Derbyshire Tourist - Advice

for Cyclists on Trails

  1. Always give way to pedestrians - they have right of way and you may ask - I stress ask - them to move aside for you. I always ring my bell - most of them will let you past (they have not read the regulations). Nod politely, and if they have gone off the track to let you past, thank them politely.
  2. Keep to the left, overtake on the right. There are no rules about this but most people appear to follow this convention.
  3. It is particularly important to ring your bell to warn of your presence when approaching other cyclists. Cyclists coming towards you in single file cannot see you past their leader. They tend not to be looking where they are going, but are concentrating on their leader's back wheel - you have been warned.
  4. Slow down for small children and dogs. They will run across your path and could knock you off.
  5. If a dog chases you, stop and it will stop too. Wait until the owner has it under control before proceeding. Owners are obliged under the by-laws to control their animals.
  6. It is not wise to overtake trotting horses. Ring you bell before you get too close if you need to go faster.
  7. Supervise children crossing roads and on the high embankments. Do not allow them to climb on the quarry or cutting rocks as these are un-safe.

A full set of by-laws can be found posted on the reverse of some of the trail notices.

for walkers

Footpaths and Bridleways

Those of you from foreign parts may no be familiar with the English system of Public Footpaths and Bridleways. These are legal rights of way for your use. Many pass over farmland and even through farm yards and other property but our law says that the landowner may not obstruct you. Should you come across an obstruction you may take any reasonable diversion around it. A Bridleways is a right of way on which you may ride a horse or a bicycle but you must not do either on a footpath. There is no need to go walking on the road edges except to join up footpath routes - so don't do it!

Open Country

Certain high moorlands are designated "open country" and walkers may roam at will with the permission of the landowner. There may be restrictions in the grouse shooting season however.


Occasionally you will come across livestock grazing in a field. Try not to disturb it while sticking to the footpath. Beware of bulls - certain breeds of bull are allowed to be run with cows on fields with public access but I would always give these a wide berth and plan my escape route. Cows with calves should not be approached as these can be dangerous if upset. Fields of over friendly heifers or bullocks can be crossed with the shaking of a stick and quick shout. The livestock in Derbyshire fields sees regular foot traffic and generally with give you no trouble. Do not let you dog chase livestock.

Country Code

(anyone know an official source - here's what I can remember)

  1. Leave no litter
  2. Shut all gates (unless fastened open)
  3. Keep dogs on leads (or at least under proper control)
  4. Do not disturb grazing livestock
  5. Keep to the path - even grass is a valuable crop
  6. Do not climb walls and fences - if there is no style you have gone wrong