Railway bridge and tree covered hills surrounding the Monsal Trail
Railway bridge and tree covered hills surrounding the Monsal Trail

Derbyshire - The Monsal Trail

A traffic-free route along an evocative disused railway line

Part of the National Cycle Network, the Monsal Trail provides a brilliant way to explore the countryside of the Peak District.

The 8.5 mile trail follows the route of the old Midland Railway which closed for the last time in 1968, and a number of the old stations and tunnels can still be seen.

The route is popular with horse riders, hikers and runners as well as cyclists.

The Monsal trail is a disused railway line closed in 1968 and converted in 2010-2011 into a new traffic-free cycle track between Combs Road in Bakewell and Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale, in the heart of the Peak District National Park. The eight and half mile trail follows the river Wye, taking you through several newly opened lit tunnels, between steep gorges, surrounding limestone hills and across the spectacular Monsal Dale viaduct; making this an exceptional cycling experience.

There are various entry points to the Monsal Trail along the route between Coombs Road, Bakewell and Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale. Try starting your ride at Coombs Road, Bakewell and follow the path.

You travel through four railway tunnels - Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel and Chee Tor Tunnel. Each tunnel is about 400 metres long and is lit during normal daylight hours. They 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're using the trail in the afternoon take a torch or have bike lights in case you get caught out.

The nearest car parks at the either end of the end of the trail are at Bakewell Station or Wye Dale Car Park.

Wheelchair and mobility scooter users can access the trail through accessible ramps at Bakewell Station, Hassop Station, Great Longstone Station and Millers Dale Station.