Things To Do

Monsal Trail – the Peak District beauty spot where you can cycle through old railway tunnels

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 13th May 2022

We all know that the Peak District is full of stunning walks, but if you’re looking for something a little different to do, a bike ride down the Monsal Trail is a must.

This traffic-free trail near Bakewell follows an old railway line, including through former tunnels and over viaducts.

The views along the walk are stunning, taking in the limestone dales and heritage left behind from the days of the Midland Railway.

The simple out-and-back trail passes massive concrete lime kilns and the old Millers Dale train station (where you can normally now grab an ice cream).

From the Headstone Viaduct, there are amazing views of the River Wye far below.


The route opened to the public way back in 1981 but four of the old railway tunnels weren’t safe enough to open.

But since 2011’s £2.25m repair job, all four tunnels – Headstone, Cressbrook, Litton and Chee Tor – which are around 400m in length, are open, and lit with spotlights.

The Monsal Trail in the Peak District. Credit: Photo by Paul Bryan on Unsplash

While many people do walk sections of the Monsal Trail, the best way to see as much of the 8.5mile route as possible is to do it on two wheels.

You don’t need to worry about taking your own bicycle with you though – there are bike hire shops at both Hassop Station and Blackwell Mill.

Read more: There’s a Love Island-style glamping experience less than an hour from Manchester


For a more leisurely experience, you can even rent yourself an electric bike and cruise through the Peaks.

Our pick for cycle hire would be Hassop Station, where you can grab one of the best fish fingers sandwiches of all time to refuel after your advernture.

Featured image: Pixabay / Flickr