Cycling Books

A well-stocked bookshelf will always inspire you to get out and explore. On this page, I’ve put together a guide to the guides: a comprehensive listing of cycling route and travel guides covering the Peak District and beyond.

Buying through the links on this page may help to support Peaks & Puddles at no extra cost.


See also: Peaks & Puddles Cycle Routes Pocket Guides are phone-friendly and printable PDF mini-guides to routes featured on the website, packed with maps, photos and local trivia.

Local Cycling Guide Books

There are glossy guidebooks in all shapes and sizes covering cycle routes in and around the Peak District. Here I’ve added my own thoughts on each, where I’ve had chance to try them myself. Maybe you’ll find a new guide for your next adventure.

Cycling in the Peak District: Off-Road Trails and Quiet Lanes

Tom Fenton & Jon Barton, Vertebrate

A good all-rounder Peak District cycling guide focusing on gravel and mountain biking, listing 28 reasonably quick routes over 112 pages including both original loops and, in a briefer family section, the obvious trails.

Maps and directions are simple and concise, and though not overflowing with additional facts it provides enough to feel a worthwhile purchase. Most rides are, however, located further to the east and south of the Peak, and assume a car park to start.

Cycling in the Peak District

Chiz Dakin, Cicerone

Promising 21 routes in and around the National Park, the dainty local Cicerone guide covers a wide area, with many rides conveniently starting outside the National Park and guiding you in to some of its most famous cycling.

Perfect for a jersey pocket, it’s nevertheless a packed tome at 220 pages, complete with photos and Ordnance Survey mapping, though with maps spread over several pages it can be hard to quickly get a ‘feel’ for where each loop is sending you — some briefly on roads which would make me squirm (Snake Pass!) but might be acceptable for others, so do check out each route carefully.

The final route is a challenging five-day 250km (155-mile) ‘Tour de Peak District’. Maybe I’ll try it someday!

Lost Lanes Central England

Jack Thurston, Wild Things

The best-selling and beautiful series of cycling travel guides finally comes to the Peak District! Thurston’s fifth edition includes no fewer than seven rides (of 30 total) in and around the National Park, including big adventures starting from Macclesfield, Buxton and Hope. Simple maps are backed up by detailed OS maps and GPX available online, while the photography and words are sublime as always.

Cycling Traffic-Free Midlands and Peak District

Nick Cotton, Ian Allan

Mapping out 30 routes over a wide area from Chester to Rutland and centred rather more on the Midlands than the Peak District proper, this 120-page guide focuses solely on traffic-free cycling. Maps are rather simple, but if you don’t mind a drive to enjoy some off-road peace, it’s sure to inspire a visit to many a place beyond our usual horizon.

Pennine Bridleway: From Derbyshire through the Yorkshire Dales to Cumbria

Hannah Collingridge, Vertebrate

This might just be the definitive guide to the fearsome off-route along the spine of the Pennines. Ticking all the boxes with stunning photography, clear directions, intriguing trivia and Ordnance Survey maps, it’s simply a perfect 140-page pocket guide to the National Trail.

Also available from: Wordery

Bradwell’s Family Cycle Rides: The Peak District

Paul Francis Cooper, Bradwell

Includes a selection of 18 rides “suitable for the whole family” over 96 pages. Mostly the familiar trails in a handy-sized book but with a few original loops, too.


More Cycling Guide Books

Focusing on areas further afield or providing complete national route guides, here are even more cycling guides to check out.

Traffic-Free Cycle Trails: The essential guide to over 400 traffic-free cycling trails around Great Britain

Nick Cotton, Vertebrate

Includes a selection of 18 rides “suitable for the whole family” over 96 pages. Mostly the familiar trails in a handy-sized book but with a few original loops, too.


See also Cycle Routes

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