I have been wanting to see if the twins could manage cycling the Monsal trail and whilst we are back for a holiday and with clear blue sky’s and a free day, today was the day. (www.monsaltrail.co.uk)
We parked at Hassop Station and paid £5 for the day (if you know where to look you can park for free but with two 6 year olds I was prepared to pay for the hassle free option).
The route from Hassop towards Monsal Head is slightly uphill but nothing too taxing- trains had to get up there after all in times gone by. The views along the way are breathtaking and we had several stops en route to enjoy them (and refuel the kids with maltesers!) The kids loved the I think 6 tunnels we had to cycle through in order to reach the end.
We got to the end at Chee Dale in about 1hour 45 mins and had a well earned hot chocolate at the Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire- which is a place as the name suggests where you can hire bikes but also sit in the sun and enjoy a beverage before the journey back. (www.peakblackwellcyclehire.com)
With the slight downhill on the way back, we made good time and made it back to Hassop Station (www.hassopstation.co.uk) for a late lunch of homemade burgers. This place has changed beyond all recognition since I first visited, it is now a thriving cafe, gift shop, ice cream palour and bookshop, also with cycle hire. The food is good quality and reasonable value and it’s very popular.
All in all a really good few hours and another achievement for the kids.
The trail is popular with walkers, cyclists and a few horse riders but no motorised vehicles. Most people stick to the “keep left” rule, a few more signs stating this would not go amiss. The full route (Starting from Coombs Road in Bakewell) is approximately 8.5 miles each way. I estimate we did about 14 miles in total.
If you are ever in the Peak District, have bikes and a young family and would like a breathtaking scenic traffic free bike ride, then this is the one!