This weekend we headed out to cycle the Monsal Trail in the Peak District.
We decided to start near Bakewell, as we could hire bikes at Hassop Station. My hope was that we’d be able to share the load by spreading the kids across two bikes … turns out a 5 year old isn’t allowed on a child seat DOH. Our only choice was to hire a trailer, shove them both in it, and hope they didn’t get bored. Oh, and I had to drag it along behind me.
The trail takes a course along parts of an old railway line. Every so often you get some fantastic views, but I did find the majority of the trail very enclosed by trees/shrubs, which was pretty, but I would’ve rather been able to see the scenery the entire time.
The trail goes all the way to Buxton. The majority of the direction we followed it out was uphill. Only gradual though, nothing at all severe. The trail is pretty good, gravelly, but flat with no holes to avoid.
The best parts of the trail are the bridges you cross, where the scenery opens up and sweeps past you on either side, and the train tunnels drilled through the hills. The tunnels are all lit during the day, and the kids loved shouting inside them haha. Just beware of the drips.
We didn’t quite make it to the end of the trail in the 2 hours we hired the bikes for. We did stop quite a lot for photos or when the kids were hungry. In fact, I thought we’d made it through every tunnel on the route, but Google Maps tells me we missed the last one just around the final corner.
We gave ourselves 50 minutes to get back and made it at an easy rate, being mostly downhill. It was also getting a lot busier around lunchtime. In total, we cycled about 13 miles.
Back at Hassop Station, the kids mucked around in the playground for a bit, then it was off to Grindleford Cafe for a massive lunch, then it was home to the garden for a nap in the sun.