Start: Bakewell, Hassop, Millers Dale, Wyedale
Distance: 10 miles
Terrain: Off road, traffic free
Bike Types: Mountain bikes, Hybrid, Road Bike
Grading : Easy
The Monsal Trail (part of the former Midland Railway line ) is a traffic free route that can be used by walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales. The route was opened in 1981 but the four former railway tunnels remained closed due to safety reasons. Pubic footpaths were used to bypass these. In May 2011 at a cost of £2.35 million, the four railway tunnels – Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel opened. Each tunnel is about 400 metres long and is lit during normal daylight hours.
The trail runs for about 10 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell.
The four longer tunnels are lit during daylight hours and are operated by a light sensor, so in winter when the hours of daylight are less, the lights in the tunnels will switch off earlier in the day – around 4.30pm. If you are using the trail in the afternoon you are advised to take a torch or have bike lights in case you get caught out.
The trail can get very busy on weekends and bank holidays but is generally wide enough to cope.
There is a large pay and display car park at the beginning of Coombs Road leading up to the trails and also one at Hassop Station. Also a smaller car park at Millers Dale and limited parking at Wyedale. There are toilets and Hassop Station and Millers Dale. Bike hire is available at Hassop and Blackwell Mill.
Nearly 10,000 people have signed a petition to stop a new rail route being reinstated over a viaduct which forms part of the Monsal Trail. The Manchester and East Midlands Rail Action Partnership (MEMRAP) has campaigned for the Peaks and Dales line to reopen between Matlock and Buxton.
Monsal Trail Route Map and GPX
The High Peak Trail is worth a ride.
Cycle Friendly Accommodation
Sheriff Lodge – An elegant B&B in Matlock, originally built in 1740.. Five en suite bedrooms and a la carte breakfast made to order. There is plenty of private parking and secure bike storage. A fantastic base to explore the Peak District. Book direct for best price guaranteed.
Castle Green Bed and Breakfast – Castle Green Bed and Breakfast – An award-winning Bed and Breakfast, within easy walking distance of the centre of Matlock. Private carpark, plenty of secure storage for manual and electric bicycles and a large garden to relax in. En-suite bedrooms, with ground floor premier room for the less mobile. A la carte breakfast cooked to order. A 20 minute drive from Carsington Water.
Mulinopods.co.uk Experience a glamping stay with stunning views over the Derbyshire countryside, cosy pods with homely comforts and an onsite cycle store and drying room. Explore the Peak District and many trails on the doorstep including Tissington Trail, Manifold valley, Monsal Trail, High Peak, Carsington Water.