This is a short and easy circular family ride, following mainly off road routes along National Cycle Network paths and some quiet roads between the city centre and Elvaston Castle to the south east of the city centre. Elvaston Castle Country Park is a picturesque site featuring over 200 acres of woodlands, parkland and formal Grade II listed gardens incorporating a lake, picnic areas, children’s play areas and a caravan & camping site.
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Start at the Riverside Gardens, behind the Council House.
Head downstream with the River Derwent on your left. Go under the inner ring road into Bass’s Recreation Ground. 4 Follow the river, past the Derby Evening telegraph footbridge on your left, and access Station Approach via the Fleam Bridge.
Continue straight ahead and under the railway bridge. Keeping left, follow the river and go under the Wyvern bridge after about a mile. Go under the railway bridge after a further 1/3 mile to arrive at Alvaston Park. Keep to the left through the park and past the BMX track. Continue under Raynesway. After ¼ mile pass a weir/structure and continue to a second weir with a grey safety fence.
Take a sharp turn right. Follow the winding path until a ‘crossroads’ and turn left into Elvaston Country Park. Follow the path, keeping left at the turnings. Pass the riding school to arrive at Elvaston Castle visitor centre and tearoom. Dismount your bike in accordance with signs within Elvaston Castle’s grounds.
From the castle, return to ‘crossroads’ and continue straight on and past the cottage on your left. Shortly afterwards turn left through the stile and continue over the A6 footbridge. Continue along the lane and turn right at the end of the road onto Elvaston Lane. Go across the roundabout and carry on turning left after the school to join the Route 66 cycle ring route. Follow directions A-E for the shortcut show on the map with a dotted line or go to direction.
Continue towards the end of Elvaston Lane and carefully turn right onto the footway at the junction with the busy road. B Use the pedestrian crossing to cross Shardlow Road and then bear right. Join the cycle path to your left and follow it alongside Harvey Road being careful when crossing the sideroads along the way. After ¾ mile, and having passed the petrol station over to your right, use the next Toucan crossings to cross Harvey Road and join National Cycle Network Route 6 – the old canal route.
Follow the signs for Route 6 back to the city centre. Following the blue signs for Route 66, continue through the park and across Shardlow Road onto Field Lane. Use the crossing on your left if you need to. Continue along Field Lane, going straight across at the cross roads with the red surface. Take the second right onto Farm Drive.
Continue following the signs for Route 66 and turn right at the end of the road and then left onto Bracknell Drive. After passing Noel Baker School, take the first left and then left again onto Harlow Gardens. Enter Hippo Wood and turn right towards the old canal path and turn right again to follow the signs for Route 6 back to the city centre.
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