We all know the Peak District is famous for its beautiful walking country and scenery, but you might not realise that this area also has its own tradition in fantastic, family-friendly cycling.
The good news is that our cosy log cabins provide the perfect base from which to explore this area’s wide range of cycle trails, with plenty on offer for the whole family. The first port of call for cycling families should certainly be The National Forest Cycle Centre, Hicks Lodge, set in a former coal mining site just outside Ashby-de-la-Zouch. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/hickslodge
Here you’ll find bikes to hire (or you can bring your own), with kids’ trailers for little ones, a huge range of cycle paths which take you round the site’s beautiful man-made lake and, for the more adventurous, bumpy tracks through the rapidly growing forest. There’s a lovely natural play area and a café to warm up in afterwards. Also, on windy days, it’s a very good spot for kite-flying! To find out more great cycling spots in this area, check out http://www.derbyshiresport.co.uk/derbyshire-cycle-routes.
The famous Tissington Trail, near Ashbourne, is an absolutely stunning cycle ride with its 13 miles of traffic-free track running from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay. You can hire bikes and grab a warming drink at the Mapleton Lane hire centre, but check the opening hours first since it only operates in season.
For families or single cyclists fancying a more relaxing pedal, we recommend the http://www.roslistonforestrycentre.co.uk/. Also part of the National Forest, this is an all-round outdoor centre which includes bike hire (only in season) and some very pleasant cycling trails around its beautiful site.
But sometimes you just can’t beat exploring the countryside on your doorstep while on your bike, and for that, it’s well worth checking out the wonderful cycle paths that criss-cross this area. In particular, the Derby Canal Path and Cloud Trail, which runs alongside some beautiful villages such as Melbourne and Wilson, are second to none. You’ll find maps here: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/derby-canal-path-and-the-cloud-trail, and, if you wanted to stop for a cheeky pint or bite to eat en route, there’s The Bull’s Head at Wilson which is conveniently right on the Cloud Trail: http://www.thebullsheadatwilson.com/