Peak District MTB Weekend

(22 customer reviews)

Ride info

Days: 2 (Sat-Sun)
Style: XC / Big country
Level: 8

MTB Ride Level 8


2 nights B&B
17th century inn
Ensuite rooms
Bike store & charging


Day 1
: 21 mi | 34 km
Day 2: 27 mi | 44 km

Day 1
: 25 mi | 40 km
Day 2: 24 mi | 38 km


Day 1: 2,780 ft | 850 m
Day 2: 4,265 ft | 1,300 m

Day 1: 4,300 ft | 1,310 m
Day 2: 2,825 ft | 860 m

Peak District MTB Weekend

(22 customer reviews)

SOLD OUT – June 2024: Cut Gate & The Beast
6-8 September 2024: Jacobs Ladder & the Ladybower Classic
from £150
from £335 (non-residential) £445 (B&B)

If you like your mountain biking rocky, rugged and raw then our two weekends in the heart of the Dark Peak are the perfect trips for you. Both offer two days festooned with classic Peak District descents, technical climbs and eye-popping scenery.

Booking more than one room?
Select occupancy and room type for your first room, add to basket, then repeat.

Want this amazing ride to yourself?
We’ll arrange private mountain biking in the Peak District for you.


Classic landscapes to enjoy

England’s oldest National Park needs little introduction. The craggy peaks, scenic lakes and rocky trails of the Edale and Hope valleys are celebrated territory for mountain bikers. Our Peak District weekenders give you the perfect tour of the Dark Peak area exhilarating, sometimes challenging, but so rewarding.

Two options for amazing trails

The Dark Peak is full of so much rocky, rugged and raw mountain biking that we now offer two alternative itineraries to help you explore this amazing landscape. September’s trip takes in the wonders of Jacob’s Ladder and the Ladybower Classic, while our new June itinerary heads for Cut Gate and The Beast.

If you’re new to the Peaks, both options are full of exciting descents, technical climbs and eye-popping scenery. If you’ve already ridden the Peaks with Marmalade, check out the new June itinerary: it’s the perfect extension to everything you love about this amazing place.

Your guides are British Cycling Level 3 leaders who know every inch of these trails. They’ll encourage you up the big climbs and help you make the most of the thrilling descents.

Peak District MTB weekends Jacobs Ladder Ladybower Classic Roych Clough Cut Gate

Rooms & Prices

Ride then relax

When the riding’s done, we retire to Castleton’s Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, a 17th century coaching inn we’ve selected for its warm welcome and hearty food. Perfect for refreshing and recharging your batteries before another day of Peak District action.


We have put together these alternative two day weekends to give you the best location, team and support for you enjoy these must-do UK mountain bike classics. Mix this all together with the usual fun and social elements that Marmalade is famous for and you have the perfect recipe for an unbeatable experience that you will talk about for a very long time.

Full details of our 2024 Peak District MTB trips are below, along with additional information on the other tabs. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Dates:
    • 7-9 June 2024
    • 6-8 September 2024
  • Ride days: Saturday and Sunday
  • Places available: 8 (max.)
  • Total price per person: (incl. VAT)
    • Without accommodation = £335
      • We can advise on local campsites and other accommodation providers
    • Single bed room = £448
    • Standard twin room (shared) = £455
    • Basic double (single occupancy) = £533
    • Basic double (couples) = £445 each
    • Standard double room (single occupancy) = £555
    • Standard double (couples) = £455 each
    • Premium king double (single occupancy) = £565
    • Premium king double (couples) = £460 each
    • Twin room options Available for friends who are happy to share
  • Payment (booking 60 days or more before trip)
    • 30% deposit on booking, by credit/debit card
    • Balance due 60 days before trip, by bank payment
    • Subject to our standard Terms and Conditions
  • Payment (booking less than 60 days before trip)
    • Full balance payable on booking, by credit/debit card

What’s included:

  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast at the super comfortable Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Castleton
    • 5 minutes by taxi from Hope train station
    • Less than an hour by car from Manchester Airport
  • Full bike guiding by Sean Howell or Liz Peacock our British Cycling qualified Level 3 MTB leaders

What’s not included:

  • Evening meals and drinks
  • Travel to our accommodation from your home – and back
  • Personal activity and holiday insurance
  • Bike hire (options available)
  • Bike spares
  • Ride snacks and drinks

Please read our full terms and conditions.

Your choice of Bike

These routes can be ridden on all kinds of mountain bike depending on your personal choice. In the right hands hardtail bikes would be sufficient, and we increasingly see e-bikes in our groups – as well as full suspension trail and enduro bikes. All are welcome. Each climb, and each descent, is taken at the speed that’s right for you, and we manage our groups carefully to ensure no-one feels left behind.

Ideally, you will have your own suitable full suspension modern ‘all mountain’ / ‘trail’ mountain bike:

  • 120 mm of suspension travel with modern geometry is the bare minimal for this trip
  • 140-160 mm of suspension travel on an ‘all-mountain’ / ‘trail’ bike would be perfect
  • Electric mountain bikes are welcome
  • Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this 2 day trip
Is this for me?
  • You will be at least a strong and experienced intermediate rider with a minimum of 2-3 years regular mountain biking experience
  • The above experience would include example routes and locations that you have successfully ridden such as:
    • Jacobs ladder in the Peak District
    • The Trans Cambrian Way and the Elan Valley
    • The Gap in the Brecon Beacons
    • Technical red trails with some black features in places like Bike Park Wales, Afan and Coed-y-Brenin
  • You will have confident in your bike handling skills and not be phased by steep, technical and long trails that would be graded predominantly red with some black sections
  • The trails will include features such as roots, small to medium committing roll-able drop-offs and slopes with loose rocks of varying sizes
    • Your professional Level 3 MTB leaders will dynamically manage the group and individuals during each day. There will not be any pressure to ride features or sections above your riding ability on the day
  • You have your own suitable full suspension modern ‘all mountain’ / ‘trail’ mountain bike
    • 120 mm of suspension travel with modern and aggressive geometry is the bare minimal for this trip
    • 140-160 mm of suspension travel on an ‘all-mountain’ / ‘trail’ bike would be perfect
    • Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this 3 day trip
  • The ride does contain many undulating and moderately steep, technical and long climbs
  • You have the personal fitness to ride for at least 6-8 hours on consecutive days at a social and comfortable pace
  • You are aged 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on this ride
  • If this sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, then please do contact us for further discussion
Day One: Cut Gate
  • Duration: 6-8 hours 
  • Distance: 21 mi | 34 km
  • Elevation gain: approx 2,780 ft | 850 m
  • Technical Grade: Intermediate (minimum)

In our opinion this is the finest ‘out and back’ route you’ll find anywhere in the UK and really is two rides in one! Why do we say that? This ancient bridleway that connects Langsett with the upper Derwent valley, has so much variety and rides completely different in reverse across its 5 mile (7 km) length.

To make this special ride even more fun we are teaming up with James from Bike Garage who’ll use his bike trailer and minibus to transport us from our base to the Upper Derwent visitor centre. From here we will warm up along the picturesque reservoir gravel track, before our first climb up through Cranberry Clough and its idyllic stream.

The singletrack takes us high up onto Howden Moors, where the trail is a mix of meandering flagstones and flowing peaty lines through boulder fields. The snaking descent down through Mickleden Edge is nothing short of perfection. Refuelled on superb local food at the Bank View cafe, we retrace our steps back across Cut Gate. The amazing descents switch to brilliant climbs, the flat peaty section on top gives you another chance to pick a different line to maintain your flow. Once back at the cairn, our first climb of the day turns into one of the best and longest descents in the UK. At nearly 2 miles long, it has everything!

Once back at the visitor centre and a group photo at the Dam Busters’ Dam, James will be there to meet us for the short drive back to Castleton.

Day Two: The Beast
  • Duration: 4-6 hours
  • Distance: 27 mi | 44 km
  • Elevation gain: approx 4,265 ft | 1,300 m
  • Technical Grade: Intermediate (minimum)

Can this trip get any better? Well, yes it can! Sunday is all about an epic loop starting and finishing from our Castleton base as we head out to explore Edale and Hope valleys before the delights of the Ladybower Reservoir. The first twist will be to ride around the lower flanks of Mam Tor to pick up sublime singletrack down from Hollins Cross. From here we will pick up Jaggers Clough up to Hope Cross at the far end of the Edale Valley.

For this brand new option we will switch the direction of the familiar Ladybower route on its head and throw in three extra Peak District descents. Our regulars will be itching to see this route in reverse and how we have managed to add in even more classic big descents such as ‘The Beast’ and ‘Hagg Farm’ as well as the grandeur of the finest views from Whinstone Lee Tor and Derwent Edge.

Peak District MTB weekends Jacobs Ladder Ladybower Classic Roych Clough Cut Gate

Day One: Jacob’s Ladder
  • Duration: 6-8 hours 
  • Distance: 25 mi | 40km
  • Elevation gain: approx 4,300 ft | 1,310 m
  • Technical Grade: Intermediate (minimum)

On Saturday, we take on a scenic loop that soaks up Peak District classics like Snake Path, Oaken Clough, Roych Clough, Rushup Edge and Hollins Cross, with a well-earned lunch stop in Hayfield. The highlight of the day is probably Jacob’s Ladder, a renowned rocky descent that’s exciting and exhausting in equal measure. This classic trail may look daunting at first, but with coaching from our Level 3 leaders, good technique puts it well within reach of intermediate mountain bikers. It’s a trail you’ll remember forever.

Day Two: Ladybower Classic
  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 24 mi | 38 km
  • Elevation gain: approx 2,825 ft | 860 m
  • Technical Grade: Intermediate (minimum)

We change direction today and head towards Hope Cross. A fun challenge early in the ride is ‘Potato Alley’: a famous trail of loose rocks that’ll have you bouncing and laughing.. We press on via Rowlee Farm and more tree-lined descents that bring us to Derwent Reservoir. The stunning Whinstone Lee Tor bridgeway earns us a wonderful view across Ladybower before yet another stunning downhill trail brings us down to the water’s edge, rounding off a day that is chock full of amazing riding.

What do I need?

Equipment, kit and clothing


  • Suitable mountain bike in good working order
  • Helmet (in good condition, with no damage)
  • Clothing and shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the day
  • Personal choice of drink and ride snacks
  • Spare rear mech hanger specific for your bike


  • Gloves
  • Glasses, sunglasses or eyeshields
  • Hydration backpack (min. 2 liters)
  • Spare inner tubes
  • Spare spokes specific to your bike wheels
  • Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
  • Padded cycling shorts for comfort

What’s not included

  • Bike hire – this can be booked with one our recommended local partners
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Pre, during or post activity refreshments
  • Personal travel or accident Insurance
  1. Richard Mason

    My 3rd time on this trip and it gets better and better. It must be some of the best MTB riding in the country and Sean, as ever, made sure we all thoroughly enjoyed all it had to offer.

  2. Pete

    In November 2022, I had the opportunity to have 2 days off work, and spent them in the Peaks with Sean from Marmalade on a custom ride. Absolutely epic couple of days, that pushed me to the limits of my riding, but with fantastic support and guidance from Sean I got around some of the best MTB riding in the UK and certainly a highlight of my year. I recommend marmalade to everyone wanting to get out and explore something different and improve their riding. Looking forward to riding with Marmalade again in 2023.

  3. Mark Nixon

    Thank you to Sean & Liz for being awesome. I couldn’t of done it without guidance & support. A great guided weekend allowing me to improve on my riding. Looking forward to the next ride..

  4. Gaynor Thorpe

    The PEAKS 2nd time round with Marmalade, and it was definitely worth the return, still buzzing
    The natural trail is challenging with rewarding descents! Sean and Liz create a social atmosphere from the start with stacks of support. While it’s a guided trip you do not feel restricted on the descents as they allow ample freedom so the riders get the best out of them. I cant wait for 2023 with Marmalade as I will definitely be returning!! These guys are awesome and it’s definitely good value

  5. Adele

    Sean is an exceptional mtb guide – he is not just a highly skilled rider, but also a kind, unflappable and experienced ride leader. His ability to take into account our skill levels, pace and group dynamics ensured we had the most brilliant experience in which we could safely push our limits without ever feeling pressured.
    The Peak District is the most beautiful place to ride and the trails are as epic as the scenery. The result is a full on adventure that will test even experienced riders and leave you with a huge sense of achievement. The attention to detail in organising the details – accommodation, coffee stops, sunset bar visits – meant we could just relax and enjoy the riding. We had so much fun – this is definitely a trip that we will reminisce about for years to come.

  6. Rachael Lee

    Had 2 amazing days riding in the Peaks. Sean was incredible, he gave us the courage to ride terrain we would never tackle alone. His knowledge of the area was first class, even down to the best picnic spots! Thank you for making the trip so much fun and we will definitely use Marmalade for our next adventure!

  7. Sam Stretch

    Fantastic two days in The Peak District with Sean.
    Grin enducing descents, riding down challenging terrain I would never have thought I would be able to do.
    Thank you Sean for encouraging me down and up! with your calm and positive approach.
    The whole weekend was brilliantly organised from the accommodation, restaurant reservations and you even arranged for the sun to shine !

  8. Your review is awaiting approval

    Fantastic two days in The Peak District with Sean.
    Grin enducing descents, riding down terrain I would never have thought I would be able to do.
    Thank you Sean for encouraging me down and up! with your calm and positive approach.
    The whole weekend was brilliantly organised from the accommodation, restaurant reservations and you even arranged for the sun to shine !

  9. Debbie Morton

    Had an absolutely fantastic 2 days. Sean was a super, confidence building guide enabling us to ride terrain we would never have tackled on our own. Would definitely recommend this trip.

  10. Sally Matthews

    Just had a brilliant 2 day trip with Sean in the Peaks. Having a guide took all the hassle out of a group trip and Sean was ace.

  11. Stuart

    Another great weekend with Marmalade in the Peaks. My second weekend riding with Sean, accompanied by Liz and Rachel. The organisation of the weekend is perfect – complete end to end organisation from arrival to departure, good food and drink, excellent company with a range of other riders. Sean is super-friendly and encouraging to all riders. I was riding a hard tail and the technical routes were certainly challenging. However the weekend left my exhausted, achy and wanting to do it all again!

  12. Gaynor Thorpe

    1st trip with Marmalade and wow!!! The guiding team is seamless, it works well as one to provide an epic w/e in the Peaks. The support and encouragement is second to none. The team create a great connecton with all riders of different abilities and manage to cater for all this too, to make sure everyone gets the best out of the trip. I never stopped smiling the whole two days……..well apart from when I had my game face on for the technical downhill. I abosuletly loved it and I’m still on a high from the adrenaline rush. A big massive thanks and I hope to see you all again soon for more epic riding!!

  13. Simon Horner-Long

    I contacted Sean after a web search to organise a Peak District weekend of MTB’ing for a group of 10 mates. What a superb weekend! Sean and his excellent assistant Liz were really great people and really know what they’re doing. Felt like we gained a couple more friends. The riding was awesome, taking in all the classics. I recommend very highly.

  14. leejohnpollard

    My first ever guided MTB experience as it was a gift for a special birthday and what an experience it was, from start to finish it was excellent the accommodation was great as well as the food and restaurant that was pre-booked by Sean.

    I didn’t really know what to expect but felt at ease the moment I met Sean who is a really great guy and easy to talk to and always at hand to offer advise and information on any questions that you may have nothing is to much trouble.

    His expertise and knowledge of the dark peaks is up there with the best, the riding is hard not going to lie but it is well worth the effort with unbelievable views, technical climbs and magnificent descents to be enjoyed finished of with a nice well earned cold beverage at the end of the day.

    So if you fancy a challenge that will test every level of your skills and fitness complimented with a guide that will not only encourage and support you in anyway that he can to ensure that you have the best MTB experience you can then I highly recommend that you book one of his epic MTB experiences. Sean and Marmalade MTB thankyou for a great weekend and I hope to get to ride with you again in the future.

  15. chrislyes-9662

    My second trip with Marmalade and cannot recommend them enough. Really well planned and delivered in an relaxed, confidence inspiring way. A very enjoyable weekend that certainly challenged – but having the gentle pointers from Sean helped me fly down things that I would have thought unrideable were I out on my own.

  16. Richard Mason

    I went on this trip in 2020 and it was so good, I came back in 2021, when it was equally brilliant. As ever, Sean manages to combine the best MTB routes with a really sociable group that makes for a fantastic weekend. Think I may be back for 2022 as well.

    • Sean

      I better change the mug design then Richard!

      Thanks for your support, see you soon.


  17. Bruce Ferguson

    I have had many great experiences on a mountain bike and this was up there with the best of them. Sean and Liz guided, coaxed and encouraged us over some of the most exhilarating natural terrain that the UK has to offer. Their infectious enthusiasm resulted in beaming smiles throughout the group, who were a pleasure to ride with. The photo album Sean has created will keep those memories alive for years to come. If you like big climbs, jaw-dropping views and exciting descents, this is the trip for you! Thank you Sean, Liz and Rachel!

  18. Mark Wild

    Peak District MTB Weekend
    I’ve just returned from a fantastic weekend with Marmalade MTB in the Peak District. Two full days on the bike riding some of the best and the most classic trails in a beautiful part of the world! The trip was led by Sean, Liz and Rachel, their expert knowledge of the area meant the whole trip from the rides to the accommodation, to the food were all superb. The group of fellow riders were all a pleasure to spend a couple of days with. I could go on and on about how great everything was. But, I will just say if your used to trail centres and you fancy trying out some more natural trails you cannot go wrong booking a trip with these guys, their passion for mountain biking and the way they enable others to share in that passion is second to none!

  19. Steven Bushell

    Words simply cannot describe what a great weekend it was riding the Peak District with Marmalade MTB.
    Massive kudos to Sean and Liz for making the whole weekend smooth (not the terrain ), enjoyable and one I will never forget, smiles for miles. I also met some great people on the trip and look forward to booking up another trip soon.

    Thanks again Marmalade, you were great

  20. Ben Simmons

    Just finished a ride in the Peak District with Marmalade. Deciding to go might just be the best decision I’ve made this year. Everything about the weekend was perfect, from the technical climbs, fast descents and spectacular views to the accommodation and oldy worldy town of Castleton.

    Sean is a great leader and coach and over the course of the weekend was able to offer me pointers to build my confidence and improve my riding.

    I look forward to more Marmalade Rides in the future. Thanks Sean

  21. Richard Mason

    Awesome may be an overused word nowadays, but that is precisely what this trip was, from the rugged mountain biking terrain, scenery and the organisation by Sean and his team, as well as joining a like minded group of enthusiasts. I’ll definitely be back for more.

  22. jpcollett

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ For Sean and all his team who put together this weekends Peak District trip. First time I have ever been to the area or spent time with Marmalade MTB and it was perfect from beginning to end. The booking was simple and follow ups in some very trying times where always sent at every step of the way with detailed breakdowns of when, what, how and why.

    The main event which consisted of two cracking rides over terrain a lot of mountain bikers dream of was not disappointing in any way. The guidance was perfect with a brief of every climb and descent before we talked them.

    If your are thinking about a day or a weekend with Marmalade do not hesitate just hit that button and you will not be disappointed.

  23. stuzx6r

    Absolutely EPIC 3 days in the Peaks with Sean and the gang. Did the most technical gnarly riding I’ve EVER done with Sean’s help and guidance, always giving us a little heads up to upcoming gnarly stuff and encouraging us all to excel in whatever we was doing. The laughs and banter on and off the bikes combined with the stunning views of the Peak District made for the best MTB weekender ever!

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The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Marmalade MTB – 5559, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for:

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