I was going to Leicester on Saturday for dinner n drinks with friends so I looked about online for a medium length XC route somewhere along the way. The whole of south derbyshire is not exactly known for it's hills so I feared I wouldn't find a decent one but I found a route on this website. Starting at a little village called Ticknall, it was beautiful weather as I started out on Saturday, parked at the village hall FOC and then set off. I had no punctures or mechanicals and the ride was uneventful from that point of view but I'm putting this up here as a recommendation. The ride itself is just about as good as you're gonna get in England from bridleways and rural roads. Loads of little ups followed by spankingly fast downhills. Through fields of corn with a combine harvester, round the edge of fields, through woods, ponds, wildlife, past barn conersions and loads of lovely beautiful english countryside.
The route was execellent in that it was almost exclusively off-road, just short parts on road and then it was very quiet rural roads. One section was alongside a resovoir and I was expecting beautiful veranda scenes as I cycled along but the bridleway was sheletered by bushes and trees. There was a couple of superb downhills just before the resovoir and I really fanced going back to do them again but time was getting on. I did get lost a couple of times due to missing bridleway signs or where the map wasn't clear but this is part of the fun doing a new trail. I shall be able to spank it through next time. Strava came in at 20 miles so a reasonable route, I wasn't exhausted by it I have to say and I do like to finish a ride with nothing left, so perhaps if I was going to do it again I could hook up some other bits or repeat to make it a bit longer. So in Summary, a great fun medium length XC ride, not taxing at all, more swoopy than tech but a great ride nonetheless. If you're around the area and are able to do it. Do It.
n.b. the links to the map of the route is mixed up with the one below it.