Great Bike Rides from East Midlands Trains Stations
Book your bike for free at any staffed National Rail Station, or by phone on 08457 125 678 (Sorry, but we haven’t managed to persuade them to drop the idea of train fares yet – you still have to pay for yourself).
A couple of words of warning about EM Trains – some of the trains they are using between Sheffield and London only carry two bikes. The new Meridian trains only have room for two (unless they are doubled up) while the older HST trans can carry at least 4.
East Midlands Trains Have a Cycle Reservation Form you can email in to them.
For the City Centre, cross Sheaf Street at the crossing near the ticket office, mount the shared use path (NCN6) on the opposite side of the road and turn left – there is a short section of off-road cycle lane that will get you to Howard St, turn right here and climb up to the Town Hall, Library, Peace and Winter Gardens, or for a less steep climb continue to Paternoster Row (the Showroom cinema should be on your left) and turn right by the Hallam Students Union (formerly the Centre for Popular Music, known locally as the Kettles)
For the University and Hospitals, follow the marked cycle route along Brown St, left onto Sydney St & Sylvester St and join the off-road route at the junction with Eyre St. Cross at the pelican crossing and then follow the route along the Ring Road.
This information is correct as at April 2010.
Take Howard St for the Peak Park Millennium route (NCN6) which will eventually lead you to Hathersage in the Peak Park.
Turn Right for the Trans-Pennine Trail , access point at the Canal Basin, on the other side of Park Square, which leads to Rother Valley Country Park and on to Chesterfield, with onward connections to Chesterfield, Clumber Park, Sherwood Forest, Mansfield, Bulwell, Nottingham and Derby, or Meadowhall for Penistone, Rotherham, Doncaster, Manchester, Liverpool, York, Leeds Hull and points en route.
The Southern spur of the Trans-Pennine trail (NCN67) starts outside Chesterfield station. Follow this for Sheffield and points North, South, East and West. Other bike routes in Chesterfield include the Hipper and Holmebrook trails – get a map here.
Leave the Station by the East Entrance for Pride Park, where you can connect to National Cycle Network Routes 6/52 to Nottingham, Sheffield, and York, or route 6/51, the South Midland Route, for Melbourne, Loughborough, and Leicester.
Take to the Canal towpath, adjacent to the station, for interesting rides to Beeston, Attenborough, & Trent Bridge, where you can head north along the Erewash Canal, past the enormous Toton locomotive depot as far as Langley Mill, where East Midlands Trains or Northern (no reservations required for Northern) can pick you up and take you back to Nottingham, or on to Chesterfield and Sheffield. The Erewash Canal at one time connected with the Cromford Canal, which still exists between Ambergate (once a significant railway junction) and Cromford Wharf which is not far from
but that’s another story. Oh alright then.. from High Peak Junction just south of Cromford, you can climb up the old railway incline to the High Peak Trail, which will take you to Parsley Hay in the heart of the magical White Peak. Central Trains (also part of the National Express group) run between Derby and Matlock.
Over the course of 2010/2011 the former Midland Railway route between Matlock and Buxton was converted into a cycling and walking route, at a cost of £2.5m and with the tunnels re-opened, an exciting ride. A further development will be a circular route around this part of the peak – see Peak Cycle Links for details.
East Midlands Parkway
Next to an enormous power station (Ratcliffe-on-Soar) close to the M1 and East Mids airport this may not seem an attractive station to start a bike ride. However, our route will take you on quiet roads into the gorgeous Leicestershire countryside and connect you into NCN6 without the need to leave a town or city as you usually have to when starting a bike ride from a station.
View East Midlands Parkway to NCN6 in a map
A spur from Route 6/61 will connect you with the South Midlands Cycle Route. Unfortunately cycle access to/from the station was made worse when the station environment was “improved” recently.
Visit the Cycle Park in the town hall for bikes and accessories, repairs, a shower, or long-term cycle parking.
This city is something of a cycling Mecca, with two braids of the South Midlands route heading south, and options to head for the cycling & sailing honeypot of Rutland Water, near Oakham, or Melton Mowbray, home of the Pork Pie. Alternatively, get on to the towpath of the Grand Union Canal, through beautiful countryside for Foxton Locks and the Market Harborough Arm. In a very progressive move, cycling is allowed in the pedestrianised parts of the City Centre.
A short ride through the exquisite town centre will take you to the Market Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Canal, (see Leicester) giving you access, again for the South Midland Cycle Route towards Oxford, Coventry and Milton Keynes, or stay on the towpath for the UK’s canal network, much of which is cyclable along the towpaths. Watch out for bramble cuttings on the towpath though – punctures have been reported!
Change at Luton for a First Capital Connect train to the ancient Roman town of Verulanium. The Alban Way, avoiding motorways and major roads, will take you through to Hatfield, the pleasant county town of Hertford, London via the Lea Valley, and Stansted Airport, and is described in more detail here.
London St Pancras
The southernmost terminus for EM Trains, and the London terminus for Eurostar. Cycle north along York Way, on the eastern side of Kings Cross, to reach Regents Canal. If you head east you can link to the River Lea and head north for St Albans (see above) – if you head west you can sample the delights of Camden Market, and if you continue, reach the starting point of the Grand Union Canal, (cycling is not allowed in the Regent’s Park section, however) – for Birmingham.
If you know of a great bike ride from an East Midlands Trains station, or a useful route to a University, Shopping Centre, local town or whatever, please tell us by adding a comment.
For information on Sustrans and the National Cycle Network Click Here