80 yards from the end of our drive and another is at the other end of Biggin, so just over one mile away and is useful for connecting the High Peak Trail and the Tissington trail. Indeed the principal aim of these 'Leisure Lanes' seem to be to connect the various railway trails.
In addition, there is a truly extensive network of quiet country lanes, on which cycling is as safe as it can get. Motorists around here (with numerous exceptions) are remarkably considerate to cyclists, and we believe average speeds on the lanes (not on the trunk roads) are well below average for roads of this type.
A short cycle ride
From Hartington Market Place, take the small road signposted to Heathcote, which leads past the Youth Hostel - quite steeply at first, then downhill on the other side of the rise. Continue straight across a crossroads and go through the small hamlet of Heathcote, continuing until you reach the bridge over the Tissington Trail.
Take the path down onto the trail and turn left to head North up the trail. This soon takes you through the old Hartington Station and then continues to reach the junction with the High Peak Trail. Carry straight on to reach Parsley Hay and the Peak Park's cycle hire centre.
Continue on up the Trail another 3 kilometres to the next road, where you leave the trail, turning left onto the minor road. (If you get to Hurdlow Station/Sparklow then you have gone too far). Take the path off the trail and descend to the minor road, turning left. After about 1km you reach a cross-roads - carry straight on along the the single-track road, which climbs a small rise before descending sharply to Pilsbury, a small hamlet above the River Dove.
At the elbow bend just before you reach the houses a track goes off to the right. This leads to Pilsbury Castle, a Norman castle which is now just a set of earthen mounds. It's in a lovely spot and is well worth the short diversion.
Pilsbury is also a good spot for a picnic or a paddle in the river below. From here continue along the single track road, which winds its way gently back to Hartington.
Click Here for a route map