The Tour de France passing through the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales attracted some of the largest crowds – its profile amongst cyclists has never been higher. The most centrally located and therefore accessible of all the UK’s upland areas, facilities for cyclists are first rate: plenty of bike shops and some splendid cafés.

But of course it’s the routes themselves that attract riders. One of the great things about the area is the fact that there is so much variety – high moorland, reservoirs, deep green valleys, picturesque villages – packed into a compact area. Pretty much everywhere you go you will find gob-smackingly beautiful views and swooping descents on well-surfaced roads

98 Fountain Villas is a great place to stay for cycling clubs or groups of cyclists looking for a trip away in the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales, as well as great accommodation we have a secure yard for bike storage. Also, lots of routes can be accessed from the doorstep.

These are just two of the many circular routes that can start from 98 Fountain Villas

From 98 Fountain Villas take the A6 through Matlock to Bakewell, the B6012 leads to the magnificent Chatsworth Estate, which you can cycle through. Follow the road to Bakewell then minor lanes south to Youlgrave, descending into spectacular Lathkill Dale with its steep limestone formations. More lovely lanes run southwest to Newhaven and the A5012. Loop back to Rowsley via Winster. Alternatively, if you’re riding at a quiet time for traffic, you may want to follow the A5012 further east as it descends at speed through the steep-sided woods of Via Gellia, to Cromford, from where it’s a short ride back to 98 Fountain Villas

Another route sets out from Matlock Bath and takes you through the lanes linking the Derwent Valley villages of Darley Bridge, Churchdown and Pilhough before a 2-mile stretch on the A6 to Bakewell, passing the splendour of Haddon Hall en route. At Bakewell you’ll traverse the geological divide, leaving the A6 at Ashford in the Water, one of the most picturesque villages in the Peak District, taking the B6465 north to the spectacular viewpoint of Monsal Head before descending to Wardlow and A623. Turn right and ride through the limestone cliffs of Stoney Middleton on the twisting and fast road. Turn off left at Curbar, climbing through Curbar Gap, guarded by the endless gritstone edges of the Dark Peak. Cross over the A621, eventually reaching and crossing the A619 as you ride quiet lanes across Beeley Moor and back to Matlock Bath.

You can also turn right out of 98 Fountain Villas down the A6 into the Derwent Valley, whose history is directly linked to the growth of industrial Britain. Riding along the A6 at Cromford, the site of England’s first factory at Masson Mill, built by Richard Arkwright, heralds the start of a historic trail. Leaving the A6 and heading up the steep climb towards Wirksworth route of the Tour de France quaint cottages provide evidence of the first factory housing of the industrial revolution, and if you turn off in the other direction at Cromford, quiet lanes twist and turn past John Smedley’s historic mill at Lea, as you climb up to the imposing folly of Riber Castle. The road that ties in Riber Castle with the access lane to High Tor at Matlock is a cracker.