The reservoirs of the Upper Derwent Valley are popular with mountain bikers but there’s also some rather nice gravel to be had there. This route starts and finishes at Bamford Railway Station so there’s no excuse not to leave the car at home.
The route heads up the Thornhill trail which is a former railway that was used to transport the piano sized blocks of stone that were used in the building of the dams from Bamford up the valley.
You then head around the south side of the Ladybower Reservoir towards the Snake Pass. After crossing the road (take care) head steeply up the hillside at Hagg Farm. Continue over pastures and head back down to the Ladybower Reservoirs.
Follow the road around the edge of the Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs which were used as a training site for the Dambusters in World War 2.
When you rejoin the bottom of the Snake Pass at Ashopton there is a bike lane on the opposite side of the road that will save you mixing it with the traffic. At Yorkshire Bridge turn left and head up New Road which traverses the hillside .Enjoy the views up and down the Hope Valley whilst you are plodding slowly upwards.
At the top drop downwards towards Hathersage and after a short distance follow Gatehouse Lane back to Bamford.