NCN Route 549 originally ran from Etwall to the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border at the River Dove bridge near Uttoxeter. Masterminded by the late Jim Hudson, a short off road path ran from there into Uttoxeter.
Now the White Peak Rangers have devised and signed a major extension which tales the route northwards to join with the Manifold Trail at Waterhouses, which lies on the A52 Ashbourne/Leek road at the top of the infamous Swinscoe Hill.
The new extension runs from Doveridge, at the Marston Lane roundabout (Map Ref SK 11883 34290), through the villages of Roston, Norbury, Ellastone and Stanton. It leaves the Dove Valley, climbing 431ft. in the process, so expect a few hills, the major one being South of Stanton village. The County Boundary is crossed on the Dove bridge between Norbury and Ellastone. See below.
The route is clearly signed and mostly on narrow country lanes, some single track, so watch out for tractors. The route is quite picturesque, with some great views, but has few places for refreshment.
The original route from Doveridge to Uttoxeter is now signed Route (549), ie in brackets, and this may be changed when a new route eventually comes in from the direction of Stoke-on-Trent.
Thanks to the White Peak Rangers for their hard work in devising and signing this worthy extension to the Dove Valley section originally devised by the Derby Ranger Group.
20th December 2016
Click HERE for detailed ride report on "Two Wheels and a Camera" blog.