Dark Peak three reservoirs cycle trail

Cycling trail

Suitable as a family cycle-route or for the more energetic riders out there, this impressive location has something for everyone.

Derwent Valley sunrise on snow



Fairholmes car park, grid ref: SK173893


Start at Fairholmes car park (non-National Trust) and bike hire beside the Derwent Reservoir dam wall. Cycling out of the car park follow the cycle route left up towards Derwent reservoir.

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Continue along the road, cycling alongside Derwent Reservoir until you reach Howden Reservoir, where the road from Coldside Oaks turns into a gritstone track.

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After a while you will reach the bridge at Slippery Stones, where the track turns back on itself. This is the original Derwent village bridge which was dismantled when the village was flooded and eventually rebuilt here in 1959. Your route now crosses over to the other side of Howden Reservoir and descends towards Ladybower Reservoir.

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This track runs alongside the opposite bank of all three reservoirs and will lead you down Ladybower Reservoir until you reach the A57.


Once you are at the bottom end of Ladybower Reservoir next to the A57 follow the track around and up back towards Fairholmes car park, where you began your ride.


Fairholmes car park, grid ref: SK173893

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Dark Peak three reservoirs cycle trail


This 18-mile (28.9km) loop has an undulating but almost continuously hard surface around its length and the roads and tracks have recently been improved. The northern edge is the most challenging. These trails are sometimes busy with a mixture of cyclists, walkers and horse riders. Be prepared for loose/gravel surfaces, don't cycle too close to other cyclists and beware of vehicles on country roads. We strongly recommend that you wear a helmet.

Dark Peak three reservoirs cycle trail

Contact us

Dark Peak three reservoirs cycle trail

How to get here

Derwent Valley, Derbyshire
By train

Hope 4 miles (6.4km), Sheffield 12 miles (19.3km)

By road

M67 J3, M1 J31, take A57 then turn off at Ladybower Reservoir

By foot

The Derwent Valley Heritage Way runs from Ladybower Reservoir to the confluence of the River Derwent and the River Trent

By bus

273 Sheffield – Ladybower – Castleton. Alight Fairholmes info point - for more info see Traveline website

By bicycle

Upper Derwent Valley Cycle Path (National Cycle Route 54) follows the valley bottom, on-road and off-road routes - for more info see the Sustrans website

Dark Peak three reservoirs cycle trail

Facilities and access

  • Car park
  • Toilets
  • Catering kiosk
  • Peak District National Park Ranger Base
  • Bike Hire