Image: The cycle hire centre at Waterhouses as it was before it closed down.

The cycle hire centre at Waterhouses as it was before it closed down

Low Traffic and traffic free cycling along the Manifold Way, a dismantled former railway with some quiet road sections. For ideas for other off-road cycle routes, please see the mountain bike page.

Waterhouses (Manifold Way)

The 'official' cycle hire centre at car park for the Manifold Way is currently closed.  Luckily, there is another in the village, so if you haven't got your bike, you don't have to walk!

Further Information About Peak District Cycle Hire

Map showing the location of the former cycle hire centre (pictured above) at Waterhouses - click here

The centre was a former station building at the railway terminus. In the past, it has housed a cycle hire centre but the last time I was there, it was closed. There is another cycle hire centre at Waterhouses at Brown Farm. As you enter the village (direction Ashbourne to Leek), you will spot their sign on the right. Obviously, if you are travelling in the direction of Leek to Ashbourne, it is on the left just before you leave Waterhouses.


Manifold Track Parking at Waterhouses

One of the two car parks for the Manifold Way is located in the village of Waterhouses behind the Crown Hotel.  The other is at the opposite end of the Trail at Hulme End. This Peak District cycle route offers almost 9 miles each way of mainly traffic free cycling along the Manifold Track. This is not to be confused with the Manifold Trail, which is a walking route. The Manifold Track (Manifold Way) was formerly the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway, terminating at Waterhouses at one end and Hulme End at the other.

The Railway

This 2' 6" narrow gauge line ran for only 30 years, closing in 1934. In 1905 during whit week, around 5000 passengers were carried in trucks normally used for carrying Milk churns or coal! That was a great adventure at the time but would not have been acceptable to today's more discerning (or soft some would say) traveller who prefers a bit more comfort.

Eton Creamery and Mine

The line at the north end passes the remains of the Ecton Copper mine, the profits from which paid for the construction of many of the impressive buildings in Buxton.

At Ecton, you can cycle past a small station where the milk churns were loaded on to the train or you can take a wander up to the remains of the copper mine itself (care: open mine shafts). Take care when traversing the tunnel between Ecton Creamery and Hulme End. Itt is quite narrow and used by motor vehicles too. The main point of interest further south is Thor's Cave. This was a major tourist attraction in days gone by and is still popular today thanks to the impressive views.

Click here for more information about the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway and the Manifold Way

Accommodation near Waterhouses

Other Cycle Hire Centres in the Peak District of Derbyshire (click on the name to find out more) ...

Back to Main Derbyshire Peak District Cycle Hire page

Disclaimer - The information on this page is believed to be correct and is given in good faith. It isn't updated frequently and may have changed since it was written. Use of the information on this page is at your risk, we cannot accept any liability for any problems or incidents arising. Any maps are based on the postcodes of the centres. We recommend that you confirm the location and other details before travelling.