Discover The Monsal Trail in the Peak District National Park
- Discover The Monsal Trail
Discover along the way the stepping stones and natural springs, lime-kilns and the old station at Millers Dale built in 1863 where the hustle and bustle of the past are but a distant memory. Spot the cotton mills of Litton and Cressbrook built in the 18th century, here the force of the river Wye was used to power the waterwheels of the mills.
Stop and look down to see the river Wye waterfall at water Cum-Jolly unseen from this view point for over forty years. Cycle on to Hassop Station, where you can enjoy a welcome break at the book store and restaurant. Then continue cycling on to the famous Market town of Bakewell where you will find designated bike racks to allow you to park your bike and browse.
On your return rest and relax before going home at Blackwell Mills very own Lazy Days Tuck shop where you can indulge yourself with refreshments of coffee, cake and confectioneries.
- History of the Trail
The Monsal Trail tunnels offer one of the most spectacular leisure routes in Britain for cycling, walking and horse riding.
It is the first time the public have been able to go through the tunnels since the former Midland Railway Line closed in 1968.
Following work by the Peak District National Park Authority – using £2.25 million funding from the Department of Transport – the tunnels have been repaired, resurfaced and lit to form an extension to the existing Monsal Trail.
Interpretation explaining the former history of the route has also been installed.
The trail runs along the former Midland Railway line for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell.
Most of the route was opened to the public in 1981 but four former railway tunnels had to remain closed due to safety reasons, with public footpaths taking people around them. From 25 May 2011 the four railway tunnels – Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel – will also open for trail users. Each tunnel is about 400 metres long and will be lit during normal daylight hours.
Two shorter tunnels – Chee Tor No.2 and Rusher Cutting – already formed part of the Monsal Trail.
The public can now experience the full length of the former railway route at their own pace and see breathtaking views at places like Water-cum-Jolly Dale that have remained hidden since the railway closed in 1968.