Ladybower Loop - Medium
Peak District Mountain Bike Route Guide
This 20.3 mile mountain bike route is an easier way to experience the delights of riding from the Ladybower Reservoir than the full 28 mile route. It still packs in some great Dark Peak riding with some fantastic descents and a lower percentage of tarmac. It is still not an easy option as the rocky terrain will wear out your arms as well as your legs.
1. Start from the Upper Derwent Information Centre (GR172893). At exit of the car park turn right to the roundabout behind the Information Centre. Take the second exit, a gated road to the left of the entrance to the Information Centre. Follow the road underneath the Derwent dam before bearing right and climbing to a junction (GR174894). Go straight on and follow the lane, keeping the Ladybower reservoir on the right. The lane soon becomes a dirt track. At the junction with the gates ahead go through the gate on the right to continue following the track by the edge of the reservoir. At all the other junctions stay by the reservoir all the way to where the track ends at a junction with the A57 (GR195864).
2. Turn right and cross the bridge over the reservoir. There is a cycle path on the right hand path to make things a little safer here. On the opposite side of the bridge turn right up the road leading to the Derwent Reservoir Information Centre. Once over the crest of the initial climb turn left up junction to Crookhill farm (GR190870).
3. Follow this steep lane through a couple of bends to the farm. Keep right through the farmyard to a gate on the right of the farmhouse. After the gate take the double track off to the right, following the drystone wall. After a gate go straight on for a short distance along the double track, then follow the vague grassy double track off to the left at the wooden post. Head towards the top of the gully, in the hillside on the right. Just before reaching the gate in the drystone wall straight ahead follow the track right, past a wooden post, to a gate in the corner of the field at the bottom of a steep grassy climb (GR178875). Go through the gate and up the climb. At the top go straight on, through a gate, and along the singletrack by a line of trees on the right.
4. At a gated junction go through the two small gates and trail turn left to follow the rutted and rocky trail along the ridge (GR171885). Follow this trail all the way to the next junction (GR163891). Drop into the junction on a short, steep and rocky descent, then turn left to the gate at the top of descent to Hagg farm. Go through the gate then descend through a number of loose, rocky hairpins to the next gate. After this gate keep descending on the longer second helping of this great descent. At the gated junction by the Hagg Farm Outdoor Centre go straight on down the tarmac to a junction with the A57 (GR162887).
5. Go across the main road and through the gate opposite then continue descending on the gravely track to a bridge over the river at the bottom. Turn right over the bridge, then turn left on the opposite side and follow the wide track to a junction with a gate, on a hairpin bend, just after a short, loose, rocky climb (GR163881). Go straight ahead, through the gate, and descend the track to the next junction (GR163878). Turn right and follow the track along the right hand bank of the Ladybower reservoir to the next junction (GR172868).
6. Turn right up the signposted, concessional bridleway for a long, constant gradient double track climb through the trees. Near the top of the climb, go straight across the crossroad junction. At the next junction a short distance later, just after the trail flattens off, turn right through the gate and climb the rocky trail. After a while follow the trail left, back into the trees, then bear right to a gate at the top of the hill on the edge of the forest (GR173861).
7. After the gate follow the track straight ahead for a short distance then turn right onto a wide grassy track. Descend the rutted track along the ridge, keeping the trees on the right. After some distance, at a forked junction, bear left and descend the wide rutted track down to a gate and junction with a gritstone trail (GR169862). Don't go through the gate, turn hard left and follow the gritstone trail as it undulates across the side of the valley. The track soon points downwards for a fantastic rocky descent that ends at a gate. Go through the gate and descend the tarmac lane. The lane turns sharp right at Fullwood Stile farm then descends to a junction at the bottom (GR168845).
8. Turn right and follow the road along the valley floor. Go under the railway bridge then follow the road along side the railway for a while. After going through a dip and emerging from the trees bear left along the road and go past the entrance to Clough Farm on the right. A line of bushes can be seen dropping away from the left hand side of the farm to join the road on the right. Just after reaching the top of a short climb, at the point where the bushes join the road, turn right through the gate (GR145864) and climb the singletrack to the farm.
9. At the back of the farm go through the small stream and the gate then turn right to a junction. Climb the left hand track from Clough farm to a gate at the top of the ridge, just after a left hand bend (GR154871). Go through the gate and descend to the stream crossing in Jaggers Clough. After crossing the stream climb the initially very steep and loose track to the crossroad junction at Hope Cross (GR160876).
10. Turn left and climb the rutted track to the next gate. After the gate follow the trail, which after a while descends to a stream crossing on a right hand bend through a gate. Go through the gate then bear left for a long, loose and rocky descent. This descent will test your stamina, with long boulder fields that get your arms and legs burning. At the junction at bottom of the descent, turn right and follow the lane down to the bottom of the valley. After crossing the bridge at the bottom climb to a junction with the A57 (GR152892).
11. Go straight across the main road and climb to Rowlee farm. Follow the track through the gate at the far side of the farm then climb through a couple of hairpin bends to where the tarmac turns to grit. Continue over the crest of the climb then descend a short way to a gate. After the gate climb ahead along the line of trees on the right. The trail then comes to a junction, previously visited from the other direction (GR163891).
12. Follow the wide trail that bears left from the junction then descend to Lockerbrook farm. Directly 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 lane on the banks of the Derwent reservoir (GR167910). Turn right and descend the road to the roundabout by the Derwent Information Centre (GR167910). Take the second exit to the car park to complete the ride.
Other than at the start there aren't any places to get food on the way round. A detour can be made at the start of para 8. where you can turn left and head along the road into Hope. It doesn't take long to reach the junction with the main road and the Woodbine Cafe on the right.