If you're looking for a healthy mix of road and off-road cycling then Hathersage has it all. The sheer variety of routes and trails available in this part of the Peak District means that whatever your age, energy level or ability, you'll find a rewarding ride. The area is great if you're looking for a challenge. The countryside is beautiful, with tracks and routes for all abilities to enjoy. YHA Hathersage is a great place to explore cycling of all kinds. There are routes that cater for family-friendly or more intermediate riding. If you're bringing the kids, a number of family-friendly and predominantly traffic-free trails offer the opportunity to imbue them with the biking bug in relative safety. The 14-mile Upper Derwent Valley Reservoir Circuit loops around three reservoirs, combining short sections of minor roads and extensive sections of traffic-free gravel track along the water's edge. Alternatively, and for something a little out of the ordinary, take to the 8.5 mile Monsal Trail. Formerly a section of the London to Manchester railway line, it's a flat leisure route with spectacular views and, best of all, a series of 400-metre railway tunnels.
Upper Derwent Valley Reservoirs Circuit Length: 14 miles/23km. This route loops around the wooded valley containing three reservoirs combining minor roads and long traffic free gravel tracks. High Peak Trail Length: 17.5 miles/28km. This route combines a long incline at the start, traffic free tracks, a limestone plateau and sweeping views. Monsal Trail Length: 8.5 miles/13.7km. This route takes you along the Midland Railway former London to Manchester line, via tunnels, cuttings and dramatic viaduct heads. This route is mainly level, well surfaced and traffic-free. Confident off-road riders are spoilt for choice here. The 17-mile Hope and Edale Valley Circuit starts just up the road in Castleton. Killer climbs and hair-raising downhills combine to create a thrilling ride through Hope and Edale before you make a final, technically tricky descent below Peveril Castle and back into Castleton. For a suspension-rattling white-knuckle ride, divert at Barber Booth and extend the circuit to include the steep and rocky Jacob's Ladder descent.
Hayfield Circuit Length: 12 miles/19km. This route has a good climb and interesting sections from Kinder reservoir down to the Pennine Bridleway. Hope and Edale Valley Circuit Length: 17 miles/27k. This route takes you from Castleton to Hope then on to Edale. This ride takes you on steep climbs and fast downhill tracks all topped off with great views! Jacobs Ladder from Barber Booth Length: 9.5 miles/15km. This route has plenty of climbing and steep descents and also takes in part of the Pennine way. The Stanage Circuit 18.75 miles/30km. This route starts at Burbage Rocks and heads towards Redmires Reservoirs, with a great descent through Stanage Edge.
After an exhausting but exhilarating day, head back to the hostel to store your bike and enjoy a square meal and a comfortable night's sleep. You'll need it, for tomorrow we ride. There are frequent train connections from Manchester and Sheffield from Hathersage stations that is just 10 minutes walk from the hostel. Maps and further information are available from reception. Cycle and workshop/maintenance is available in Hope which is just three miles away. Up and coming events around the area are advertised around the hostel.