Tackle some ‘miles without stiles’

Dam Overflowing

MILES without Stiles are well-surfaced, easy access routes without stiles, steps or steep gradients. They provide access to amazing views, moorland expanses, intimate dales, dramatic geology, distinctive habitats and tranquil, undeveloped areas.

Routes are suitable for people of all fitness levels and those with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs, and the visually impaired. Some of the routes may also be ideal for young children to cycle on.

The routes are graded to show whether they are accessible for ‘all’, ‘many’ or ‘some’ and are accompanied by clear maps, photographs and a handbook.

We feature below two of the Miles for Stiles routes in the Peak District.


Explore the drama of the Derwent Valley and the home of the Dambusters; with the option of Tramper and cycle hire. 

The RAF’s famous 617 squadron flew practice sorties over Derwent Dam with their ‘bouncing bombs’, in preparation for their epic 1943 raid on the dams of the German Ruhr.

The twin-towered dam is at its most impressive when the water cascades over it.

There is local traffic on the road section of the route.

The visitor centre is accessible to wheelchair users and is open weekdays from 10am to 3.30pm; weekends and bank holidays from 9.30am to 4.30pm (closed 30 mins for lunch). It is closed on Christmas Day. Please check before travelling if adverse weather is forecast https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/visitor-centres/derwent

The bike hire centre is open weekends (10am to 4pm) throughout December and from 27th to 31st December. It is closed throughout January. If adverse weather is forecast, please check before travelling at https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/cycle/bike-hire-centres

Fact File
Fairholmes Visitor Centre, north of the A57 Glossop to Sheffield ‘Snake’ Road. OS grid ref: SK 1724 8942, postcode: S33 0AQ
Pay and display car park; with six dedicated disabled spaces.
Open during daylight hours; also baby change.
Kiosk (independently operated): opening times 8am to 6pm.
600m to base of the dam tower, with an additional 3km along the reservoir.
Fairholmes Visitor Centre and Bike Hire, including accessible Tramper hire.  


  • Access for All route:
  • Descend the tarmac paths by the visitor centre to meet the road.
  • Turn right down the road and cross the bridge to meet a turning area and path on the left.
  • Pass through the gap at the side of the gate and continue to the base of the dam tower and interpretation panels.
  • Access for Many route:
  • Continue up the road to the top of the hill.
  • Turn left at the road junction and continue at a less steep gradient to the gate at the top of the dam, where the tarmac finishes and the path levels out
  • Continue along the side of the reservoir, stopping where the path begins to descend.