Mam Nick Road Cycling
Stats: 32 miles and 2503 feet of ascent
The renowned Grindleford Station Cafe is our preferred start and finish. Steaming mugs of tea or horlicks, chip butties to feed a family, and parking for numerous cars. You can also come by train on the Sheffield to Manchester line. Tideswell provides ample opportunity for a brew just over halfway around, with the Vanilla Kitchen Cafe.
This is a climber’s route, so don’t attempt it unless you like steep passes or you’re fond of a walk uphill! The route rolls along the Hope Valley before turning towards Edale, where a gradual climb begins. Passing Edale Station, the bottom of Mam Nick is reached and the road rears itself skyward category 3 style. A speedy descent and twisting lanes take you to Tideswell, the Cathedral of the Peaks, before a skip through the plague village of Eyam. A final push from Grindleford leads you to the Oasis of the famous Station Cafe.
1. From the Grindleford Station Cafe cycle up to the road and turn right, heading downhill and over the bridge at the traffic lights. Take the next right (B6001) signed to Hathersage. This road climbs steeply initially before easing off and rolling along to Hathersage.
2. At Hathersage the road climbs once more, to a junction with the A6187 Castleton Road. Turn left and ride along this fast and flat stretch for 4 miles, where the village of Hope is reached. At this point you’ll need ‘Hope’ on your side, turning right into the minor junction at the side of the Old Hall Pub, signed Edale where the climbing really begins. No turning back now guys.
3. This narrow and winding lane climbs gradually for a further 4 miles to the village of Edale (300 feet of ascent), before the gradient begins to climbs some more. Approximately 1 mile further along from Edale the bottom of Mam Nick eventually raises itself from the valley, as the twisting lane opens up to a long initial straight that faces you down and challenges you to ride onward. The only way out now is to head on up. This famed category 3 climb continues for approximately 1.5 miles, passing the well known ancient hill fort of Mam Tor to the left, before finally easing off and rolling over the top towards Windy Knoll and Rushup Edge.
4. Speed down the road to the junction, turning left in the direction of Castleton, passing and ignoring the junction (left) with the top of Winnats Pass as the road turns to the right and continues down towards Perryfoot (OS Map). Take the very minor junction on the left by small trees and head through the gate and along this very narrow tarmac lane. If you miss this junction, you’ll soon see a small tarn in fields to the left – turn back some 100 yards.
5. Scenic Perry Dale now rolls along to the junction with the A623 at Peak Forest. At the junction and lights turn right and immediately left, heading along the lane towards Smalldale and Wormhill. 1.5 miles along the lane a turning to the left leads into a narrow drystone wall lined lane that rolls on down through the hamlet of Weston before descending to Tideswell. Opportunities exist here for a brew and cake stop.
6. At the junction in Tideswell turn right onto the Manchester Road and cycle on through this picturesque village to a junction with the High Street, opposite the Natwest Bank – turn right. Exit the village on this road, the B6049. A short distance after leaving Tideswell on the B6049 a junction is signed to the left to ‘Litton.’ Take this turning to the left, riding through this narrow valley and the delightful village of Litton. A short climb on leaving the village leads to a fast descent to the A623 – turn right towards Stoney Middleton and Baslow.
7. Climb easily for a mile until a junction off to the left is signed for ‘Foolow.’ At the ‘T’ junction opposite the Back Bull Pub turn right and ride along the lane into the plague village of Eyam. Ride through the village, turning off left at the junction (Hawkhill Road) by the village shop, signed up to car park and toilets. Ascend this road (currently shown as closed due to landslide, but passable to cycles). The Edge Road eventually swings down right and descends speedily to a junction at Grindleford opposite the ‘Sir William’ Pub – turn right.
8. A short descent leads quickly to a further junction. Turn left at the junction and cycle uphill back to the station car park and cafe.