Biking and birdsong around Carsington cycle route
Medium route for leisure cyclists
Distance: 21 miles or 18 miles short cut
Discover a tranquil landscape shaped by lead mining and quarrying as you cycle through the limestone hills and dales.Starting from Middleton Top, where an engine once hauled wagons up from Cromford Canal, head along the former railway (now the High Peak Trail) through a landscape shaped by quarrying but now a peaceful haven for wildlife. Visit the pretty village of Parwich, where there were several lead mines in medieval times.Continue onto Bradbourne and around Carsington Water, a large reservoir with a visitor centre, café and varied birdlife. Climb up through scattered settlements towards Wirksworth, a bustling market town with its cobbled yards and local craft shops and where lead was mined since Roman times. The town is home of the Barmote (the oldest industrial court in Britain) and an impressive Norman Parish church.
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Start at Middleton Top Cycle Hire where you can hire a range of bicycles suitable for all ages. Head along the High Peak Trail towards Longcliffe. Follow signs for Route 54 until The Nook just south of Gotham,
Head back towards Carsington Water via Bradbourne. Follow Route 54 back to the start or for the longer route follow the Dam walls to Millfield.
At the end of the reservoir take a left onto the B5035 to Ashbourne and then turn right in Hopton and follow Route 54A to rejoin trail back to Middleton Top.
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