Monsal Trail

2013-09-03 14.44.14The Peak District in Derbyshire used to be blighted by all kinds of mining and mineral extraction, mostly in the last 150 years. The inheritance today is that most of that industry has now closed, and old railway tracks have been converted into cycleways that cut through the rugged countryside, providing traffic-free routes that are (for the most part) either flat or with gentle gradients.

The three most prominent are the Tissington Trail, the High Peak Trail and the Monsal Trail. We chose to cycle the length (and back again) of the latter, starting in Bakewell, the town famous not for its ‘tart’, but for its ‘pudding’. The choice of Bakewell as the starting point was a happy serendipity, because most of the 9 mile trajectory to Topley Pike (near Buxton) is gently uphill, so the pay-back was on the return, which was fast, taking only half the time of the outward journey.

Cressbrook Mill

Cressbrook Mill

Unlike a lot of converted rail tracks, which can enshroud the riders with deep cuttings through the landscape, affording few views of the surrounding countryside, the Monsal Trail is very different. Yes, there are tunnels to ride through, but none of them are intimidatingly long, and they frequently open out onto wide, expansive views over valleys and dales.2013-09-03 14.44.47

And along the way you discover a lot about Wye Dale’s recent industrial past. All quiet now in the 21st century, but in its heyday, this area must have been a bustling, noisy, dirty and very smelly place to live and work. Now it is endowed with all the beauty and tranquility that we expect from a major National Park.2013-09-03 15.24.33


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 9, 2013, in Aspects of Britain, Cycling UK and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I grew up on the edge of Sheffield, not far from the Peak District, and I seem to recall either cycling or walking along the Monsal trail when i was little. Must go back there again some time. I hope you had some Bakewell pudding after your cycle ride 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Fearnan Village Association

Keeping in touch through the FVA

Matildas Musings

A blog written by Matilda - the "old lady" classic tandem - and her Musings about her adventures, trials and tribulations with the "old git" and Chief Pilot, aka Colin and the "old gal" and Chief Stoker (as well as Chief Engineer) aka Diane.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

All contents ©2018 Compass Cycles.

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!


KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change


On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news


Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living


The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child


Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs


................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: