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Cut Gate Classic Route

Cut Gate Classic Loop

The Peak District has no end of wonderful places to ride and is my favourite place to ride full stop. On a moist late August day my friends and I set off from Langsett Reservoir car park for one of the classic Peaks loops, the mighty Cut Gate.

Coming out of the car park you go through a small wooded section of fire road before starting the climb up to the Cut Gate pass. This is typical of a lot of climbs in the area, rocky, loose, sandy and great fun (if you enjoy the uphills). 

You're awarded at the top with wonderful views over the moors with purple heather galore and on a clear day you can see for miles. Traversing the top of Cut Gate is a long, techy but mainly flat(ish) pedal across moorland. With trail features galore from rocks and roots to large boulders, streams and even the occasional inquisitive sheep.

Some are of this route has had work recently to keep the trail open for more of the year including longer sections of the large slab boulders and some sandy fire road type sections, these don't detract from the enjoyment or technicality of the route at all, in fact, the bog of doom is essentially no more.

Eventually the trail will start to descend down towards Howden Reservoir and Dam with a fun descent over more amazing Peak District rock, not too technical but will require concentration. You can have a rest here and head straight back but we always like to carry on to the Fairholmes centre for a hot drink and snack, this adds a few extra miles but is well worth it for a snack stop and it's a nice reservoir side fire road for the most part and very scenic also passing straight past Howden Dam (there is also toilets at the Fairholmes centre)

Once you're refuelled its time to head back up, the route follows the same way back unless you choose to follow the other side of the reservoir back. Although you are essentially heading the same way backwards it is far from boring as all the ups before are now epic downs and all the downs are fun rocky climbs, it really does feel like a different trail. 

Once you reach the cairn you begin the final section back down towards Langsett. (We had unfortunately been rained on for a fair amount of this return journey and we were pretty wet through but as a testament to how good this trail is we were still having a great time). This section is the highlight of the route if fast loose descents are your thing, the trail gradually gets steeper and steeper while winding its way across the final sections of moorland. There are some larger rock drops (that can be ridden around) and plenty of smaller obstacles and the path is quite narrow and techy in places. This really is a fun descent and when you reach the woodland at Langsett you will be beaming from ear to ear. 

Cut Gate is one of the classic Peaks loops and a go-to location for any mountain biker or brave gravel rider, below we have included a link to our Komoot page with a GPX download available and elevation and trail features type guide.

Please note
All outdoor activities involve a degree of risk.
To the extent permitted by law, Planet X accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.
Cycling routes change over time and weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.
Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

About The Author

Nathan Pearce
Planet X Bikes

Nathan has been riding and tinkering with bikes all his life and
loves nothing more than being out in the wilds with friends on
his bike. Nathan's favourite place to ride is the Peak District and
has been ticking off the trails there on his list for some time.
He is also known to enjoy a good downhill session at Grenoside
Woods and has even survived the legendary Fort William World
Cup DH track only falling off once... Nathan has worked as a
bicycle mechanic and now works in marketing for Planet X Bikes
and has a wide range of knowledge of anything two wheeled.

24 August 2021

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