The Peak District has many fantastic trails covering the most beautiful and unspolit areas of the national park. Many trails offer a good surface and traffic free routes – perfect for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Other trails have a more rugged and natural surface but still offer the fantastic views, these trails would best suit walkers and mountain bikers. The following are what we consider to be the best trails in the Peak District. Please remember before setting out always make sure you do your research, go fully prepared and walk, ride or cycle at your own risk!
The Pennine Way
“A lengthy and challenging trail running through the imposing Pennine hills. It’s one of Britain’s best loved trails and is often known as the backbone of England”
- Who is it for: Walkers (unsuitable for cyclists and horse riders)
- Length: 267 miles
- Places of interest it passes through: Edale, Kinder Scout, Bleaklow.
Details: The traditional start of the route of the Vale of Edale, approximately 1km from the Old Nag’s Head. From here it takes you into isolated countryside and past the Kinder Scout and Bleaklow. It eventually finishes near the Scottish boarders in Kirk Yetholm. Because of it’s incredible length many ramblers choose to walk just sections of the trail and a number of youth hostels can be found along the way. There are 535 access points (on average, one every half-mile or approximately one kilometre) and the majority of the trail is routed via public footpaths.
The Pennine Bridleway
“A new national trail running roughly parallel with the Pennine Way but provides access for Horse riders, cyclists as well as walkers”
- Who is it for: Horse Riders, mountain bikers, cyclists and walkers
- Length: 130 miles
- Places of interest it passes through: The limestone area of the white peak, High Peak area, Tideswell, Peak Forest.
Details: The trail starts in Middleton-by-Wirksworth and then follows the High Peak Trail along a disused railway. After some time it follows a road from Tideswell via Peak Forest to Hayfield where it for a short while follows the line of the converted railway, the Sett Valley Trail. The trail then heads out of the Peak District to Greater Manchester eventually ending in West Yorkshire.
“A long-distance bridleway in the Peak District, running through the White Peak. Users are treated to beautiful limestone scenery along the route and it passes through some popular and picturesque villages”
- Who is it for: Horse Riders, walkers and mountain bikers (many sections unsuitable for road bikes)
- Length: 50 miles (80 km)
- Places of interest it passes through: Among many others the trail passes through the areas of Castleton, Miller’s Dale, Monyash, Youlgreave, Tissington, Matlock , Winster and Ashbourne
Details: The route starts in Castleton, heads through the middle of the Peak District (The White Peak area), follows the Dove River and before finally ending in Rocester in Staffordshire. Also note that the Limestone Way is technically a footpath, with some sections classified as bridleway.
“A tarmacked footpath and cycle route which was once a route of one of England’s most picturesque small railways. Because of the valley nature of the walk the trail is also home to unique flora and fauna and lots of wildlife”
- Length: 8 miles
- Who is it for: Walkers, cyclists, families with pushchairs and people with limited mobility.
- Places of interest it passes though: Thor’s Cave, the mill at Wetton Hill and Beeston Tor.
Details: The trail starts at Hulme End station (about 1.5 miles from Hartington) station and then travels through attractive countryside with no gradients. The Manifold Way finishes in Waterhouses which is a village in the Staffordshire part of the Peak District (about 8 miles from Leek and Ashbourne). There are several teashops along the way.
“A very popular trail running alongside a former railway and passing through some of the loveliest parts on the Peak District”
- Length: 8.5 miles
- Who is it for: Walkers, Cyclists and Horse Riders
- Places of interest it passes through: Blackwell Mill, Millers Dale, Cressbrook, Monsal Dale, Great Longstone, Hassop and Bakewell.
Details: It starts at the Topley Pike junction (in Wye Dale-3 miles to the east of Buxton town) and ends at Coombs Viaduct (1 mile South-East Bakewell).
“Another popular trail with a great surface making it easier for cyclist and walkers of all abilities. It’s part of the National Cycle Network and passes through traffic-free limestone uplands and lower valleys affording great views.”
- Length: 13 miles
- Who is it for: Walkers, cyclists and Horse Riders
- Places of interest it passes through: Close to Dovedale, Tissington, Hartington
Details: It starts North of Ashbourne, at Mapleton Lane and finishes at Parsley Hay (north east of the village of Hartington). See top of the page for a Tissington Trail photo.
High Peak Trail
“An elevated trail on the National Cycle Network, it follows a former High Peak Railway and has some steep inclines and great views over the countryside”
- Length: 17 miles
- Who is it for: Walkers, Cyclists and Horse Riders
- Places of interest it passes through: Goyt Valley to Buxton and across the limestone plateau to Middleton by Wirksworth, then down to Black Rocks and down again to the Cromford canal in the Derwent Valley
Details: It starts at Cromford near Matlock Bath and finishing at Dowlow just south of Buxton. There are a few steep inclines along the route.