Hope Valley MTB
Stats: 30 miles and 5200 feet of ascent (an epic day out)
Lots at Hathersage. We’ve suggested parking at the Train Station, this way giving an option to head in on the train with your bike from Sheffield or Manchester. There’s also a pub along the way at Ladybower (The Robin Hood) and the visitor centre at Ladybower where you can get some food and a drink.
This route is a combination of my old local knowledge from back in the day, and our friends at Monkeyspoon.com who ride the area regularly. It’s a full day epic, with steep climbs, fast and technical descents and some great views along the way. Weaving around the Hope Valley, it’s a route to test anyone.
Take care on the Cave Dale descent.
1. From the train station car park head out to the main road and turn left, cycling underneath the railway bridge towards Bakewell on the B6001. Cross the small bridge over the river, then turning right on the lane to Abney and Gt Hucklow.
2. Stone walls and hedgerows climb steadily on this narrow lane before expansive views open up over the Hope Valley. Just before Highlow Hall on the left, a fork off the right leads onto a well-made track descending through trees. Take this as it twists and turns down.
3. At Offerton Hall a gated BW off to the left takes you across moorland towards Shatton Lane. Take this. Exit onto Shatton Lane and turn left onto the gravel track over the moor (BOAT Byway Open All Traffic).
4. This climbs up to the communications mast before descending at speed into the valley. A reassuring BW junction is met along the way but continue straight ahead, keeping the drystone wall on your left. This track eventually exits at Brough onto the B6049. Turn left at the junction.
5. Turn right towards Smalldale at the Samuel Fox Inn. Keep on until you see the a crossroads, and go straight over into Michlow Lane (BW).
6. Exit and turn left on Pindale Lane, away from Hope at this stage, continuing up Dirtlow Rake (OS Map), an excellent gravel track that leads above Castleton. A short distance along, a BW junction is met, signing you downhill through ‘Secret Valley’ to Castleton. Take this track which becomes steep and technical as you descend to Castleton.
7. Once safely down in Castleton, take the back road (Siggate) by turning right and head to Hope village. At the main road turn right, cycling along for a short distance before a hidden lane on the left is signed for ‘Aston only’ – take this. This narrow lane climbs steadily and goes under the railway bridge on its way to Aston.
8. When you see wooden railed fencing to the right and a lane off left opposite, take the lane climbing left to Twitchell Farm. Follow this all the way to Hope Cross across the moorland.
9. At Hope Cross descend through trees to Ladybower on the excellent but sometimes loose and rocky track. Go around the reservoir and along the BW the other side to the Robin Hood Inn. No detailed instructions are necessary here.
10. From the Robin Hood Inn turn right onto the A57 Snake Road, then turning left onto the A6013 towards Bamford and signed to Hathersage. A short distance along this road a junction to the left (New Road, opposite a telephone box) should be taken, climbing through dense tree cover. Trees give way to open moorland views, before a small copse is seen where a BW leads down to Bamford.
11. At Bamford a small crossroads is reached. Turn left into ‘Joan Lane’. This eventually leads to the BW past Nether Hurst and then down again to Hathersage.