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Sparrowpit and Woodhead

 

Distance: 71 miles

 

Ascent: 5,800 feet

 

Map:

 

 

Character: A fine loop around the Peak featuring two crossings of the main watershed and several bonus climbs. This is the route to do if the Snake and Holme Moss roads are snowbound (I have an annual pilgrimage to the Peak in the winter). Bear in mind that this route is quite busy with traffic on the A61, A623 and A628 so only do this if you’re confident of facing down those thundering wagons.

Refreshments and Facilities: It’s only decent to go to the Glossop cafe - very reasonably priced and tolerant of dripping bikers on wet days.

Start and Finish: I have a friend in Tankersley so it's only polite to start from there. You have more options, of course.


 

Route Description

1. Head south on the A61, towards Sheffield.

2. When you get to Church of St John at Owlerton (the Old Crown and Pizza Hut are more secular waymarks), turn right onto the A6101 towards Glossop.

3. Keep heading up the Rivelin Valley, joining the A57 as you do.

4. When you reach Ladybower Reservoir, turn left on the A6103 signed to Bamford.

5. At Bamford lights, turn right on the A6187 signed to Hope, Castleton and Chapel-en-le-Frith.

6. Turn left at the Traveller’s Rest onto the B6049 signed to Brough, Bradwell and Tideswell.

7. The next pub/junction is the Anchor. Turn right onto the A623.

8. Follow this over the watershed, through Peak Forest and Sparrowpit, dropping to the A6 near Chapel.

9. Turn right at the roundabout, then take the acute left fork into Chapel. At the lights, turn right at the sign for Hayfield and Glossop, A624.

10. From the refuelling stop in Glossop, go straight on at the lights towards the Woodhead.

11. Right at the reservoirs, then up and over the pass to the Flouch Roundabout. 

12. Straight on here through Millhouse Green and Thurlstone.

13. At the Hoylandswaine roundabout, turn right onto the A629.

14. Go through the charming village of Wortley, over the flyover to cross the A616 then look out for the left turn to Howbrook.

15. Up Howbrook Lane then turn left into Peafields Lane, which become Cross lane, Storrs Lane, Westwood Lane and finally Carr Lane before bringing you back to Tankersley.