The Peak District is a great place for flat, family cycle trails, with a number of disused railways having been converted to multi-use trails. The most exciting has to be the Monsal Trail, with its recently (2011) reopened tunnels. The trail runs for 8½ miles between Blackwell Mill and Bakewell following the course of the delightful River Wye. There are three car parks at former stations where you can also hire bikes (if you don’t take your own). There is a further car park just off the A6 at Wyedale, linked to the western end of trail by a bridleway (no cycle hire here). As well as taking you through the six tunnels, you cycle through deep limestone cuttings, along high hillsides with splendid views of the river and former mill buildings. Bridges carry the trail across the river a number of times – with the most spectacular crossing being the Monsal Head Viaduct. Between the Litton and Cressbrook tunnels there is a listening post which allows you to listen to, “Monsal Memories,” a series of six podcasts covering aspects of the railway’s history (these can also be downloaded from the link below).
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