See more photos and details at: https://bikepacking.com/routes/straight-outta-manchester/
Straight Outta Manchester is an overnighter that departs directly from the city and onto the gritstone Dark Peak’s finest traffic-free and unpaved trails. From there it heads to the haven of Hathersage on the other side, before turning around and doing it all again through the limestone White Peak...
When heading out for an overnighter on this route, you’re aiming for Hathersage, on the other side of the Peak District, where you can pick from a handful of campsites, a hostel, or a sneaky bivy up around Stanage Edge.
The exit from Manchester is mostly traffic free, not short on climbing, and gets you quickly up into the Dark Peak, heading Eastwards along the Trans Pennine Trail. It’s the classic UK mix of all surfaces, gradients, and scenery on the first day. It offers mega views and a screaming decent into Hathersage to finish, which is over halfway ’round, so tomorrow is a little shorter. Good work.
The way back to Manchester drops into the White Peak. With limestone crunching under your tyres, you’ll ride over gravel tracks alongside the Hope Valley. A bit of a challenge over Scouthead (likely a tiny—but worth it—hike-a-bike) into Hayfield, then Sett Valley trail before joining the High Peak canal back into the city.
Manchester spoils you for choice for post-overnighter beers/pizza/giddiness and easy trains to everywhere.
This route offers plenty of resupply options, so there’s a chance to travel fairly light, unless you fancy a full-on camping set up at the other end. As with all UK ‘gravel’ riding there is plenty of punchy climbing and a right old mix of roughness. Generally, a set of 35mm+ tyres and a sense of adventure should have you well enough equipped. Even the strongest rider may need to push a couple of the steeper/rougher bits, but never for very long. Train and road bail outs/short cuts are always possible.
Route development: Straight Outta Manchester follows bits of various NCN routes, the Trans Pennine Trail, Sett Valley Trail, High Peak Canal and well known all-road Peak sections. Shout to Christian Smith (@alwaysapleasure) for riding plenty of it with me.