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Monsal Trail

Route Details

  • To/From: The trail runs between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell.
  • Distance: 8.5 miles
  • Terrain: Totally traffic free
  • Access: Bus services from Nottingham, Derby and Manchester operate along the A6, the nearest main road to the Monsal Trail, with stops at Bakewell town centre, Ashford in the Water, White Lodge, Taddington, Blackwell Turn and Wye Dale (limited service). 
  • National Cycle Network: National Route 680

Route Description

The Monsal Trail is in the centre of the Peak District National Park, starting just north of Bakewell, 10 miles north of Matlock and 8 miles west of Chesterfield in Derbyshire.  There are many entrance points to the Monsal Trail along the route between Bakewell and Blackwell Mill at Chee Dale – see this map. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users can access the trail through accessible ramps at Bakewell Station, Hassop Station, Great Longstone Station and Millers Dale Station.

There are hundreds of interesting things to see along the Monsal Trail including wildlife, geology, industrial and rail heritage. The trail is a way-marked route with coordinated interpretation panels and listening posts to help people enjoy all it has to offer.

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 are using the trail in the afternoon you are advised to take a torch or have bike lights in case you get caught out. If the lights go off because of a power failure there is a two hour emergency back up in place.

Download Monsal Memories - a series of six 10-minute podcasts about people who worked on, lived by or travelled on the former Midland Railway.

Bike hire:

There are two cycle hire businesses on the Monsal Trail that you can use:

Things to see and do:

Related maps

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.


The Monsal Trail is a stunning traffic free cycle route right in the heart of the Peak District National Park, starting just north of Bakewell. 

9 miles