Tarquin's cycling pages

19 August 2009 - Tissington and High Peak Loop

WhereTissington and High Peak Loop
(The Peak District)
Date19 August 2009
Duration1 hours 20 minutes
Distance13 miles (~21 km)
WeatherBroken cloud and sunshine
Trail conditionsDry dirt track and tarmac
Mark 'Tarquin' Wilton-Jones 29 GT LTS 2000 (TWJ)
Megan Caplin 2 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC Comp
Nerys Wilton-Jones 28 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC Comp
Peter Wilton-Jones 30 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp

Trip report

Description by Mark 'Tarquin' Wilton-Jones

This ride followed route 2 described in 'Peak District National Park Cycle Routes', starting at what was Hartington Station, just a little outside Hartington. We extended the route a little by following the High Peak trail all the way to its junction with the Tissington Trail, instead of cutting the corner using a dirt track. It is an easy route, with virtually no obstacles, the most difficult part being the strong winds.

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See pictureSee pictureThere is a pay-and-display car park at the old station, but it is stupidly overpriced, so we simply parked beneath the viaduct by the station, and picked up the Tissington Trail by the old station house.

See pictureSee pictureHead south (not over the viaduct), until you can see the village of Biggin on the right. Just before the trail crosses over the top of a road (the first road it crosses over the top of), take a path to the left that drops down to the left to join the road. Turn left, and follow the road to a junction with the main A road.

See pictureSee pictureCross the A road, and turn right along a path on its far side. Almost immediately turn left onto a dirt track. Follow it for ages, trying to hold the same direction, passing through a couple of gates. Eventually, it reaches a road.

See pictureSee pictureCross the road, and follow the lane ahead instead. After a while, this turns hard right, and climbs up gently, next to a prominent stone embankment and archway.

See pictureSee pictureAt the top of the climb is the High Peak Trail, which is a misnomer, since it is not in the High Peak, and does not reach the High Peak. Whatever. Turn left.

See pictureSee pictureIt passes a quarry ...

See pictureSee picture... Then an embankment, then crosses a road, and a few tracks, and then crosses a major A road and a smaller road, passes some brickworks, and crosses a farm track. Seems to go on forever, but at least it's a fast route.

See pictureSee pictureYou know the end is near when you finally reach the Newhaven Tunnel. Which is not at Newhaven. Of course.

See pictureAt last it reaches the junction with the Tissington Trail. Double back hard to the left. Incidentally, that family in the picture apparently didn't think I could put away a camera and ride a bike at the same time (perhaps they're right, who knows?) - I guess they had never seen such a thing as my camera holster. Think I scared them by being in the middle of the track, and then returning to the left side after taking the picture. Woman at the front did an emergency stop some distance ahead of me, on her side of the path. Child behind used feet on the ground instead of breaks. Crashed into woman. Fell off bike. Must remember that there are a lot of novices on this route, and they need a lot more TLC than on regular routes. My fault for scaring her perhaps, but have to boggle at the total overreaction that it produced. Ah well.

See pictureSee pictureHead into a long cutting, and follow the railway back to Hartington Station. All done.

The Tissington Trail can optionally be followed north to Pomeroy (near Buxton) or south to Ashbourne, and the High Peak Trail can be followed southeast to the Derwent Valley near Matlock, where the Derwent Valley Heritage Way can be followed further. Make up a longer route if you want, but the old railway lines are quite mundane. A good way to cover distance, but not a good way to see the sights or to enjoy technical riding.

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