Monsal Trail - Peak District

The Monsal Trail is a 16 mile round cycle ride/walk from Blackwell Mill, Wyedale to Bakewell within the Peak District followings the old Midland railway line, using  a well maintained cycle path. 

The trail passes many interesting points along the way, including buildings from the area's industrial past such as the 18th century cotton mills, lime kilns and disused train stations. The trail also offers fantastic scenery from many vantage points along the route, taking in Millers Dale, Tideswell Dale and the crossing of the Monsal viaduct.

Monsal Viaduct

The trail also includes four tunnels (Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel), which are now accessible to the public, adding a new diverse experience (public footpaths were used to navigate around them before they were opened to the general public). All the footpaths still remain open if these are preferred.

There is no charge to use the trail and users can use their own bikes, however on our visit we hired mountain bikes from the Blackwell Mill hire shop (this was around £40.00 for four bikes, cycle helmets and a large bike lock), all were in excellent condition. The shop was staffed by really helpful friendly staff.

As the full round trip is 16 miles, and the trail being flat throughout our intention was to cycle the full length of the route to Bakewell, where we would take lunch and return back to the hire shop before it closed at 4.30/5.00pm.

The highlight for our boys was cycling through the four tunnels, which are lighted, however are still extremely dark.

The Monsal Trail was a cheap day out, which we all enjoyed and would therefore highly recommend a visit.

As always, if anyone has an interesting walk/route/trail they feel would be of interest I'd be happy to include it on this Blog (please post to - full accreditation will be given to the author and website if applicable.

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