The more I ventured into the Peak District the more I realised I need to have a plan of exactly where I’m going.  It really disrupts the flow of running to have to keep stopping to check a route, so I splashed out on a Garmin Fenix 3 meaning I can upload routes direct to the watch and simply follow the breadcrumb trail on screen.  Minimum fuss, but be warned, being a slave to technology caused me to run a 50km race in the wrong direction (see race report HERE).

I plan all of my routes on the excellent Strava Route builder, export the GPX files to Garmin Basecamp and then transfer to my watch.  It’s quite a straight forward process and means mainly uninterrupted trail running, which is always good!

Here’s a selection of routes I’ve planned and ran either from Manchester City or around the Peak District which is generally a 30 min train journey away and well worth the effort!  If you have any good routes then I’m happy to share them here too, and if you want the GPX files from any of the below then let me know.

 Glossop 14km 


Direct from Glossop train station straight up to Cock Hill leading to a fantastic, but slightly treacherous path along the edge of a valley and down to the Longdendale trail for a long flat stretch, through Padfield and back to Glossop.  A great summer midweek night run.

Staley Bridge to Greenfield 30km 


I’ve only done this once whilst building up the distance in training.  Starts on road for a long warm-up with some tough climbing up and over to Chew reservoir and back down to Dovestones Reservoir and Greenfield station (pop in the Railway pub at the end).

Hathersage 34km (route from Trail Runner mag) 


Straight from Hathersage station, a fantastic long run including featuring Froggart Edge.

Macclesfield to Disley (Lyme Park) 19km 


One of my favourites, I’ve done this several times in both directions (and at night).  Picks up part of the Gritstone Trail, including a steep climb to White Nancy and a run through Lyme Park which is always a pleasure.

The Gritstone Trail 55km


This one is a biggie.  The full length of the Gritstone Trail from Kidsgrove to Disley.  A well-marked trail, but take lots of supplies, pretty much no options to fill up water or obtain any extra food along the way.  Finishes at Disley – go into the Rams Head for a nice pint!

Macclesfield to Lyme Park 38km


Another route from Macclesfield finishing at the Ram’s Head in Disley (spotting a theme now?) but this one takes the long way.  A nice easy canal start leading into a route through Macclesfield forest and picking up the Gritstone Trail towards the end.

Chinley 16km


My running buddy, Michelle’s, creation.  Not one for the morning-hangover-heartbeat (we were both suffering) with some very steep starting sections!

Greenfield 15km


A great route from Greenfield train station, out (and UP!) to Chew Reservoir then along the, often boggy, high path above Dovestones reservoir.