Follow the Monsal Trail through the Peak District National Park on this popular, family-friendly, flat and traffic-free 8 mile cycle and walking trail set along the disused railway line from Chee Dale near Buxton to Bakewell.
The scenic route first follows the River Wye through Cressbrook Dale and Miller’s Dale, where at the village you’ll find much of the large platform and station has been preserved and now home to a most excellent cafe. Along the way be sure to spot the former lime kilns that helped the local economy thrive.
It’s then into our fourth and fifth tunnels, passing the former textile mill at Litton and onto Monsal Head where you’ll find the extremely popular and jaw-dropping viaduct built in 1836. Whilst here it’s well worth the short walk up the steep steps to the Monsal Head Hotel for the famous landscaped photograph shot.
Five miles into the route we’re back onto the railway line heading east through Headstone Tunnel towards our final destination of Bakewell with further stunning views to enjoy, passing Great Longstone and Hassop Station. At Hassop you’ll find cycle hire and a popular cafe serving up excellent snacks, coffee and cakes.
Once reaching Bakewell, as you’d expect it’s all about their sweet and famous pudding where you’ll find a large choice of cafes to rest those legs and load up and their jam, frangipane, flaked almond pudding. Our recommendations for cafes to visit here can be found in more detail below and include the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop (it does get very busy at weekends) and the Bakewell Tart Shop.