Glossop – Cut Gate
Peak District Mountain Bike Route Guide
Glossop, The Dark Peak
(Requires advanced skills and fittness)
OS Landranger 110
Route Text Download:
Glossop - Cut Gate
GPX and KML
(available via the full MapMyRide page for this route, on the right hand side of the page)
Glossop - Cut Gate Route
This is an epic mountain bike route of 44.7 miles that starts from Glossop, in the Peak District. It takes you through Edale valley and over Cut Gate for some great, technical Dark Peak riding. It is a hard ride that should not be underestimated. If you are of good fitness it should take 6-8 hrs to complete. It is definitely worth the effort as it contains a number of challenging climbs and fantastic descents. The ride starts from a free car park in Glossop just off the A624, near to the junction with the A57 and the Tourist Information Centre.
1. From the car park (GR035940) turn left onto the A624 and climb out of Glossop, towards Hayfield. Follow the main road for about 2.5miles to a junction at the crest of the hill. Go straight on and descend through a few of bends to a gated track on the left of the second right hand bend, by a house on the right at the start of the trees (GR035894).
2. Go left through the gate and up the double track. A short distance later bear right and descend to the bridge and ford to cross the stream in Hollingworth Clough. After the stream climb the steep, rocky singletrack across the moors. After about 1mile the track drops left to another stream crossing. The stream is followed by a short push up some stone steps. At the top follow the trail to a wooden bridge just before a junction (GR049883).
3. At the junction turn left, then take the track on the right that follows the line of the hill. A short distance later turn right down the singletrack signposted as a bridleway. As it descends left around the hill it becomes steeper and rockier. At the following triangular junction turn right through a gate in the drystone wall for more steep, rocky descending. The track finishes at a drystone wall with a good view over Kinder Reservoir. Turn right and descend the steep cobbled path to a gate and road at the bottom (GR053880). Watch out for pedestrians as this is a popular path.
4. Go straight on along the lane to a big green gate. After the gate turn left over a bridge then climb between the houses. Just after leaving the trees the lane comes to a junction with tracks on either side (GR054878). Turn right through the gate and climb the steep, rocky track through the field. The trail flattens off at the woods and comes to a junction at the start of a drystone wall on the left. Turn right and climb the steep, grassy and rutted double track. Where the track splits bear left and follow the drystone wall along the contour of the hill. After a while go straight on through a gap in the wall ahead and descend into the next field. Climb the grassy track across the field to a gate in the top right hand corner (GR066872).
5. Turn right through the gate and climb the rutted track between the drystone walls. The track opens out and eventually flattens off before turning right to a gate. After the gate take the rutted track that drops away to the left. At the next vague junction, just before the obvious track climbs to Kinderlow End, take the boggy track on the right. The track descends and soon becomes firm singletrack again. Continue along this trail as it bears left and finishes at a gate (GR066861).
6. Turn left after the gate and climb the wide rocky track to another gate a short distance later. Navigation, from this point to the top, is simply a case of following the main trail straight on. It’s a long, hard climb with plenty of rocks. Two steep rock gardens mark the start of the most difficult part of the climb. While it is possible to clean the whole thing it will have most walking. After reaching the summit at Edale Cross go straight on, down a short, rocky descent to the gate at the top of Jacobs Ladder (GR081861).
7. Time to drop your saddle if you need to. At the junction after the gate go straight on to start the descent of Jacob’s Ladder. The trail lets you know what to expect straight away with a rocky drop and loose boulders before it heads down a very steep section of bouldery cobbles. The trail then flattens off a bit and returns to the natural rocks where you can pick up some speed. Eventually the track turns left and drops down a steep rocky section. At the junction just after turn sharp right and go through the gate. Negotiate the criss-crossing rutted descent covered in rocks, to a tight left hand bend. After the left hand bend the trail becomes extremely loose and rocky all the way to the gate and stream at the bottom (GR088861).
8. Bear right over the stone bridge and go through the first gate of about three. Descend the wide track that drops into the valley, which ends at some farm buildings (GR096855). After the farm go straight ahead on the tarmac. Go through a left/right dip, over a bridge, and up a short climb to a farm on the left at the top. Continue down the lane then bear right and climb to a junction with Upper Booth Farm camp site on the right. Turn left and follow the lane down hill. Go past a car park then under a bridge before then lane finally finishes at a T-junction (GR113847).
9. Turn left and head along the road to Edale that immediately bears right. At the junction in Edale go straight on and follow the lane for a while. Go under the railway bridge then through Nether Booth. Not long after leaving the village turn left though a small gate to climb a singletrack trail between the bushes and trees (GR145864). At Clough farm bear right through the gate then take the track on the left that climbs across the side of the hill. Go left through the gate at the top, then descend to the stream crossing at Jaggers Clough. After the stream climb the steep, loose track to the crossroad junction at Hope Cross (GR160876).
10. Go straight across the junction and descend The Beast. This descent starts out fast but soon becomes rocky and technical just before reaching a small gate. After the gate the technical level of the trail makes a huge jump as it becomes a jumble of boulders and stepped bedrock. The big rocks continue until a junction 3/4 of the way down. At this junction turn hard left before the gate and descend to a small bridge, on the right. Go across the bridge then up a very steep gravel track to the A57 (GR162886). Go across the A57 and climb the lane, on the opposite side, to a junction near the Hagg Farm outdoor education centre. Go straight on through the gate for a tough rocky climb. On the way up the track goes through a gate and a number of hairpins before reaching a gated junction at the top (GR163890).
11. Go through the gate and up the rocky trail straight ahead. At the wide track a short distance later go straight on to go past Lockerbrook farm. Just after the farm go straight on through a gate for a final rocky climb to the top of the hill. From the top keep following the trail ahead for a fast descent through Nabs Wood that finishes at a road on the banks of the Derwent reservoir (GR167910). Turn right and descend the road to a roundabout by the Upper Derwent Information Centre, which is a good place to refuel (GR167910).
12. At the roundabout take the first exit on the left, a gated lane that leads to the bottom of the Derwent dam. After passing the dam bear right and climb to a junction (GR174894). Turn sharp left and follow the wide track up the right hand side of the valley past the Derwent then Howden reservoirs. Continue climbing past the end of the Howden reservoir until a short descent that leads to a junction. Turn right to a bridge and ford, at the stream crossing near Cranberry Clough (GR170963).
13. After crossing the stream bear right to a junction a short distance later. Bear right and follow the singletrack, signed as a bridleway, up the valley on the right. After crossing another stream the trail kicks up for a push up a trail that winds it’s way out of the valley. Eventually the trail turns left and becomes rideable as it traverses the hillside. At the end of the singletrack bear right on a moorland track across the peat. The ground is soft and deceptively steep, so is pretty draining. The trail then bears left, becoming rutted and even steeper before a brief respite on a section of paved track. When this runs out continue straight on for a short rutted push to the top (GR186961).
14. This is where the pay back begins. Follow the Cut Gate track straight on across the top of the moor. It is a peaty track scattered with rocks and bogs. The wetter it is the more bogs there will be. As the trail steepens the number of boulders increases. The trail eventually crosses a section of rock paving before it bears left to follow a fast section of singletrack that traverses the right hand side of the gulley along Mickleden Edge. At the junction about 2/3rds of the way down continue descending straight on (GR191986). Go up a small climb that interrupts the descent to a junction after the crest. Bear left and descend the trail to some tight rocky bends at the trees. After the final left the trail comes to a gate and a bridge over a stream (GR198006).
15. Go right over the bridge then up a steep climb on the other side to a junction at the top. Go straight on to the next junction in the woods, where the main track bears right. Take the second track on the left and climb the gravel track, which a short distance later goes through a right hand bend. At the next junction, where the wide track turns left, go straight on and follow the dirt singletrack through the trees, to a gated junction at the A628 (GR196013). Go straight across the main road and through the gate on the other side to follow a muddy track though the trees. Turn left at the lane on the far side of the trees and follow it to a junction at the next houses on the right (GR192015).
16. Turn right and follow the track between the houses. It soon becomes grassy and comes to a gate. After the gate follow the track as it descends gently by a drainage ditch, on the right hand side of the field. Continue straight ahead until the trail bears left and finishes at a gate (GR188027). Dismount and go left after the gate (at the moment this track is a footpath but the local council is in the process of upgrading it to a bridleway), then a short distance later bear right over the bridge. On the other side bear left, keeping to the drystone wall on the left, and descend to a gap in the wall (GR186027).
17. Go left through the wall to join the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT). Turn right and ride to where the track finishes at Dunford Bridge, then follow the TPT signs straight on through the car park to a junction with a road (GR158024). Turn left and climb the lane for a couple of miles to a junction with the A628, just after the crest of the hill (GR141005). Go straight across the main road to the gated track on the other side. After the gate go down the gravel double track. Halfway down turn right and continue descending to a gate in the bottom of the dip. After the gate climb a short way to a junction with the A628 (GR135998).
18. Go straight across the road and through the gate on the other side to continue along the TPT. Follow the double track off to the left in the direction of the valley. At the next junction, where the double track bears right uphill, continue straight on and descend to the next junction (GR117001). Turn left on the track signed for the Woodhead tunnel. This steep gravel track twists its way down hill, over a few water bars, and comes out at the A628. Go across the road and descend the track on the other side. Follow the track left and continue descending to a lane. Turn right, then at the next junction go straight on along a gravel track to the end of the Woodhead Tunnel (GR114999).
19. Bear left and continue following the TPT along the disused railway. Follow this cycle path all the way down the valley, to where it ends at a junction with a road on the edge of Hadfield (GR024961). Bear right and follow the road away from the bridge. At the next junction, a short distance later, take the road on the left. This road immediately turns right and descends to a junction at a church (GR022960). Go straight across and descend the road on the left of the church. Follow this road all the way down to where it ends at the traffic lights and the junction with the main road (GR014949). Turn left and follow the main road to two mini roundabouts. Take the first exit off each roundabout to bear left on the road that then climbs through the centre of Glossop. At the junction with the A624 in the centre of town turn right (GR035941). A short distance later turn left into the car park and the end of the ride.