Rails trails and limestone dales cycle route
Medium route for leisure cyclists
Distance: 20 miles
Discover limestone dales, a former railway, the historic plague village and the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’ in an unspoilt farming landscape.
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Starting at Millers Dale, once a major station on the Midland Railway opened in 1868, climb towards Wormhill and Wheston. Continue to Tideswell and take time to explore its fine medieval church, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’. Cycle up onto Bretton Edge, where there are spectacular views of the Dark Peak moorlands to the north and the walled landscape of the White Peak to the south.
Descend into Eyam, the village famous for heroically isolating itself when the plague spread in 1665. An undulating ride across moors then drops down into Cressbrook dale, crossing the River Wye below Monsal Head to join the railway line again. This line, which until the 1060’s carried a railway across the Peak District from London to Manchester, is now the Monsal Trail, a traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Cycle through limestone cuttings and tunnels on the Monsal trail, peering down on Cressbrook and Litton Mills, former 19th century textile mills built to harness the power of water. Today, the scene is a peaceful home to wildlife such as dippers darting around the riverbanks.
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