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Four routes around Derby

Elvaston and Swarkestone.

A. The Riverside Way to Elvaston Castle and return -
8 miles Suitable for children 7 years + and for beginners.

From the Riverside Gardens, head downstream with the River Derwent on your left. Go under the inner ring road into Bass's Rec. Follow the river, go past the Telegraph Footbridge on your left and gain Station Approach via the Fleam Bridge. Turn left, head down the slope to go under the railway and up the other side to the chicane barriers and so into Pride Park.

Follow the river, going under the Wyvern Bridge after about 1 mile, and under the railway after a further mile to arrive at Alvaston Park. Those heading for Swarkestone should take the path to the right. Keep to the left through the park, passing the BMX track, exit the park and go down under Raynesway. After mile, pass a weir/bridge and continue for a further mile (mind the cattle grating across the path) to a second weir. Take a very sharp right turn. Follow the winding path to Elvaston Lane, turn left, proceed past the riding school and go left at the road junction. This road leads to the Castle where there is a Visitor Centre and tearoom.

B. Riverside Way and Derby Canal Path to Swarkestone and return - 12 miles

This ride is also suitable for young children, but needs a bit more stamina! Shortly after going under the railway, take the right fork and pass the lake on your left; pass Wilmorton College on your right and take the next right; follow a bend to the left to gain the line of the old canal bed and go under London Road. After mile you have to cross a dual carriageway at Harvey Road in two stages using a central refuge - where there is no push button, your bicycle will activate the lights if you keep to the cycle lane. Proceed along Penalton Close for about 200 yards and cross Brackens Lane with great care. After about mile, cross Boulton Lane using the push button controlled lights.

After tennis courts on the right, the path swings round to the right and passes under Chellaston Road by New Bridge Inn. A left bend takes you to Sinfin Moor Lane where there are gates and sign posts.

Cyclists using route C join at this point.

The way is now straightforward and, having passed under the Derby Southern Bypass A564, Swarkestone will be reached after about 1 mile. There is a tearoom at Lock House and the Crewe & Harpur pub is by Swarkestone Bridge on the River Trent.


C. A shorter circular route linking Routes A and B - 14 miles


Can be taken either way round, but described from A to B. Minor roads are used to link the A and B tracks, with short sections on the A6 at Thulston and on the B514 through Chellaston.

From Elvaston Castle, return to the riding school and continue on the tarred road past the famous gates to reach the Thulston-Borrowash road by the Clock House. Turn right and proceed along the B5010 for about mile to reach the A6. Turn right again onto the north side (right hand) footway on the A6 and proceed for mile to the large roundabout; continue along the A6 to the next smaller roundabout; turn left with very great care into the newly diverted Snelsmoor Lane. Chellaston will be reached after 1 miles. At the foot of Chellaston High Street carefully turn right and proceed towards Derby, go straight over the roundabout and take the second left into Sinfin Moor Lane. After the houses, there is a sharp rise up over an old railway bridge; pass a bungalow on the right and the Canal Path is reached at Baltimore Bridge, where there are gates and sign posts. The distance from the main road is about mile. Turn right onto the Canal Path and use route B in reverse to return to Derby.


D. A longer circular route linking Routes A and B - 20 miles


As with Route C, can be taken either way, but is described A to B. Uses A and B paths, minor roads, and a very short section on the A6. Follow Route C from Elvaston Castle to the A6.

Turn left and after about 200 yards turn right for Aston on Trent; take great care turning right.

Proceed over the A564 Derby Southern Bypass into Aston; shortly after the White Hart pub on the right, turn right and cycle through Weston on Trent to reach the A514. Turn left along the A514 for the few yards over the Trent and Mersey Canal bridge, then left through the cycle chicane and down to the canal towpath. Turn left and pass under the bridge; follow the tow path to Swarkestone Lock; return on Route B in reverse.

These rides were compiled and produced by Derby Cycling Group


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