Traffic Free Monsal Trail Cycle Route

The Monsal Trail is another great traffic free cycle route in the Peak District.

Cycling the Monsal Trail

The route is on a former London to Manchester railway line, and goes from Bakewell Station to Wyedale, and you cycle through six tunnels and via ducts.  This is an impressive cycle route!

The Peak District authority have produced a cycle route leaflet. You can download a map here or a larger information leaflet here.

The total route is about 8.5 miles, and passes nature reserves and our industrial heritage, through the Peak District countryside of the Wye Valley.

And of course, being a former railway line, you can enjoy all this wonderful scenery whilst cycling on the flat!

Monsal Trail Tunnel. Photo: Rachel D, CC2.0


Monsal Trail Viaduct. Photo: Ostrich, CC3.0

Cycling the Monsal Trail

There are lots of former railway lines up and down the country that have been converted into cycle routes.

However, Monsal Trail was a great surprise as the old railway line cut through the Peak District, with tunnels through hills and bridges over valleys – and all of these are there to cycle through today.

We were lucky with the weather and had a lovely sunny day, setting off from Bakewell, cycling the full length and back.

The route is flat, though if you’re heading from Bakewell you’ll be cycling up a very slight incline, so just bear in mind that it will be quicker when you cycle back. We did the return journey in a fraction of the time.

It’s not long before you reach a tunnel.  These are lit during day light hours, though are very dark after being in the bright sunshine. They’re colder too (which was a nice relief when cycling on a hot day).

There’s plenty of picnic spots along the route and a Cafe at Hassop Station, though as this is just outside our start at Bakewell we didn’t stop there.

At the far end of the line there was another old station, and we enjoyed some ice creams there.

Our Monsal Trail Video

This is not as professional as the video above, and it’s very shaky going through the tunnel, but this video should give you some idea of what it’s like on Monsal Trail.

Cycle Hire

If you are staying in the area and not brought your own bikes, you can find cycle hire at a number of places: Blackwell Mill Cycle HireHassop Station and Monsal Trail Cycle Hire in Bakewell.

We parked in the long stay car park in Bakewell, and in the car park is where we hired our bikes.

If you’re not stopping all day you could cycle the full trail (to one end and back) with a family in 4 hours (remember, it’s quicker returning to Bakewell).

At the time Child bikes were £10 and Adult bikes £14 for 4 hours (includes helmets). Tag alongs, baby seats, and even electric bikes can be hired.

Getting to Monsal Trail

Parking is available at a number of points along the route.

Bakewell is worth a visit, so we parked in the Long Stay car park there – but note that it closes at 6pm.

Where to find Monsal Trail

Sat Nav Postcode: DE45 1NW

Latitude: 53.2138252, Longitude: -1.6736507

Click here for directions

Using the post code DE45 1NW will get you to Hassop Station, alternatively head for Bakewell and follow the signs for the Long Stay car park.

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

  1. […] Tip: if you plan in cycling off Darwin Forest you can hire bikes for the whole family and cycle the Monsal Trail, which is a great cycle ride to take your family on. Click here to find out more about the Monsal Trail. […]

  2. […] We’ve stayed in this area before, and had a great time doing the Monsal Bike Trail. […]

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