The view from Monsal Head - M.Cummins 2011
Monsal Head viaduct and Dale - M.Cummins 2009
Sheep catwalk above Monsal Dale - M.Cummins 2010

Monsal Trail railway tunnels now reopened

...cyclists, walkers and horse riders profiting

Plans to reopen four old railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail became reality on May 25 2011, as the Government’s nationwide initiative to create more cycling opportunities reached the Peak District.

Part of the Monsal Trail – from Upperdale to Monsal Head - closed in early February while work on the former Midland Railway line was carried out. The line had been closed since 1968 and formally reopened on May 25th 2011, creating a new linear cycle route from Bakewell to Wye Dale, Buxton.

Check out our stunning photographs of Monsal Dale

The National Park Authority is developing the trail between Bakewell and Wye Dale by opening sections of the tunnels to be utilised by cyclists, walkers and horse riders – enabling visitors to the Peak District to enjoy a new experience.

The quartet of tunnels due to reopen are Headstone Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel and one tunnel at Chee Tor, and each of them are around 400m in length.

The improvements are part of the £2.25 million Pedal Peak District project – Phase One - which itself is a part of the Government’s wider scheme to encourage people to lead healthier, more active lives, to reduce car use and to create more opportunities for people to cycle.

Phase One of the project was concluded when the new route opened this summer, and it is hoped further funding will be made available to create a new a route from Bakewell to Matlock, as well as a circular route linking the High Peak and Tissington Trails.

The Peak District National Park, the UK’s first National Park, boasts an extensive network of trails, cycle hire centres and stunning scenery within easy reach of many towns and cities. The Monsal Trail initiative cements the Peak’s status as an ideal destination for family cycling. Whatever your ability, cycling in the Peak District is a great way to explore and discover the area and its beautiful countryside.

For more about Monsal Dale please visit the Monsal Dale Video page - almost 3 minutes of HD video showing the very best of this popular Peak District beauty spot.

Sean Cummins


Last Updated: 15 Jun 2015