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Favourite Rides

Derby to Cloud Quarry

Cloud Quarry
Can you see the trucks in the bottom of the quarry?
Also Breedon Church on the far horizon (top right).

Start from Exeter Bridge or any point on NCN R6 between Alvaston Park and Swarkestone Lock, and follow R6 along the towpath of the Trent & Mersey Canal turning right after a mile or so, to gain the old railway route crossing the River Trent on the viaduct.
Keep on R6 through King's Newton, Melbourne, and Tonge, and over the road bridge crossing the A42 trunk road to reach the Cloud Trail, which runs adjacent to Cloud Quarry. Continue up the hill, until you come to a couple of cast iron pterodactyls on the right. Opposite is a good view of Cloud Quarry, probably the biggest hole in the ground that you have ever seen, so don't stand too near the edge, especially if it is windy. The quarry produces thousands of tons of limestone per year.

The pterodactyls.
Go back to the A42 bridge and carry straight on into Breedon village, where there is an excellent cafe at the garden centre. Returning from there, turn left before the circular war memorial, climbing uphill and taking a right fork to visit Breedon Church, high on the summit, and which can be seen for miles around. The view from here is quite spectacular, looking over East Midlands Airport and Charnwood Forest.
Return to the fork and turn right downhill and then left on the road, to pass through Wilson, where on the far side of the village is a track on the right, just opposite the South Derbyshire sign, which leads downhill, where you re-join NCN R6 and return to Derby.

Whilst resting beside the pterodactyls, this a wonderful place for a game of "I Spy".
I spy something beginning with "p".......................
They'll never get it.

Something else to note -
The pterodactyls are the only creatures you will ever see that have their rib cage on the outside of their bodies. Also they have external hinges on their ankles.

Erewash Valley Trail

A good place to start this ride is Trent Lock, and if coming from Derby follow NCN Route 6, or by train or bus to Long Eaton. From Trent Lock take the towpath along the Erewash Canal, following this through Long Eaton. The route is well marked as NCN Route 63 and the surface good for several miles.

The Monsal Trail
Buxton to Bakewell 11.5 miles
See posting of 14th June 2011.

Note Buxton is just off this map to the right side. See OS Landranger Map sheet 119 for more detail.

The Conkers Circuit

Note Swadlincote is just off this map at the top. Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre just off to the right.
See OS Landranger Map sheet 128 for more detail. 
The Nutbrook Trail
The 11.5 mile ride from Long Eaton Station to Shipley Country Park is so much improved that it must be included here as a new favourite ride.
See "Two Wheels and a Camera" blog. Click HERE