Following on from the success of the Walker’s Britain In A Box, which has sold a staggering 35000 copies and the also very successful Walker’s London and The South East and Walker’s Yorkshire Dales And South Pennines, comes the Cyclist’s Britain In A Box (available here). This is a unique spin on the traditional cycling guide. Rather than being a book, it is a box full of 50 different cycling cards. Each card has a different route that is fully illustrated and described. The idea behind this is that instead of taking a whole book out on the road with you, you select the appropriate card and take that, leaving the bulky box and unnecessary additional cards behind. The guys that created these cards also run a website that offer small charming hotels to stay in the UK, if you are outdoor fans, check it out!
Each card comes with a transparent waterproof sleeve, so even if the weather takes a turn for the worst you can still check the route information. In addition to all the relevant information you could want in terms of directions etc. each card also includes additional information such as carefully selected and very charming places you can stay on the routes.
There are a range of route lengths between half a day and 3 days and are aimed at recreational and more experienced and seasoned cyclists. As a keen cyclist I was interested in this box of cards and was excited to try one of the many routes in my area. I opted to give the Tissington Trail a go.
According to the card, this trail is suitable for a wide range including families, groups and disabled cyclists. It is classified as being quite energetic, though I did not find it very taxing. It is a route of around 21 km or 13 miles and starts by following a very straight road along the track path of an old railway, which is parallel to the Ashbourne-Buxton road, the A515. There is a tunnel of 350 m in length that takes you out of Ashbourne northwards, past Hartington, Alsop and Tissington, before merging with the High Peak Trail which is near Parsley Hay. As the card states, I found that this route consisted of mostly firm surfaces and easy gradients, and there was toilets and picnic tables for pit stops at the old Hartington and Tissington stations.
Overall, as a first time using one of the cards in the Cyclist’s Britain In A Box, I had a very good experience. The card was very helpful and it was a nice change to the well-run routes I normally take for my regular, weekend cycling trips. My favourite bit of the whole route was the views of the rolling green dales of the White Peak at Alsop and also exploring Tissington, which is a village that is very easy to fall in love with. I definitely would recommend this to any cyclist looking to expand their repertoire of routes and for anyone who wants to explore some of the beautiful and unique countryside and landscape that Britain has to offer.