This is known as the 5 Dales route because it includes 5 big climbs out of valleys or ‘Dales’ as they are called in the Peak District. It is a challenging Mountain Biking route with some technical climbs and quite rocky descents so is not recommended for beginners.
This route was taken from the excellent and highly recommended book – White Peak Mountain Biking: The Pure Trails (click to check current price on Amazon) If you would like to download this route please consider purchasing the digital version (Kindle device not required to view it) as it provides links to the GPX files and zoomable Ordnance Survey maps.
At the start of the route there is free parking next to a bridge in the pretty village of Darley Dale. As we begin the ride and steadily climb on road out of the village, the route veers off-road sharply left onto a track. It’s not signposted on the road yet, I believe it’s still in the process of being re-classified as a Bridleway by Derbyshire County Council.
This trail becomes the hardest climb of the whole route including a very loose, rocky section. However, once you’ve negotiated this technical part, the rest of the climb is much more rideable and becomes an enjoyable climb with lovely views of the whole valley.
At the top of the climb we join Chesterfield Rd and continue on this for just over a mile. We then leave the road and head onto a picturesque grassy bridleway which descends through a small area of woodland. After reaching the bottom of the descent the route continues on road for a short time before joining a bridleway which runs through Rowsley Wood.