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Discovery Pass

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Explore Wharncliffe Woods
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.9/5)

Colour rating today: still green still green

Wharncliffe Woods steep terrain creates an ideal venue for both mountain biking and strenuous walking, without going to the Peak District. 


Wharncliffe has a rich post industrial history with many quarry workings hidden within the woods. Amongst the trees numerous streams meander down the hillside.

There are two walking trails in the wood, marked yellow and red. These are over rough terrain and can be wet under foot. The woodland contains some very challenging terrain both to walk and ride upon.


Please ensure if you are riding off road that you match the terrain to experience and equipment you have.

Horse Riding

Riding in Wharncliffe is by permit only and costs £40 per year. The permit allows you to ride in a variety of woodlands and also includes our Discovery Pass

Please show consideration for other forest users including cyclists and walkers. Please also observe all operational signage and diversions.

Woodlands included in the permit are

Wharncliffe Woods, Grenoside

Farley and Bottom Moor, Matlock Moor

Blidworth Wood 

Sherwood Pines Forest Park (map are available on request)

Facilities at Blidworth and Haywood Oaks include a horse trail and lockable parking area. Keys for this corral can be obtained on request from the South Beat Recreation Ranger. Parking in Sherwood Pines is available in the outer main car parks where it is easier to unload and mount up. If these are closed during quieter times please use a corner of the main car park.

Maps are on the relevant woods web page.  Advice on riding in each wood can be obtained by contacting the local team.

The revenue from the permit goes back into improving our equestrian facilities and services in the above woodlands.

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What do other visitors say?

Hello, do you have a postcode for the woodhead road car park?

Anonymous, 13/May/2015

Hi, sorry for the delay in responding but the postcode is S35 8RS. I have also updated the web page with it. Thanks for your enquiry.

Forestry Commission Response

Interesting to see that someone thinks that mountain bikers are making a mess by building big jumps and berms. I have been enjoying these woods since the fifties and since the late nineties as a mountain biker I recognise that one man's mess is another man's enjoyment. Gannister miners & forestry workers made/make a mess, both of which in the course of their work; walkers (yes), mountain bikers, horse riders and countless others using the woods for recreation make a mess in the eyes of others but does it really matter? Treat each other with respect and if you want a pristine wilderness do not enter the woods, leave it to it's own devices.

M1 John, 21/Mar/2015

Are all the downhill bike tracks leagal? Can these bikers build these big jumps and berms where they please? I think they are making just as much mess as the mx bikes/quads. Wharncliffe woods is full of these tracks

Anonymous, 13/Feb/2015

The tracks and built structures you refer to are unauthorised, and we are in the process of removing the largest of these structures at the present time. We will be taking a less lenient view of such activity in the future, and will endeavour to nip in the bud any similar trail building which may re-occur.

Forestry Commission Response
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What's Here?

  • Cycling
  • Steep terrain ideal for downhill enthusiasts.
  • Horse riding
  • Enjoy the network of forest roads for long rides in the woods.
  • Parking
  • A free car park is located on Woodhead Road.
  • Picnic
  • Tranquil picnic spots throughout the wood.
  • Walking
  • Follow the red or yellow trail from the car park.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SK324952
Postcode: S35 8RS

Get directions


Opening & Parking

A free car park is located on Woodhead Road.

Related documents

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified