With its stiff climbs, a spot of gravel and a brilliantly swooping descent, the Goyt Valley Grinder cycle route has long been my favourite quick spin up into the Peak District National Park. But as a stand-alone adventure it felt like it lacked a few extra miles and a final flourish. So now I’ve revised it for 2022, with more Goyt and more gravel!
Whereas the original route only really counted the awesome Goyt Forest “fire track” as its gravel grind, the new, extended 17.5 mile (28 km) route skews rather more to the rough stuff.
Like the tweaks I recently made to the Beginners’ Brickworks route, it was a case of “under my nose the whole time”. Rather than race straight down the B5470 back into Whaley Bridge, which is never too bad but is a 50 mph limit for some distance, a convenient turn instead leads straight onto a forgotten lane.
Tumbling down broken tarmac, you land on the stunning Taxal Moor Road — simply one of most splendid lanes in the High Peak. The revised route then returns up into the Goyt Valley before a rough descent on old byways doubling back to the charming hamlet of Taxal itself.
I’ve always wanted to include this area in a route, but thought it’d need to be mountain bike only. After numerous test rides this year, I think I’m happy to call it gravel friendly — though the gnarliest downhill bit of Whiteleas Road is about my upper limit and may test your tolerance. (It’s certainly worth tolerating for all the rest.)
For those who’d rather avoid the bumps altogether, a more road bike-friendly alternative — grinding “Gears Not Gravel” — is also now included as a full alternative route.
Finally, rather than return immediately to the canal at Bugsworth Basin, the route heads onto the B6062 (one of the few B roads around here which isn’t wholly unpleasant) for a smoother, flying finale across the River Goyt.
If that’s grabbed your attention, enjoy the free website guide right here, with a re-written introduction and directions plus 40 brand new photos captured over the past year. If you find it useful, buy me a coffee and help to keep it there and free for everyone!
The Goyt Valley Grinder Pocket Guide & GPX has also been fully updated with revised map and directions, perfect to download or print out and take along for the ride.
Goyt Valley Grinder Pocket Guide & GPX
A custom map, easy turn-by-turn directions and points of interest, plus GPX, TCX and FIT navigation downloads.
These downloads are also available as part of the complete Peaks & Puddles Pocket Guide Collection and GPX Collection — dropping just a few quid on these supports the website and my work plus gets you extra content now and in the future.