Our selection of the Peak District's best bike rides with pub lunch pit stops
It’s April, and Winter, it seems, is beginning to recede. We’re seasoned enough to know that the cold weather probably won’t all be over and done with yet - we live in Derbyshire - but what’s certain is that the days are getting longer, with good light until 6 or 7 o’clock in the evening, and if you’re lucky, there’s a real chance of some warm Spring sunshine to enhance your mood and boost those vitamin D levels. With this in mind, we think it’s high time to don your helmet, promote your trusty eBike from Head Dustcatcher to Trailblazer-in-chief, and head out for a ride, safe in the knowledge that you can make a day of it.
To whet your appetite, so to speak, we’ve picked out some of our favourite gastropubs in the region, all within easy reach of the trails - because what is a day of cycling, if not an excuse to quickly replenish all those hard won calories you’ll be burning?
1. Royal Oak, Hurdlow (Tissington Trail)
Situated smack bang next to the Tissington Trail, which stretches for 13 miles between Parsley Hay in the north and Ashbourne in the south. We recommend starting from Parsley Hay Cycle Centre, where Juicy Bikes can be hired for a half or full day. Venture as far down the trail as you like - that the slight incline on the way back will be no problem for you on an electric bike!
Parking available. Alternative - Pay and display at Hurdlow Car Park or Parsley Hay.
Vegetarian and gluten free options.
Food served from 12 - 9pm daily.
2. Waterloo Inn, Biggin (Tissington Trail)
A little further down towards Ashbourne lies the village of Biggin where, along Main Street around half a mile from the trail, sits the Waterloo Inn. This is a traditional, family run pub serving real ales and homecooked food, and has its own campsite right next door. Once again, the linear nature of the Tissington Trail means it’s up to you as to how far you go. Heading in either direction provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside, with plenty of refreshment points along the way.
Parking available. Alternative - Biggin village or pay and display at Hartington Station.
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Food served: Tue - Fri: 12 - 2.30pm, 6 - 8.30pm. Sat: 12 - 4pm, 6 - 8.30pm. Sun: 12 - 4pm, 6 - 8pm.
3. The Vale Inn, Bollington (Middlewood Way)
Stretching from Macclesfield to Rose Hill, Marple, the Middlewood Way is not technically in the Peak Park, but is only a very short hop from our showroom at New Mills, and too lovely not to mention. Throw in a stop off at the Bollington Brewery’s very own Vale Inn and you’ve all the makings of a great day out.
Parking available. Alternative - Bollington recreation ground or pay and display at Pool Bank
Food served - Mon - Fri: 12 - 2.30pm, 6 - 9pm (9.30pm Thurs/Fri), Sat 12 - 9.30pm, Sun 12 - 8.30pm.
4. The Packhorse, Little Longstone (Monsal Trail)
The Monsal Trail runs from Blackwell Mill, near Buxton and Coombs Road, Bakewell. Like the Tissington Trail, it follows the route of a former railway line, but also features four 400 metre long tunnels. These are lit during daylight hours, but still retain a certain spookiness... The pub itself is accessed by leaving the trail at the old Great Longstone for Ashford railway station, turning left at the top and following Station Road into Great Longstone. Upon reaching the village green, turn left onto Main Street and continue all the way through to Little Longstone, where the pub is nestled on the right hand side.
Limited parking available. Alternative - pay and display at Monsal Head.
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Food served - Mon - Sat: 12 - 9.30pm, Sun: 12 - 9pm.
5. Coach and Horses, Fenny Bentley (Tissington Trail)
Situated close to Ashbourne on the A515, approximately 1 mile from the trail, but the quality of the food makes it well worth the detour if you have the car, and a great option should you wish to start or finish your ride in Ashbourne.
Vegetarian and gluten free options available.
Food served - Daily 12 - 9pm. (Diners requested to ring ahead to check times).
Whether you eat whilst soaking up the rays in a secluded beer garden, or getting cosy inside by a rustic open fire will depend to some extent on the weather and to some extent how hard (you think) you are. We can’t guarantee either, but we’ve very high hopes for you. Happy cycling!