Plunging dales and soaring scarps provide a perfect testing ground for cyclists, and local tourist offices are piled high with cycling maps and trail guides. For easy traffic-free riding, head for the 17-mile High Peak Trail, which follows the old railway line from Cromford, near Matlock Bath, to Dowlow near Buxton. The trail winds through beautiful hills and farmland to Parsley Hay, where the Tissington Trail, part of NCN Route 68, heads south for 13 miles to Ashbourne. Trails are off-road on dedicated cycle paths, suitable for road bikes.
Mirroring the Pennine Way, the Pennine Bridleway is another top spot to put your calves through their paces. Around 120 miles of trails have been created between Middleton Top and the South Pennines, and the route is suitable for horse riders, cyclists and walkers. You could also follow the Pennine Cycleway (NCN Route 68) from Derby to Buxton and beyond. Other popular routes include the Limestone Way, running south from Castleton to Staffordshire, and the Monsal Trail & Tunnels between Bakewall and Wyedale, near Buxton.
The Peak District National Park Authority operates cycle-hire centres at Ashbourne, Derwent Reservoirs and Parsley Hay. You can hire a bike from one location and drop it off at another for no extra charge.
Peak Tours delivers bikes throughout the Peak District for seven different self-guided cycling tours.