A ride both over and under the limestone area of the Peak District, an area of great beauty, provided you pick a nice day (but it's a Perm, why would you not?).
The journey out goes through Millbrook and Stalybridge then climbs over to Mottrtam and Broadbottom. After riding over Ludworth Moor, you descend to Birch Vale and Hayfield before another climb and descent to Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Dove Holes and Peak Dale are next on the itinerary as you enter true limestone scenery to reach 'Tidza', famous for its well-dressing and a large parish church known as 'The Cathedral in the Peak'.
The next leg uses the Monsall Trail. Formerly the Midland Railway's line between Manchester Central and St Pancras, the trail is now an excellent cycle path. It is tarmac through the well-lit tunnels, while the open-air surfaces are hard-packed and quite suitable for even the skinniest of tyres. Just watch for inexperienced cyclists and stray pedestrians at the end of retractor leads.
After passing through Buxton, you go through the Goyt Valley and climb The Street, then descend past Jenkins Chapel, a challenging hill climb if you were riding in the opposite direction. There is another great descent into Bollington, for a till receipt from the Co-op, or anywhere that offers Proof of Passage.
Cycle over the Monsall Viaduct
This Perm could reasonably be ridden in either direction, but the bridle path through Lyme Park works better as better climb than a descent, so clockwise as per the GPX file and the route sheet might seem preferable. There is a useful cafe near the car park in Lyme Park. Lyme Hall was used as Pemberley for a TV version of Pride & Prejudice, but please, no swimming in the lake, as you don't want the ladies swooning over your Darcy-like wet cycling jersey.
Nearing the finish, you tackle the climb out of Compstall and up Cowlishaw Brow up Werneth, which the Tour of Britain cyclists made look oh so easy back in 2019.
The start is in Uppermill, Saddleworth. If you drive here, it's handy for M62 junction 22 and there is free all-day parking at the car park by the leisure centre. If arriving by train, Greenfield Station has connections to Manchester and Leeds. TransPennine Trains allow a limited number of bikes on trains which they insist must be pre-booked, a policy ruthlessly observed.
☕ Some Useful Café Suggestions:
47km: Tideswell, Nelly's Cafe, Diary Cafe 83km: Lyme Park, Timber Yard Cafe 115km: Uppermill, Many cafes, including Abaco and Cellar Pot