It’s hard to believe that freight trains once thundered up and down this peaceful stretch of Peak District countryside – or that it’s haunted.
According to locals, ghosts of Roman soldiers have been seen wandering the area – marching straight through hillsides – and there are regular sightings of flashing lights streaking up the valley. Hmm…One thing we do know for sure, though, is that the seven-mile cycle path which replaced the old railway line is one of the prettiest you’ll see this year.
Starting in Hadfield, you get to cruise along smooth dirt track all the way up to the Woodhead Tunnel – accompanied the whole way by rather spectacular moorland scenery. More importantly, though, it’s pretty much flat – or at least you’ll think it is until you turn round to come back. That’s when you get to freewheel gently downhill all the way back. Bonus.
If you’re feeling thirsty, how about a quick detour to nearby Glossop, for a cheeky ale in the Howard Town pub. They’ve got five to choose from, all made locally at the Howard Town microbrewery, and if you give them a bell en route, you could even get a tour. Now that’s something we do believe in.