ROUTE 1 – This Bakewell mountain bike route takes you along a stretch of the Monsal trail, through pastures and past Haddon Hall.
NOTE: Although short and without much in the way of steep hills or technical terrain, this route is not really suitable for families or riders who are inexperienced or nervous in traffic. It is also very muddy in places after periods of rain.
Starting from the old station, take the Monsal Trail to just beyond Hassop Station. A short distance after the Bridge, a Bridleway takes you up and through some fields then drops to a gate after which you arrive at the narrow bridge at the north end of Bakewell. Cross this to get to the busy A6.
Follow the A6 back into Bakewell centre roundabout. Stay on the A6 in the direction of Haddon Hall. At the south end of Bakewell, a track leads up past the final houses of the town and into a grassy field. Follow the field boundary to reach the minor road.
Turn left along the minor road and follow this for a while, leaving it on the left at a sharp right hand bend. The track takes you to a barn and a crossing of bridleways. To the right, you can get to Youlgrave but for this Bakewell mtb circuit turn left at the barn and follow the bridleway, down to the Haddon Hall car park back on the A6. The area at the barn and the bridleway across the fields can be really annoyingly muddy after periods of rain so be warned. This circuit is best done after a decent dry spell or after a few good frosts when the ground is well frozen.
At the Haddon Hall car park, take the A6 back towards Bakewell but turn right, crossing the river Wye and some more (muddy) fields alongside the river to rejoin the Monsal trail at Combes Lane and follow it back to the station where you parked.
ROUTE 2 – This second suggestion for a Bakewell mountain bike route takes you through Chatsworth Park and drops you back at your starting point via a fabulous stretch of singletrack through the woods and the golf course.
NOTE: Steep hills, technical terrain, not really suitable for families or riders who are inexperienced or nervous in traffic as there is a mile or so along the busty A6. It is also very muddy in places after periods of rain.
Starting from the old station, take the Monsal Trail towards Rowsley, leaving it at the Combes Road bridge. Take the bridleway opposite and after a few hundred yards, go through the gate on the right. The Bridleway isn’t obvious on the ground but cuts diagonally across the field. Take the narrow tarmaced estate road over the river Wye and join th A6. Follow this to Rowsley. At the Peacock Hotel, turn left and climb past St Katherine’s church. After the houses, the road becomes a stony track which levels out for a while before climbing alongside Bouns Corner Wood. Take the first left along the undulating fire track which brings you back into open countryside. Stay on the main track slightly downhill to end up at a junction. Through the gate and to the right, a singletrack takes you up through the woodlands onto another track. Just round a hairpin, cut up left and folow the bridlewat onto the top (if you can, in dry weather it needs a bit of ‘umph’ in the wet … I don’t know what it needs, it’s slippery rocks and mud!). A delightful and all too short woodland section brings you out at Chatsworth Park.
Follow that straight on and then gradually going left to find the gate that allows you to get through the strip of woodland. Follow the bridleway to the right, through a gate, past some estate houses and onto an estate track. At Calton Lees, go past the garden centre and the car park, through Chatswoth Park and turn left to climb through Edensor. Beyond Edensor, a bridleway goes straight on up the hill. Take that and rejoin the minor road from Pilsley. On the descent, look out for the start of the woodlands. The final section of this ride starts there, it looks like a footpath but is definitely a bridle path. The descent is reasonably technical and at the steepest part, is muddy unless there has been a long dry spell. Please be aware that walkers also use this and you really should be in control of your speed in order tha you can afford them some respect. At the bottom of this great descent, you find yourself back at your starting point, more or less!