A well-stocked bookshelf of Peak District guides will always inspire you to get out and explore.
Cycling Route Guides
There are glossy guidebooks in all shapes and sizes covering Peak District cycle routes. 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
Probably the best all-rounder Peak District cycling guide for less intimidating 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 detail or knowledge 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 excellent use of Ordnance Survey for its 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!
Cycling Traffic-Free Midlands and Peak District
Nick Cotton, Ian Allan
Mapping out 30 routes over an enormous area from Chester to Rutland and, in truth, centred rather more on the Midlands than the Peak District proper, this 120-page guide focuses solely on traffic-free cycling. Perhaps, with only the few obvious trails around the National Park, that’s why it has to look so far and wide.
Maps are rather simple and directions perhaps overly emphasise minor dangers, 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.
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. (Not yet tested by Peaks & Puddles)
See also Cycle Routes
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