Slow Cycle Training in Derbyshire (Hardwick loop) 26 miles

This route takes in Hardwick Hall, Bolsover Castle and Sutton Scarsdale (slow 4 hours including lunch)

Luckily I’m located near some great Sustrans routes (greenways) and some of them link together.  I have a favourite training route with a mixture of tracks and country roads.  Going from home is the best way to go because there’s less faffing and it is an eco (cheap) adventure.

From home to The Sitwell Arms in Renishaw (where you can park next to the trail – Sustrans route 67).  Under the bridge to Staveley and past Poolsbrook Country Park.  From the end of the track I head to Sutton Scarsdale on the hill.  Worth a short diversion and a photo.  A mighty shell where a stately home used to be, you might recognise the exterior as it has been used in big budget films.

Bev and me at Hardwick

Always tempted to stop in Heath (although it is too close to Hardwick).  Sometimes the villagers display creative scarecrows.  The final section before lunch is the climb up the drive to Hardwick.  The winking windows (more glass than wall) are impressive.  Imagine the late 1500’s and a 68 year old Bess commissioning her initials to be read in stone from afar.  Stop at The National Trust café.  It would be rude not to.

Back on quiet roads next to fields via Bolsover (which has a lot of character).  The town and the castle are good places to spend time and you can find very reasonable prices for food.  The last bit (back to Renishaw through Mastin Moor) has some great downhills with the odd climb.

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