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    High Peak Trail

    A 17.5 mile walking, cycling and horse-riding route.


    The High Peak Trail runs for 17.5 miles from High Peak Junction, near Cromford, to Dowlow, 6 miles south of Buxton.

    It's a traffic-free trail suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders passing through some of Derbyshire’s most beautiful countryside in an area known as the 'White Peak;.

    The High Peak Trail follows the route of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway. This was one of the world's first long-distance railway lines, built between 1825 and 1830. Many important railway buildings and features can still be seen, including High Peak Junction Workshops, Middleton Top Engine House, Hopton Tunnel and Hopton Incline.

    You can join the High Peak Trail at various points, including High Peak Junction at Cromford, Middleton Top (cycle hire), Hartington Station and Parsley Hay (cycle hire).

    You could sample a short stretch of the trail by parking at Parsley Hay and heading 2.5 miles to Ruby Wood. Turn left along the trail in front of the Parsley Hay cycle hire centre, pass a bridge and bollards and keep right when the trail forks, then continue through cuttings and along embankments until reaching the signal box at Hartington Station, and then Ruby Wood. Start at Hartington Station for a shorter route to Ruby Wood (800m) or for reversing the route to Parsley Hay.

    You can walk, cycle or ride a horse on the trails all year round. Along the trail, keep a look out for wild flowers including cowslips, orchids and wild herbs during summer. There are plenty of opportunities for refreshments and picnics along the way.

    For those wishing to explore the trails further, the High Peak Trail joins the Tissington Trail at Parsley Hay. The Tissington Trail runs for 13 miles to Ashbourne.

    Trail directions

    Step 1

    Nestled in the Derwent Valley, High Peak Junction was once a hub of transport activity and is now a true haven of heritage and wildlife. It sits at the junction of the Cromford Canal and the High Peak Trail.

    Step 2

    For those wishing to explore the trails further, the High Peak Trail joins the Tissington Trail at Parsley Hay.

    Step 3

    Middleton Top, as you might expect, is at the top of a hill and offers delightful views of the surrounding countryside.

    This site has a visitor centre, gift shop and cycle hire centre, car park, toilets and picnic area. Whether on foot, horse or bike it is an ideal place to start your visit along the beautiful High Peak Trail.

    Step 4

    The High Peak Trail ends at Dowlow near Buxton.

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